These just in from Mugello
Good things come to those who race: Petrucci storms Mugello for first Grand Prix win
The Italian holds off Marquez to paint the Tuscan venue red for the third year in a row
Sunday, 02 June 2019
There’s a new Grand Prix winner in town: Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati), on his 124th start in the premier class, has taken to the top step for the first time after a near-perfect performance to give Ducati their third win in a row at Mugello, holding off reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to cross the line just 0.043 clear at the chequered flag. Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) completed the podium in his 300th Grand Prix.
It was Marquez who took the holeshot from pole, but the headline-grabber as the lights went out was Dovizioso as the Italian shot off the line from P9 with a perfect start and was into a stunning third – behind Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) – into Turn 1. Petrucci dropped to fifth, the two Petronas Yamaha SRTs of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli also lost out, and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) moved up. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was also on the move, threading his way into the fight at the front after starting in 13th. At the front though, it only took one lap for Dovizioso and Petrucci to tag onto the back of Marquez as they swooped through on Crutchlow in quick succession.
The question was, could the reigning Champion bolt? And the answer was no. It remained a train of riders at the front, with nine within two seconds, but home eyes were also trained elsewhere as Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) ran on, as did rookie Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), and the two were forced into a quick trip across the gravel – rejoining at the back. The race was on and Mir would recover for points, but it ended early for the ‘Doctor’ as he then slid out of contention at Turn 9 – a tough end to a tough weekend.
Back at the front though, the fight was feisty and slowly but surely, a front quintet of Petrucci, Marquez, Dovizioso, Miller and Rins were able to pull away. Drama then hit Miller though as he suddenly crashed out – not long after teammate Francesco Bagnaia had done the same – and then there were four.
That was how it would remain, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) the next man down the road but the Japanese rider unable to close in. With five laps to go there was nothing between the foursome, and despite the chopping and changing, it was Petrucci who’d been at the front since Lap 11 to assert some authority on his charge at the win – with ‘DesmoDovi’ then taking over from Marquez in second. Sure enough, the number 04 struck against his teammate at Turn 1 with four to go, but he couldn’t pull away – and Petrucci soon hit back. He held on in the lead next time around into San Donato too, and again, until the high speed chess game arrived at the final lap.
Dovizioso slipstreamed past his teammate on the final full speed dash down the straight, but Marquez did one better and managed to take both, the Honda man ahead into Turn 1 for the final time. But he headed a little wide and Dovizioso took the inside line – but he was wide as well. Enter Petrucci, with the number 9 spotting the gap and slicing past both as Dovi had to then sit up and cede second to Marquez. The task for ‘Petrux’ was then easier said than done: defend the lead of his first home Grand Prix in factory colours from the most notorious last lap lunger. But that’s what he did.
He needed the lap of his life and that’s exactly what he delivered, just out of reach of Marquez and emerging from the final corner still ahead as Dovi tried to find a way past Marquez. But there wasn’t one, and the Turn 1 shuffle would prove decisive as Petrucci escaped Marquez who escaped Dovi on the run to the line – and the number 04 Ducati even came under threat from Rins into the final corner. But the Suzuki man couldn’t stick with the Borgo Panigale power, and one of the races of the season saw Petrucci make some history, Marquez gaining a little ground in the Championship and Dovizioso forced to settle for third on his 300th Grand Prix start. For all his help and support, however, Petrucci did dedicate the win to his compatriot.
Behind Rins’ stellar ride to fourth, Nakagami pulled out an ace on race day to take his best ever premier class finish as he completed the top five – and as top Independent Team rider to boot. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) gained some ground late on to claim sixth, with wildcard Michele Pirro (Mission Winnow Ducati) a late mover as well as he came home seventh. Crutchlow slipped to eighth, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) taking P9 after another impressive weekend that included KTM’s highest finish in a Free Practice session and direct entry into Q2.
Fabio Quartararo, who lost out after his stunning qualifying session, crossed the line tenth but once again took home a good little haul of points to keep his supreme run in the fight for Rookie of the Year, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) taking P11 on Noale factory home turf. Mir recovered to 12th and got past Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), with Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completing the points.
That’s it from the stunning Mugello, with Petrucci now a Grand Prix winner and arriving into the next race with his place in the Ducati history books secured. The mission now for the Mission Winnow Ducati teammates? Stop Marquez. But it’s the reigning Champion’s turf up next and he arrives 12 points clear…don’t miss the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya in two weeks.
