Petrucci takes MotoGP victory in thrilling Italian GP

Ducati's Danilo Petrucci
Ducati's Danilo Petrucci

It was a classic encounter at the wonderful Mugello circuit for the Gran Premio D’Italia Oakley, as Mission Winnow Ducati's Danilo Petrucci overcame last lap madness, a Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) onslaught and home pressure to take his first win in MotoGP In his eighth season of GP racing, the Italian, who has come agonizingly close on many occasions, beat Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) in an incredible last lap battle.

Off the line and down to Turn 1 for the first time, Marc Marquez fended off his pole position advantage and got the hole-shot, ahead of a fast-starting Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, who got from ninth to third. Fabio Quartararo got a far from ideal start and went backwards, whilst Alex Rins got a phenomenal start and climbed seven positions by the end of the opening lap.

In the early stages however, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was beginning to push on in the leading group, with Alex Rins making passes behind, taking Cal Crutchlow at Turn 1. Downfield, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was into the points and chasing Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team).

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]However, it wasn’t long before the first drama of the race would unfold, as home-hero Rossi tangled with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki ECSTAR) at Turn 4, running across the gravel and rejoining in last place. However, a few laps later, on lap eight, the veteran Italian crashed at high speed at Arrabbiata 2, ending his hopes of success after what was already a tricky home round.

At the front of the field, fireworks were already being set off, as Alex Rins and Dovi hit the front. Marc Marquez was also being pushed back down the order, with 14 laps to go, as first, Danilo Petrucci got ahead of him and then, Jack Miller pushed his way through.

By now, Marquez was down in fifth and at the front of the field, Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins started to press hard. The leading group consisted of nine riders, with Crutchlow, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU), Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Soon though, the group began to fragment, with Francesco Bagnaia crashing out with 12 to go at the final corner, as his Italian GP hopes went up in smoke.

Cal Crutchlow fast start didn’t last long, as the British rider began to slip back down the field, with Takaaki Nakagami leaving him. The Japanese rider was now lying in fifth and whilst lapping a tad slower than the quintet ahead of him, he was holding his own and pulling clear of those behind him.

Despite momentarily losing touch, Jack Miller put in the fastest lap of the race in fifth position, pulling himself back into contention. However, disaster struck the Australian as he crashed at Turn 4. This took the leading group down to four riders, but the scrap in the final few laps was incredible.

Going into the last lap, after various lead changes, Dovizioso got ahead of Marquez at Turn 1 but ran wide, leaving the door open for Danilo Petrucci to scurry back through and take the advantage, to the roar of the crowd. Petrucci found himself leading at his home Grand Prix, with Marquez fighting into second; the stage was set for a thrilling showdown.

Marquez and Dovizioso tried their best to get on terms with Petrucci and in the final corner, Marquez gained massively, but try as he might, Petrucci held on for his first ever win, ahead of the Repsol Honda Team rider and ‘Desmo Dovi’ in third. Alex Rins lost touch with a moment on the exit of Turn 15 but came home fourth, with Takaaki Nakagami completing the top five.

Maverick Viñales moved into sixth place ahead of Cal Crutchlow in the closing stages and completed the race in this position, whilst Michele Pirro (Mission Winnow Ducati) took seventh away from Crutchlow in the closing stages. The Brit came home eighth, whilst Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Quartararo completed the top ten.

Race Results

1 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 23 41m33.794s
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 23 0.043s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 23 0.338s
4 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 23 0.535s
5 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 23 6.535s
6 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 23 7.481s
7 Michele Pirro Ducati Ducati 23 13.288s
8 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 23 13.937s
9 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 23 16.533s
10 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 23 17.994s
11 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 23 20.523s
12 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 23 20.544s
13 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 23 20.813s
14 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 23 27.298s
15 Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 23 28.051s
16 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM 23 30.101s
17 Johann Zarco KTM KTM 23 41.857s
Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 15 Retirement
Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 11 Retirement
Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 9 Retirement
Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 7 Retirement
Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 5 Retirement
Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 0 Retirement

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 Marquez Marc 93 SPA 115 Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA 103 Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati
3 Rins Alex 42 SPA 88 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
4 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA 82 Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati
5 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA 72 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
6 Crutchlow Cal 35 GBR 42 LCR Honda Honda
7 Miller Jack 43 AUS 42 Pramac Racing Ducati
8 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN 40 LCR Honda Honda
9 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA 40 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
10 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA 38 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
11 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA 34 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
12 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA 31 Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
13 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA 27 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
14 Lorenzo Jorge 99 SPA 19 Repsol Honda Team Honda
15 Mir Joan 36 SPA 12 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
16 Zarco Johann 5 FRA 10 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
17 Pirro Michele 51 ITA 9 Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati
18 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA 9 Pramac Racing Ducati
19 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR 8 Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM
20 Iannone Andrea 29 ITA 7 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
21 Bradl Stefan 6 GER 6 HRC Test Team Honda
22 Abraham Karel 17 CZE 2 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
23 Syahrin Hafizh 55 MAL 2 Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM
24 Rabat Tito 53 SPA 2 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati

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