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MotoGP 2016: Round 6 - Italy preview

Mugello is a beautiful circuit that should be treated as such. Stay on the black stuff please kids.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

First of all, SCOMO sends its condolences to the family of Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, who died while taking part in the NW200 in Northern Ireland last weekend.

This weekend is going to be dominated by the rider shuffle for 2017 much more than the stuff that actually happens on the track. To be honest, I'm just glad some of the questions are finally getting answered and we can focus on the racing, but that looks unlikely this weekend. Three top races to put politics to one side, please.

The circuit

It's certainly the place for it. Mugello is majestic. It is in my top three of tracks in the championship, and I'm hoping we get three races to match.

Bah gawd I love it.

In the news

We have to start with riders and contracts. Here's what we know so far.

  • Andrea Dovizioso will partner Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati next year.
  • Dani Pedrosa will ride for Honda for at least the next two years.

If you're reading this on Thursday, it's highly likely that Maverick Viñales will have been confirmed as Lorenzo's replacement at Yamaha too. Here's what the grid looks like so far.

Repsol Honda Dani Pedrosa ??? (likely Marc Marquez)
Movistar Yamaha Valentino Rossi ??? (likely Maverick Viñales)
Ducati Jorge Lorenzo Andrea Dovizioso
Suzuki ??? (Andrea Iannone?) ??? (Aleix Espargaro? Alex Rins?)
Aprilia Sam Lowes ??? (Andrea Iannone?)
KTM Bradley Smith ??? (Randy De Puniet has been testing for them)
Tech 3 Yamaha Jonas Folger ??? (Pol Espargaro?)
LCR Honda ??? (Cal Crutchlow?) N/A
Pramac Ducati ??? (Danilo Petrucci likely) ??? (Currently Scott Redding)
Aspar Ducati (Currently Yonny Hernandez) (Currently Eugene Laverty)
Avintia Ducati (Currently Hector Barbera) (Currently Loris Baz)
E.G Marc VDS Honda (Currently Jack Miller) (Currently Tito Rabat)

At present only seven of the 23 rides are confirmed for next year, but now some of the main pieces are in place, the others should fall around them pretty soon.

Could one of the pieces be Michael Van Der Mark? The Dutch World Superbike rider says Honda have a first option on him should he decide to make a jump, but he also wants a bike that will keep him competitive. LCR?

Race times

BST Session MotoGP Moto2 Moto3
Fri FP1 08:55-09:40 09:55-10:40 08:00-08:40
FP2 13:05-13:50 14:05-14:50 12:10-12:50
Sat FP3 08:55-09:40 09:55-10:40 08:00-08:40
FP4 12:30-13:00 N/A N/A
Q1 13:10-13:25 14:05-14:50 11:35-12:15
Q2 13:35-13:50 N/A N/A
Sun WUP 08:40-09:00 08:10-08:30 07:40-08:00
Race 13:00 11:20 10:00

There's no recap this weekend, with your writer busy elsewhere, but Burnt Rubber will bring you a full roundup of the weekend on Monday..