Superb win by Danilo Petrucci at the Italian Grand Prix, Ducati reigns at Mugello for the third year in a row; Andrea Dovizioso (3rd) also on the podium. Michele Pirro in 7th
The Mission Winnow Ducati team enjoyed a Sunday to remember at the Mugello Circuit with Danilo Petrucci claiming the win at the Italian Grand Prix – his maiden victory in MotoGP – in a sprint finish to the line ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, third under the checkered flag, only three tenths of a second behind. For Ducati, this is the third win in a row at its home GP after those claimed by Dovizioso and Lorenzo in 2017 and 2018 respectively, an extraordinary result celebrated also by the many fans who filled the Ducati Grandstands to capacity.
Starting from first row, Petrucci immediately joined the leading group together with Dovizioso, who got off to a great start from third row and entered turn 1 in third position. Both riders exchanged overtaking moves repeatedly and towards the end, 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 quickly in tow. Michele Pirro took seventh place as a wild-card, mounting a strong comeback despite an issue with his forearm to recover many positions in the second half of the race.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st
“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. Now we’ll keep fighting together for the championship.”
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 3rd
“It’s been a really exciting race, as it’s often the case here at Mugello. Until the very last lap, everything went to plan. I got off to a great start and I put myself in a good position to manage the tyres, staying always within the top three despite the many overtakes in the leading group. My plan was to seize the lead at the beginning of the last lap, but I had to pick up the bike out of turn one to avoid contact and I lost positions and points. I’m a bit disappointed because of that, but also very happy for Danilo, who really deserved this win. It would have been better to score a one-two finish, but Márquez was very competitive also here. As for us, we struggled a bit early on in the weekend but once again we managed to stay in contention until the very end during the race. We want more and we’ll keep working to improve.”
Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 7th
“The most important thing is that we won again at Mugello, for the third time in a row, because we couldn’t take it for granted. As for me, I’m a bit disappointed because today during the race my Desmosedici GP was really competitive, but unfortunately I faced an issue with my forearm in the early laps, which slowed me down. Then, I simply tried to stay calm and I managed to climb back to seventh. I want to thank Ducati because, after last year’s big crash on this track, we’ve done a great job together and I’m confident I’ll be back to top form soon.”
Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
“Winning is always fantastic, but to do it here at Mugello really has a special meaning. It’s our home race, and on this wonderful track we can always count on the support of so many people from our company and thousands of passionate ducatisti. Until a few laps to go, we had as many as four bikes fighting for top positions. Danilo probably had a bit of an edge today, but both our factory riders fought for the win until the very last inch and I believe that Andrea deserves part of the credit for this victory, as he was the first to highlight Danilo’s potential and he took him under his wing, doing a really excellent job.”
Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager
“We all must be proud of the work done, because winning three times in a row at Mugello, in front of so many Ducati fans, is a dream come true. Danilo was really phenomenal, he rode a fantastic last lap, with an incredible pass at the beginning, and I’m really happy he took his maiden MotoGP win at his home race. I’m sorry for Andrea, who couldn’t pass Márquez back before the checkered flag, but he rode a fantastic race as well and a podium is always a great result. I want to congratulate myself with all three of them, because they really put on a show.”
After six rounds, Dovizioso is still second in the Riders standings with 103 points – 12 shy of the lead – while Petrucci climbs to fourth with 82. Ducati is second among Manufacturers with 115 points, while the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Team rankings with 185 points.
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action in two weeks’ time at Montmeló for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, scheduled for June 14-16 on the track just outside Barcelona (Spain).
Spirited 9th place for Espargaro at Mugello
MotoGP 2019 Round 6 of 19, Mugello (ITA) – RACE
For the second Grand Prix in a row Red Bull KTM were able to take another top ten MotoGP finish thanks to Pol Espargaro’s battling performance around a hot and fast Mugello circuit to capture 9th position. Johann Zarco opted for a strategic tyre choice and finished 17th.
The hottest day of the Gran Premio D’Italia at Mugello saw ambient temperatures top 30 degrees and hit a track figure of 50 degrees for 23 fast and demanding laps of the Italian course for the sixth MotoGP fixture of the season.
