MotoGP Mugello: Petrucci wins historic home Grand Prix - Bikesport News

MotoGP Mugello: Petrucci wins historic home Grand Prix

Under pressure factory Ducati MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci held off Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso to claim his first ever MotoGP victory in front of his home crowd at Mugello.

The Italian, who was battling a sickness bug all weekend found himself in a titanic struggle with the heavy hitters of MotoGP with a race, which in the early stages, looked more like a Moto3 race than a MotoGP race.

Petrucci enjoyed a good start and found himself in the lead group from the off, picking his way through past his team-mate and Marquez, using the power of the Ducati GP19 to find his way to the lead of the race on the fifth lap.

It was a lap later when Dovizioso went into the lead of the race and proceeded to control the race from the front of the race, keeping the lead group up at ten riders, preserving his tyres, whilst using the power to maintain his position at the front.

Alex Rins had a turn at leading in the middle stages of the race, before Petrucci slipstreamed the Spaniard to take the lead himself on lap eleven of 23. Once Petrucci got to the front of the race, he started to push and stretch the lead group, dropping the likes of Cal Crutchlow, Taka Nakgami and Fabio Quartararo to reduce the lead group to five.

Jack Miller crashed out four laps later, leaving the front four of Petrucci, Dovizioso, Marquez and Rins to battle it out for the victory.

Both Dovizioso and Marquez sat behind Petrucci in the closing laps waiting for the final laps before making their moves and on lap 20, Dovizioso made his move to the front of the race, slip steaming his team-mate down to straight and into turn one. Petrucci wasted little time in snapping right back through to hold onto the lead and he held it for the penultimate lap.

Going into the final lap, both Dovizioso and Marquez used the tow of Petrucci and passed the Italian going into the first corner. Marquez ran a little wide, allowing Dovizioso to attempt a pass inside the Spaniard. Dovizioso left half a bike width and Petrucci didn’t think twice about slamming his GP19 in the gap and regaining the lead. In doing to, Petrucci sat Dovizioso up, forcing his team-mate wide, nearly collecting Marquez in the process.

Knowing the World Champion was right behind him, Petrucci rode the perfect final lap and held off Marquez over the line by 0.043 seconds with Dovizioso a further two tenths behind, holding off Rins himself by just 0.197 seconds.

Taka Nakagami enjoyed his best finish in the dry finish in fifth position, ahead of Maverick Vinales and Ducati wild-card rider Michele Pirro who were sixth and seventh respectfully. Cal Crutchlow was eighth on his LCR Honda ahead of the factory KTM of Pol Espargaro with Fabio Quartararo failing to capitalise on front row start, coming home in tenth.

Aleix Espargaro was eleventh on his factory Aprilia ahead of Joan Mir, Jorge Lorenzo, Karel Abraham and Andrea Iannone, with the Italian rounding out the point scorers in fifteenth.

It was a weekend to forget for Valentino Rossi. The Italian, starting from way down the field made a mistake on the fifth lap, pushing him down to last place, trying to catch up to the field, Rossi crashed out of the race on lap eight at Arabbiata 2.

Share this story: