Victory from pole at Mugello for dominant Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa rode a start-to-finish victory at Mugello on Sunday as he took his maiden win of the 2010 campaign at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM. The Spaniard, who had only converted three of his previous 14 premier class pole positions into wins prior to this race, never looked like relinquishing the lead he held from Turn 1 of the opening lap and crossed the finish line 4.014s clear of the rest of the field.
World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) took second place to extend his lead at the top of the standings, ahead of third-placed Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) who gave the home crowd a podium to cheer after Valentino Rossi was ruled out of the race on Saturday following his crash in practice. Casey Stoner took fourth as he beat Marco Melandri and Randy de Puniet in a last-lap dash.
Dovizioso and Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had rapid starts from the second row and the Italian was up to third before the end of the opening lap as the pair pushed through on Stoner (Ducati Marlboro). Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) experienced a run-off as he pushed for position early on.
Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was riding hard as he edged his way up to sixth having started from 14th on the grid, and Pedrosa’s pace was undoubted as he set a new circuit record at the front on lap five. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) suffered disappointment when the front of his Ducati Desmosedici GP10 folded as he went through the downhill Turn 12 on the same lap.
Just past the halfway point of the race Pedrosa’s lead had stretched to 7.309s and his fluid rhythm was maintained as he kept edging away. Lorenzo and Dovizioso were more closely matched, and much further back positions four to six remained open as Melandri, De Puniet and Stoner exchanged blows, with Spies not out of the chase either. Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) unfortunately crashed out to bring a difficult weekend, affected by a lingering shoulder problem, to an end.
Pedrosa’s win became more secure as the final laps counted down, and it was left to Lorenzo and Dovizioso to decide the remaining podium spots. The Fiat Yamaha rider opened up a slender advantage that he did not surrender for the remainder of the race.
The final lap delivered a great display in the fight for fourth as Stoner went through on both Melandri (fifth) and De Puniet (sixth) to finish ahead of the pair, whilst up front Pedrosa crossed the line first with Lorenzo and Dovizioso following.
Spies finished seventh in his first race at the circuit, with another rookie impressing in the shape of Aleix Espargar¢ (Pramac Racing) who took eighth. Simoncelli had recovered from his earlier mistake in time to take ninth, with Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) tenth.
Lorenzo now has 90 points at the top of the Championship, with Pedrosa second on 65. The absent Rossi is third on 61, with Dovizioso’s podium taking him to 58 in fourth.
||Randy De Puniet