Alonso visits Mugello, calls MotoGP riders ‘heroes’

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Fernando Alonso heaped praise on MotoGP riders after watching the Italian Grand Prix race weekend live at Mugello during a visit with Honda, calling them “heroes”.

Honda powers Alonso’s McLaren Formula 1 car, as well as running a factory team in MotoGP.

The tie-up allowed the Spaniard to get a taste of a MotoGP bike in a special event last December in Japan, which he followed up by heading to Mugello this weekend.

Alonso said he was impressed by the atmosphere as the local fans gave their support to nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, having raced at a home race himself last weekend in Spain.

“It’s been a fantastic weekend so far, great atmosphere,” Alonso said on the grid ahead of the race.

“A Valentino pole position has been a good boost for the grandstand.”

Having driven an F1 car around Mugello in the past, Alonso knows the challenge that the Tuscan circuit poses, and was full of respect for the MotoGP riders.

“It’s unbelievable, it’s quite impressive,” Alonso said.

“I went into the braking for Turn 1, the bike is moving there at 350kmh. It’s quite impressive.

“They’re heroes for us. It’s very impressive to watch it live. Quite different from television.”