Ducati’s Lorenzo leads Italian party in Mugello

Italian Valentino Rossi with Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso on the podium pic: MotoGP.com

Jorge Lorenzo has broken through for his first win for Ducati as the Bologna factory went one-two in Mugello and Italian riders finished second through fourth.

Lorenzo led from start to finish, pulling away from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso despite #04 looking threatening in taking over second position on Lap 7 of 23.

MotoGP world championship leader Marc Marquez crashed early on as Valentino Rossi moved into second in the title race having held off Andrea Iannone for the final podium position.

Lorenzo again headed the field into the first corner, this time from the middle of the front row, as Marquez was ultra-aggressive just behind.

The #93 Repsol Honda sat sixth on the grid but Marquez went deep under brakes at San Donato, ran wide, then forced Danilo Petrucci well wide into the next corner as he attempted to recover.

Petrucci dropped as far back as 10th as Lorenzo led pole-sitter Rossi, Marquez, Iannone, Dovizioso, and Alex Rins at the end of the first sector.

The first two laps featured six riders crash, including Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa at the second corner and Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller at Turn 4 on Lap 2.

Marquez passed Rossi at the end of the main straight on Lap 3, before he too went down at Scarperia on Lap 5.

The front-runners remained close together but Dovizioso had the ascendancy, passing Iannone for third at the start of Lap 6 and then Rossi for second through the Arrabbiata complex on Lap 7.

Petrucci, meanwhile, had ridden his Pramac Ducati back into the top five and he became a factor for the podium when Rossi and Iannone began to make errors, perhaps losing grip.

Lorenzo got out to a one-second lead after Lap 9 and doubled that in the next seven laps, but Dovizioso looked good for at least runner-up and a Ducati Team one-two.

The marque’s hold on a podium sweep was waning, however, as Petrucci started to seriously battle on a worn front tyre.

Rossi and Iannone, the latter resurgent having also struggled himself in recent laps on the #29 Suzuki Ecstar entry, both passed in just a handful of corners on Lap 18.

As Lorenzo continue to take the race away from Dovizioso, Iannone dived under Rossi at San Donato on Lap 20 but couldn’t pull up in time.

The same happened again on the penultimate lap, two laps later, before Rossi in fact closed right up on Dovizioso on the final lap.

Bike #04 ultimately finished just 0.259s in front of the #46 Movistar Yamaha but that was enough to give Ducati a one-two on home soil, 12 months since Dovizioso himself became the first Italian to win for Ducati in the Italian Grand Prix.

Lorenzo suggested he had proven critics wrong as he won for the first time in his 24 starts for Ducati, in the fashion which became his trademark for Yamaha.

“A lot of people say that my method was not right and I said that I just needed to feel more comfortable, to save more energy,” said the Spaniard post-race.

“Finally, the team give me a new (redesigned) fuel tank that I feel more comfortable on.

“As I said before, Thursday and Friday, I could keep a more constant pace, and finally today nobody could catch me.

“I could win like I won and it’s like a dream to win here with a Ducati.”

Iannone ended up edging team-mate Rins to fourth by just 0.022s, Cal Crutchlow was top Independent team rider in sixth for LCR Honda, and Petrucci faded to seventh.

Maverick Viñales was nowhere despite starting from the front row on his Movistar Yamaha, finishing eighth from Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati) and Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha).

Marquez remounted and actually continued to lap at a pace which would not have been uncompetitive but finished one position outside the points in 16th.

Miller was a DNF, missing the top 10 for the first time since he sat out last year’s Japanese MotoGP through injury.

Marquez’s championship lead is now 23 points as MotoGP heads to Catalunya for Round 7 on June 15-17.

Race results: Italian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Ducati Team Ducati 41:43.230
2 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +6.370
3 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +6.629
4 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +7.885
5 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +7.907
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +9.120
7 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +10.898
8 25 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +11.060
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP Angel Nieto Team Ducati +11.154
10 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +17.644
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +20.256
12 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +22.435
13 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +22.464
14 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +22.495
15 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +26.644
16 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +39.311
17 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1:01.211
18 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 5 Laps
DNF 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 4 Laps
DNF 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 22 Laps
DNF 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 22 Laps
DNF 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda
DNF 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati
DNF 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA 72
3 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 67
5 Johann ZARCO FRA 64
6 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 63
7 Andrea IANNONE ITA 60
9 Jack MILLER AUS 49
10 Jorge LORENZO ESP 41
11 Alex RINS ESP 33
12 Dani PEDROSA ESP 29
13 Tito RABAT ESP 27
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP 19
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL 17
19 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 10
20 Bradley SMITH GBR 7
21 Mika KALLIO FIN 6
22 Scott REDDING GBR 5
23 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 1
24 Thomas LUTHI SUI 0
25 Xavier SIMEON BEL 0

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