Starting from 11th on the grid, Pol Espargaro attached the #44 machine to the back of the second group and fought with other factory riders on the fringes of the top ten. Crashes for the likes of Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller opened up the dispute for the top of the leaderboard and Pol maintained his speed in fine fashion. The Spaniard attacked Fabio Quartararo on the final lap and passed the Frenchman for 9th place: his fourth result inside the top ten this season and – once more – a much faster total race time compared to 2018.
Johann Zarco chose a Soft rear tyre in order to circulate at his best speed in the first half of the race. The Frenchman suffered in the last stages as the grip level of the rubber deteriorated in the heat and he classified 17th; nevertheless with more understanding and information of his #5 machine ahead of the next round in Catalunya which will be followed by two days of testing.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira just missed the points with 16th spot by the chequered flag. Teammate Hafizh Syahrin pulled into the pits after several near-crashes and chose not to complete the race.
Pol Espargaro: “We knew our position would be around 7-10 and we were not expecting these temperatures. With the Medium tyre we were in a very low grip situation and we knew our job would be a little bit harder. I was fighting a lot at the beginning of the race with [Franco] Morbidelli, [Alex] Rins even and [Fabio] Quartararo. It was hard, hot and with many changes of direction. It was a physical track and we saw many riders by the end were dropping and we could keep our pace. Anyway we were fourteen seconds faster in our total race time in 2018 and in the end I think we can be happy.”
Johann Zarco: “I wanted a bit more consistency so I chose the Soft tyre but by the end it was finished. I wanted to be able to fight at the beginning and understand what my opponents can do better than me or not. I was able to get some good information even though I suffered at the end of the race and I finished slowly. We know we are suffering and I must wait to have some new things on the bike. I know I need to change my style but even by trying to do this I have the same limits as before. We can only get better from here and now I have six months experience. I think the team has good information for the way to work.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a tough race in the beginning and hard to manage the bike with the full fuel tank. Then I started to find my pace and it was quite OK. The last five laps where very difficult again as I was missing grip and I could not manage to attack the points scoring positions. But, in general, the gap to the front was not too big and also the one to Pol was not huge. After the tough weekend, I think we didn’t expect to be so competitive in the race, so it was positive.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “I felt very good with the bike in the beginning of the race but in Turn 9 I had a huge low side and was lucky to save this. I tried to push again but couldn’t find the same feeling as in the beginning. I wanted to do more laps but with this feeling it was impossible not to go down, so I decided to retire. It’s a pity, especially because I’m convinced that we could have scored points here but sometimes this just happens. Even if this was not our day and I’m truly sorry for everybody, we keep working hard for the next race. Barcelona is my favourite track, so I will for sure give more than 100 percent again.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “A top ten was the target for us and we achieved that here with Pol, which was very good. A positive point was that the bike had good potential all weekend. Mugello and Barcelona have been difficult tracks for us in the past and with our current package, so to make the top ten so far is very good. With Johann we made some improvement on Friday but he crashed on Saturday and took a gamble with tyre choice for the race, and the Soft rear could not stay until the end. We’ll be looking forward to trying for another top ten in Catalunya.”
Moto2 & Moto3
The Moto2 Grand Prix belonged to Alex Marquez for the second time in a row. Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder rounded off a difficult weekend with the final point for 15th position and one slot ahead of teammate Jorge Martin. Tony Arbolino won in Moto3 for the first time in his career and by the slimmest of margins from Lorenzo Dalla Porta after a frenetic race-long chase involving a big group of riders. Jaume Masia took his Bester Capital Dubai KTM to 3rd for his third podium result of the season and remains in contention for the Moto3 crown after six rounds. KTMs filled seven positions in the top twelve.
MotoGP moves across to Spain for the second time this season with the popular Gran Premi de Catalunya at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya taking place in two weeks time.
Next race: June 16, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Gran Premi de Catalunya (ESP)
Results Race MotoGP Mugello 2019
1. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Ducati 41.33.794
2. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda +0.043
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +0.338
4. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki +0.535
5. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN), Honda +6.535
9. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +16.533
16. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +30.101
17. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +41.857
DNF. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3
Results Race Moto2 Mugello 2019
1. Alex Marquez (ESP) Kalex 39:31.262
2. Luca Marini (ITA) Kalex +1.928
3. Thomas Luthi (SUI) Kalex +2.242
15. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +20.591
16. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +20.672
Results Race Moto3 Mugello 2019
1. Tony Arbolino (ITA), Honda 39:29.874
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA), Honda +0.029
3. Jaume Masia (ESP), KTM +0.078
18. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +26.779
THE APRILIAS MAKE UP GROUND AND BOTH FINISH IN THE POINTS AT MUGELLO
ALEIX, HINDERED BY CONTACT AT THE RACE START, JUST MISSES A TOP-TEN FINISH, ANDREA RIDES A GREAT COMEBACK FROM BEHIND
As always, the race has the final say on how a MotoGP weekend has gone. And so, the Aprilias were able to come back after difficult qualifiers, both finishing in the points and, especially in Andrea’s case, taking home important indications for the growth of the RS-GP project.
