Ducati's Danilo Petrucci scores first MotoGP victory at Mugello, holds off Honda's Marc Marquez
Danilo Petucci took an emphatic first MotoGP victory in his home race at Mugello, just holding off poleman Marc Marquez to the line.
Petrucci, who started from third on the grid, featured in the leading group throughout the 23-lap encounter, but looked to have lost his victory chance as both Honda’s Marquez and Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso blew past him on the start/finish straight on the final lap.
The determined Italian was not to be denied however, and drove back under both riders at Turn 1 with an incredible move to retake a lead he would never relinquish, securing his first premier class win in 124 starts, despite battling illness all weekend.
Marquez looked set to rob Petrucci of victory as he exited the final corner right behind the Ducati, but missed out by less than a tenth-of-a-second.
Dovizioso was forced to settle for third, despite starting from ninth on the grid. The second of the factory Ducati men made a blistering start to sit second heading onto the second lap of the race, but was re-passed by both Petrucci and Marquez at Turn 1 on the final tour, and was forced to hold off fourth-placed Alex Rins.
The Suzuki racer made an incredible comeback after starting way down in 13th, the Spaniard looking for his second victory of the season. Despite seemingly looking the fastest of the front runners mid-way through the race, his GSX-RR’s slight top speed defecit meant he just missed out on a rostrum result.
Takaaki Nakagami secured his best ever MotoGP result a few seconds behind in fifth, while Maverick Vinales was first Yamaha home in sixth.
Michele Pirro came on strong toward the end of the race to snatch seventh from Cal Crutchlow in the closing stages, while Pol Espargaro managed to defeat front-row qualifier Fabio Quartararo for ninth.
Quartararo made a poor start from second and never recovered, the Frenchman struggling for pace as he tried to work his way back through from ninth on the opening lap.
Jorge Lorenzo could manage just 13th, being overtaken by Suzuki rookie Joan Mir late on despite the 21-year old having to run through the gravel after making a mistake earlier in the race.
Several front runners unfortunately crashed out while running in strong positions, notably both Pramac Ducati’s of Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia. Miller crashed from fifth while battling with the leaders at Turn 5, while Bagnaia tucked the front at the final turn as he ran wide.
Valentino Rossi had a horror race, the veteran Italian forced to cut across the gravel early on in an attempt to avoid Mir’s wayward Suzuki, and then crashing out at the high-speed turn 13.
Marquez’s second place means he extends his lead in the championship to 12 over Dovizioso, while Rins’ fourth means he sits third 27 points behind the Honda man. Petrucci’s victory moves him to fourth overall, 33 points from the lead.
Italy - Race Result
|1||Danilo Petrucci||Mission Winnow Ducati||25|
|2||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||0.043||20|
|3||Andrea Dovizioso||Mission Winnow Ducati||0.338||16|
|4||Alex Rins||Team Suzuki Ecstar||0.535||13|
|5||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||6.535||11|
|6||Maverick Vinales||Monster Energy Yamaha||7.481||10|
|7||Michele Pirro||Mission Winnow Ducati||13.288||9|
|8||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||13.937||8|
|9||Pol Espargaro||Red Bull KTM Factory||16.533||7|
|10||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha SRT||17.994||6|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing Gresini||20.523||5|
|12||Joan Mir||Team Suzuki Ecstar||20.544||4|
|13||Jorge Lorenzo||Repsol Honda Team||20.813||3|
|14||Karel Abraham||Reale Avintia Racing||27.298||2|
|15||Andrea Iannone||Aprilia Racing Gresini||28.051||1|
|16||Miguel Oliviera||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||30.101||0|
|17||Johann Zarco||Red Bull KTM Factory||41.857||0|
|18||Jack Miller||Alma Pramac Racing||DNF||0|
|19||Francesco Bagnaia||Alma Pramac Racing||DNF||0|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||DNF||0|
|21||Valentino Rossi||Monster Energy Yamaha||DNF||0|
|22||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||DNF||0|
|23||Tito Rabat||Reale Avintia Racing||DNF||0|