Nestled in a valley in the Tuscan hills midway between Bologna and Florence is Italyâ€™s coliseum of speed Mugello. Its 5245 metres of Ferrari developed majesty will play host to the 2007 Gran Premio Dâ€™Italia Alice. Mugello has a mix of elevation changes, fast changes of direction, slow hairpins and terrifyingly fast corners and will be considered home for weekend for a million drunken, testosterone and pasta fueled Italian fans. If anything Italian wins, draws or even loses, there will be rioting and looting with joyous Italian fervor. This leads me to the main topic of surprise for season 2007. Ducatiâ€™s blistering speed coupled with Bridgestoneâ€™s excellent rubber should suit Mugelloâ€™s other crowning glory, its 1140 metre long straight were the Ducatiâ€™s will blast past all others while ringing a bicycle bell in warning. Despite high siding out of this race last year, Casey Stoner has bonded well with the bright red machine, and immediately fell for the Bridgestone hoops much the same way I would fall for an Italian girl in a mini skirt riding a Vespa along a Florence street. He has well and truly shown up Loris Capirossi who has been the polar opposite surprise disappointment of the season. If the team nails setup and tire selection, Ducati will be the ones to beat, but I hope Loris finds some speed for his home GP. The crowd will go nutsâ€¦ With Rossi fast becoming an accidental Bridgestone spokesman, I am betting Yamaha is researching tire brands next year. Vale is the absolute master at Mugello where due to the abundance of fast off-camber corners, rider skill and daring is often rewarded with fast times and multiple podiums. The only section of track that will hurt the Yamaha will be the long straight, but that will hurt all other teams except for Ducati. I was absolutely stumped as to what went wrong with Colin Edwards at Le Mans. A blistering pole lap put him up the front, and after leaving the bike in neutral for the start, he had to pit four times to adjust his skirt. He needs a good result fast to secure a ride for next season as he is popular with Rossi and Michelin but good qualifying needs good race results. And onto Suzuki which I am quickly becoming a fan of the Smurf Blue bikes and am even toying with the idea of buying a GSX-R (Whoa lets not get carried away!!). Chris Vermeulen broke through for Suzukiâ€™s first GP win in eons with one of the best rides I have ever seen and if any muppet asks you why GP riders are paid so much, just club said person to death with a tape of the 2007 Le Mans GP. Argument over. John Hopkins is also staying healthy and fast, but I expect him to deliberately break his own hand and a foot with a hammer and go even faster. A handful more horsepower and the pneumatic valve Suzuki could be challenging for wins. Sigh, now we have to deal with the problem child Honda. With an average, consistent set of performances from Danni P. and badly consistent set of performances from Nicky Hayden, Honda look like a trouble ship at sea with no rudder. Thatâ€™s the last ship analogy I use I promise. Honda have almost resigned themselves to the fact Nicky wonâ€™t be repeating the championship, but some signs of promise are coming from the Bridgestone shod customer teams with Marco Melandri starting to show a good turn of speed. No one wants to grid up in front of Tony Elias, Checa has done what he does well, crashed, while Nakano has just been plain slow. Kawasaki is still struggling with both rider injury and performance but donâ€™t seem to be down too much on outright speed. Child slavery litigators are now after King Kenny Roberts as he forces another one of his abused children to ride the Team Roberts KR212V pile of junk at gun point. Itâ€™s apparently a move to get more data from the bike and its problems, but I can see the second chief engineer running over to the King, laptop in hand and claiming, no itâ€™s still rubbish. As the circus gets set to smash a quiet scenic Tuscan valley apart with some 800 cc fueled fury I urge you all to watch one of the best GPâ€™s of the season. I know Iâ€™ll be watching while kicking back with a Nastro Azzurro or three.