The Ducati Team pulled off a fantastic 1-2 win at the Autodromo del Mugello today, with its riders finishing first and second. Jorge Lorenzo, who got a perfect start from the front row, dominated the Italian Grand Prix from the first to the last lap, thus scoring his first win on a Ducati. Second place went to Andrea Dovizioso, who started from the third row. The Italian crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in fifth place and then got close to Lorenzo on lap 7, but he was unable to attack his team-mate and on the last lap had to defend the runner-up slot from Rossi, who was third at the chequered flag.
Rossi had a good start from pole and took second place after the first corners, behind Jorge Lorenzo. Shadowed by Marc Marquez, the front men tried to make a break for it. Marquez overtook the local hero on lap 3 but crashed out two laps later. This allowed the Doctor to resume his charge towards the race leader, but it wasn’t without interruptions.
As the Italian went wide with 16 laps to go, compatriots Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone passed through and also Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins joined the fight. The number 46 rider soon found himself in fifth place, but he wasn’t out for the count. He regained his position ahead of Iannone and tried to claw his way back past Petrucci, whilst fending off Rins. Though he had to allow the Spaniard through with nine laps to go, he cleverly followed the young rider and seized two overtake opportunities on lap 17 and 18 to snatch third. Iannone tried to steal the podium position away from him, launching various attacks in turn 1, but the fans’ favourite held firm and crossed the line in third place, 6.629s from first. Thanks to today’s results Rossi became the first rider to score over 5000 Grand Prix championship points (he has collected 5005 points in total).
“I am very happy! Yesterday I said that winning at Mugello with Ducati was a dream for me and today this dream came true. It’s one of the most special wins of my entire career, probably on the same level as my first win in 125 in 2003 and in MotoGP in 2008. I’m really thrilled about it and pleased for the team, because it was fantastic to score this victory on Ducati’s home track after a very challenging weekend. This morning I realized that we could do it and, even though I was worried about the performance of the tyres, I decided to push right from the start, in my usual style, and everything went perfectly. I couldn’t ask for anything more and we will have to celebrate this win in a big way. I haven’t managed to win a race for a long time and I did it my way. I’ve been through some difficult moments but I’ve always believed I could do it, I could see that every time we were closer and closer and in the end we did it!”
“To tell the truth I expected more than a second place today, but in the end we found that the conditions were hotter in the race than yesterday and so we had a few doubts about the choice of front tyre. Rossi and I made a cautionary selection, opting to fit the harder tyre, but unfortunately it didn’t work well. Valentino almost crashed a couple of times in front of me and when I tried to push to catch Jorge, I wasn’t fast enough in corner entry and as a result through the corners as well. In addition I used up the rear tyre and at the end of the race I also had to manage this problem. In any case we scored a good second place and reduced the gap to Marquez in the standings. I want to congratulate Jorge, who did a superb race and was very good and precise in managing the tyres to perfection.”
“It was a very tough race because we had to start with the harder front tyre, which we knew wouldn’t provide a lot of grip, so the race was very difficult. I tried not to make any mistakes, which was hard, and I also tried not to lose contact with the podium contenders. In my group the guys were riding on the softer tyre, so I hoped I would have a little bit more grip than them at the end. In fact, it was exactly like this, so I’m very happy, because the podium was the target for me. It remained difficult to secure it until the very last lap, because Iannone didn’t give up, but at the end it’s a great feeling here in Mugello.”