Italian rider, Italian bike, Italian GP – the Italian flag flew high over the podium at Mugello, as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso took a magnificent Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley MotoGP™ victory, battling rivals on track and illness off it, to cross the line over a second clear of Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and an impressive home podium for Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing).
Home hero Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) shot off the line for the lead from P2 on the grid, denying team-mate and polesitter Viñales, as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) stormed up from seventh to fight off Dovizioso for third. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had an incredible start from P16 after having suffered with illness throughout the weekend too, moving up into seventh, as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) suffered a different fate and got a ride through for a jump start.
Petrucci caught the group before too long as Dovizioso took over at the front, and the Pramac rider then pounced on Viñales after a small mistake. Then Viñales took over in second with only a few laps remaining and the Championship leader with his head down. The pendulum swung between the two men until the last lap dawned – and ‘DesmoDovi’ kept it inch-perfect around every corner to take his third ever Grand Prix victory, and the first for a red machine at Mugello since Casey Stoner won in 2009.
Viñales took second to increase his Championship lead, with Petrucci putting in the dry-weather ride of his life to complete the podium. The ‘Doctor’, who suffered a motocross crash in training the week before the event, pushed through the pain barrier and just missed the podium.
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) caught and passed reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to complete the top five, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) coming home in P7 behind Marquez. Lorenzo suffered grip issues later in the race and crossed the line in eighth, beating Ducati test rider Michele Pirro over the line. Iannone’s heroics following his illness saw him complete the top ten at home.
The late drama saw a tough day for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) conclude in a crash, unfortunately collecting LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow on the final lap. It was a miserable afternoon for the British riders, with Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding the only points scorer in 12th on the Octo Pramac Ducati. Sam Lowes and Bradley Smith finished, but out of the points in 19th and 20th places respectively.
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) took his first victory in the World Championship since 2009 at the Italian GP, after a close Moto2™ fight to the flag against Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46). Danny Kent crashed out, while Tarren Mackenzie finished a brave 27th on his Mugello debut. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) won in Moto3™, while Scotsman John McPhee was sixth on the British Talent team Honda.