Petrucci scores first-ever win at Mugello

Ducati has been the team to watch this season, it’s inevitable a win should go to them one way or the other. At Round 6 in Mugello, Danilo Petrucci claimed his first-ever win with Reigning Champion Marc Marquez second and  team mate Andrea Dovizioso third. In a sprint to the finish line, Petrucci dashed to the line just 0.043 seconds in front of Marquez.

Petrucci’s win meant the third straight win for Ducati. Dovizioso at Mugello. Andrea Dovizioso won the previous two rounds here.

At race start, Marquez immediately stormed to lead the field from Cal Crutchlow and Petrucci. Dovizioso was right behind the lead group.  Marquez led for the moment, but Petrucci quickly dispatched the LCR Honda, with Dovizioso overtaking Crutchlow moments later. From there, it’s Marquez versus Petrucci and Dovizioso battled Suzuki’s Alex Rins for most of the race. Rins actually got ahead of the top three for half a lap. But, the Ducatis’ and Repsol Honda’s might was too much for the Suzuki. The two Ducatis quickly stormed back to the lead, with Rins and Marquez in tow.

Past the middle part of the race,  Marquez led from the Ducatis as Petrucci and Dovizioso. The top three exchanged overtaking moves repeatedly and Rins right there with them. It all came down to the final lap of the race, with only four riders left fighting for the victory, Petrucci defended the lead to precede Márquez on the finish line by only 43 thousandths of a second, with Dovizioso third. Prior to the last corner, Marquez and Dovizioso came together as the two were trying to get an edge. In the final sprint to the line, Petrucci was first then Marquez and Dovizioso. Rins who kept up with the leaders finished fourth, closely behind the second Ducati. A certain Takaaki Nakagami was fifth for LCR, ahead of Yamaha factory rider Maverick Vinales.

Viñales had an eventful race, having  lost a few positions at the start. He dropped to 12th and had to play catch up. First, he gained two places and tucked in behind fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo. With relentless focus he reeled them in and tapped them on the back lying in ninth place when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out with 11 laps to go. But soon the group was pulled apart again. In the closing laps, he gained more positions to get sixth, 7.481s from first.

Ducati wild card rider Michele Pirro took seventh place, mounting a strong comeback despite an issue with his forearm to recover many positions in the second half of the race.

Although finishing in runners-up, Marquez managed to extend his championship lead to 12 points over Dovizioso. Honda have a six point advantage over Ducati in the Constructors.

“I really wanted this victory and when I realized the pace at the front wasn’t too fierce and I was able to manage my rhythm in the leading group, I told myself it was the right time to go for it. I tried to control the race by staying in the lead to avoid the risk of losing too many positions in the battle, dictating the pace to preserve the energies and the tyres for the final rush. I was a bit worried about the slipstream as we entered the final lap, but I managed to brake really deep and find a small gap between Andrea and Marc to retake the lead, then I simply pushed as hard as I could until the checkered flag. A good chunk of this win came thanks to Andrea, who took me under his wing this winter and gave so many precious tips,” Petrucci said.

Bad luck for Valentino Rossi as he started from a lowly 18th and crashed out as he was just getting in a groove.  Having taken 15th from Jorge Lorenzo, he was in the groove but clipped the rear of Joan Mir going into Turn 4 and had to skillfully steer his YZR-M1 through the gravel trap. He rejoined the track in 22nd place. He would finish 21st at the flag.

The Teams will resume action in two weeks’ time at Montmeló for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, scheduled for 14-16 June.

2019 MotoGP Mugello results

1         PETRUCCI Danilo   Ducati  41’33.794

2         MARQUEZ Marc     Repsol Honda + 0.043

3         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati            0.338

4         RINS Alex     Suzuki          0.535

5         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          LCR Honda              6.535

6         VINALES Maverick  Yamaha MotoGP     7.481

7         PIRRO Michele       Ducati Ducati 13.288

8         CRUTCHLOW Cal   LCR Honda   13.937

9         ESPARGARO Pol   KTM Factory 16.533

10       QUARTARARO Fabio  Yamaha SRT   17.994

Riders standings

1         MARQUEZ Marc     115     Repsol Honda

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea                     103     Ducati     

3         RINS Alex     88       Team Suzuki

4         PETRUCCI Danilo   82       Ducati

5         ROSSI Valentino     72       Yamaha MotoGP    

6         CRUTCHLOW Cal   42       LCR Honda  

7         MILLER Jack            42       Pramac ti

8         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          40       LCR Honda          

9         VINALES Maverick  40       Yamaha MotoGP  

10       ESPARGARO Pol   38