Starting well from the fifth row, but the victim of contact on the first lap, Aleix found himself in a position where he had to come back from 18th place. He did it, establishing a much better feeling with his Aprilia than he had in practice but, despite having a much better pace, he struggled to get past Lorenzo. By the time he succeeded, it was too late to try for better positions that were not that far off. In any case, he finished with a respectable 11th place and sensations that were decidedly more positive than the day before.
Andrea was not intimidated by his starting position and, also aided by a few crashes, began the hunt for a points finish straight away. In the end, his efforts paid off, duelling long and hard with Mir, Zarco and Oliveira and finishing ahead of the latter two. This resumes the path that Andrea had begun which was put on hold with his injury in Jerez.
“I started well, but unfortunately, during the first lap Zarco made some pretty bold contact, causing me to lose time. In terms of pace, I had plenty to battle with Pol and Pirro in the top 10, but despite feeling very good today, I struggled to overtake. It’s a pity. Without the initial contact, a top-ten finish would most certainly have been within our potential. The conditions were demanding today. It was very hot and there wasn’t much grip and, considering our starting position, the 20-second gap behind the leader is a good result.”
“I am rather satisfied, especially with the pace in the early part of the race. Starting so far behind, I was able to battle and make up a lot of ground, even on Aleix who is certainly my point of reference. Unfortunately, on the final laps with Mir and Zarco, we held one another up, losing time and also letting those who were behind us get close. This was clearly not the Mugello I expected, but our goal is long-term – to get to know the bike better and better and to develop it.”
EIGHTH PLACE FOR CRUTCHLOW AT MUGELLO
PRESS RELEASE: 02 June 2019 | Mugello Grand Prix
Cal Crutchlow had to settle for an eighth-place finish at the Italian Grand Prix on what proved a disappointing day for the LCR Honda CASTROL rider at Mugello. Starting from sixth on the grid, the Briton had high hopes to challenge for the podium after making a superb start at the legendary Italian circuit.
Crutchlow moved into second spot by the first corner, but things went downhill from that point. Around the midway point of the race the LCR man started to suffer with rear tyre issues and gradually fell away from the lead group. He battled hard to ensure he finished in the points, but could not hide his disappointment afterwards having seen another promising opportunity pass him by.
Cal Crutchlow – 8th
“Today was a very difficult day, quite possibly my worst race of the season. Again I was in the front group, but then got dropped from the front group which has not normally happened to me in previous years. I had a bad feeling with the bike when I was changing direction, which was happening all weekend, and I was not able to be competitive in that area. Then with about 14 laps remaining I felt a big drop in the rear tyre and was unable to keep my pace throughout the rest of the race. After the race we assessed the situation with the team and Michelin and found an unusual rubber wear on the rear tyre. So we’ll continue to evaluate it and I’m sure Michelin will investigate why this happened. I’m pleased to finish and get some points on a tough day, but that’s not where I need to finish at all.”
TAKA TAKES FIFTH TO FINISH AS TOP INDEPENDENT AT MUGELLO
PRESS RELEASE: 02 June 2019 | Mugello Grand Prix
Takaaki Nakagami produced a brilliant ride to take fifth place at the Italian Grand Prix, his best-ever finish in the MotoGP class. Starting from tenth on the grid, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU star was composed and consistent throughout as he finished as the top independent rider on a memorable day at Mugello.
Having struggled with his starts in previous rounds, Taka made a good getaway on Sunday as he moved into sixth position by the first corner. He remained part of the leading group for much of the race, before a group of four riders pulled clear at the front. But the LCR man showed impressive speed to move past his rivals in the battle for fifth and held that position to claim the most notable result of his career so far.
