Danilo Petrucci credits Andrea Dovizioso for ‘amazing’ debut MotoGP victory at Mugello
Danilo Petrucci believes Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso is to thank for him achieving his first race win in the premier class.
Petrucci secured his first win at Mugello, defeating Dovizioso and Honda’s Marc Marquez in a tight final-lap tussle that saw him cross the line just 0.043 ahead of the reigning MotoGP world champion.
The Italian secured a seat with the factory Ducati team for this year having spent four seasons competing with Ducati satellite squad Pramac Racing, where he managed to score four runner-up finishes as his best results.
He has struggled to get up to speed this season so far, but managed to score his first podium of his 2019 campaign last time out at Le Mans, and has now moved up to fourth in the championship standings following his Italian GP victory.
“It’s amazing. It’s unbelievable because I’ve never won in MotoGP, especially because at the beginning of this year I was starting to think I would never win a race,” said Petrucci post race.
“But then I just tried to do my best on track and not thinking about anything else, I have no contract next year and began to think about doing other things in my life."
Petrucci credited Dovizioso for helping him change his mental approach as he headed into his first year as a factory rider, and believes this was a crucial helping hand to him securing his first win.
“But first of all Andrea Dovizioso, I would like to dedicate my first victory to him,” explained Petrucci.
"Andrea helped me alot and said don’t just think about the future, focus on now and try and enjoy it.
"He treated me like a brother during the winter and during this weekend, he welcomed me into his home and told me the deepest secrets of the bike.
"I’m sorry to beat him in his home town, but It’s my home race and a Ducati must win.
The key to Petrucci’s victory was his last lap pass on both Dovizioso and Marquez at the Son Donato hairpin on the final lap, which saw him scythe back under the battling pair to move from third to a lead he would keep to the line.
“I’m really sorry for Andrea about that pass, but I saw the open window and jumped into it,” said Petrucci.
“When I started the last lap I knew Andrea and Marc would try and pass me in the first corner, which they did, but they just went a bit wide so I went through.
“Then exiting the last corner I thought for the last moment following the story of my life, I will start the lap in first and then cross the line third and so as I clicked up the gears I was waiting for them to pass me.
"Luckily no-one did and I started to scream."