Takaaki Nakagami – 5th
“It was an amazing day and an amazing race. I was really strong from the start and I know that this is a weak point for me. In all the races after a couple of laps I’ve dropped positions and then fight back in the middle and at the end. But today, I was really strong at the beginning of the race and then tried to keep the position. At the end I knew that (Maverick) Vinales was really pushing hard, but I never gave up and fought hard. It’s the best result for me, I was the second Honda and fifth place is amazing. I didn’t expect it, it’s a fantastic weekend for me and I want to thank the team who did a really great job all weekend, the bike worked really well.”
DETERMINED VIÑALES COLLECTS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AT DEMANDING ITALIAN GP
Scarperia (Italy), 2nd June 2019
GRAND PRIX OF ITALY
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales secured a hard-fought sixth place today in a hot and challenging Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley. Valentino Rossi suffered an NC, his first this season, due to an unlucky crash on lap 7.
14:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+2 AIR 29°C / TRACK 49°C HUMIDITY 33% SUNNY
MORE CIRCUIT INFORMATION
Pictures for editorial use only
Copyrights 2019 Yamaha Motor Racing Srl
+7.481 / 23 LAPS
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales showed great stamina and character in today‘s sweltering Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley, riding back from a provisional 12th to take sixth place at the chequered flag. Valentino Rossi was fortunately unharmed but unable to continue after an unlucky fall on lap 7.
Starting from P7, Viñales lost a few positions in the tussle of entering the first corner and settled in twelfth position. After a few laps he gained two places and tucked in behind fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, hoping to join the rider group of nine in front.
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. The Spaniard, however, used his experience and kept his head cool. Like he predicted yesterday, he managed the tyres and used his great physical fitness to bring a strong challenge to the riders ahead of him in the final stages.
With eight laps to go he gained a place as Jack Miller ended up in the gravel, which was the no.12 rider’s cue to start his late charge. Over the next two laps he overtook Quartararo and Crutchlow, moving up to sixth place. With an over 1s-gap to the rival in front of him, the Yamaha man pushed to the max but was unable to inch close enough. He finished sixth, 7.481s from first.
Rossi had a decent start from P18 and, despite the flurry of activity in the busy rider field, gained two positions before crossing the line for the first time. The home hero began his chase, showing good pace, but with 19 laps to go he had to do the work all over again. 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.
The Doctor soon moved up a position again as a rival crashed out, but it wasn’t to last. Bad luck struck twice when he restarted his hunt. He suffered a crash in Turn 9 with 16 laps to go and was unable to continue his home GP.
Today’s unlucky 0-point finish pushed Rossi down to fifth position in the championship standings, with a 43-point gap to first. Viñales‘ sixth place result moves him up from tenth to eighth in the rankings, with a 75-point margin to the top. Yamaha is now fourth in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP continues to hold third in the team classification.
The team will be back on the track in two weeks‘ time for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
“Naturally we are very disappointed. We knew this weekend was going to be really difficult, but we had higher hopes for our team‘s home GP than the results we got today. We have to give credit to Maverick though. His start was far from ideal, but he fought his way back to sixth, which was realistically the best could do, considering his race pace. Valentino had a nightmare of a day… It was going to be hard starting from 18th on the grid, but the incidents on track ended his race. All in all, it’s a GP to forget for him. We as a team, however, will be doing the opposite: we have to learn from this and find something for the next race in Catalunya in two weeks‘ time.”
“Today I struggled a lot. I had no feeling with the bike during the race and the tyres were very slippery. I tried to push in the correct way and manage the tyres in the best way I could, but anyway it wasn’t enough. I don’t think we should be on the level of getting sixth places, we need to push more. I really don’t know what to expect for Montmeló. For sure, during the practices we can be there, but in the race it’s a different story. Our bike suffers a lot when we don’t have grip. So, we need to keep working to see if we can improve the feeling and take steps forward.”
“It was a very difficult weekend, because I was always very slow. We expected to be more competitive, so it was difficult to manage. We also made some mistakes in the practice: I made a mistake in FP3 and because of it I started very far towards the back of the grid. In the race, my pace wasn’t fantastic. I tried to overtake Mir, but he tried to defend his position, and unfortunately we touched. Luckily, we didn’t crash, but we went onto the gravel. After that I tried to push to recover and I lost the front and crashed, so it’s a bad end to a difficult weekend, especially since it’s in Mugello. But that’s the way it is. We will try to do better.”