SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, Italy – Danilo Petrucci emerged with his first MotoGP victory after a valiant battle with his Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez Sunday at the Mugello Circuit.
Off the line and down into turn one at the start, Marquez held the lead from the pole despite challenges from Cal Crutchlow and Dovizioso. 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 Jack Miller was beginning to push on in the leading group, with Alex Rins making passes behind, taking Cal Crutchlow at turn one.
It wasn’t long before the first drama of the race would unfold, as Valentino Rossi tangled with Joan Mir at turn four, 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 Dovizioso hit the front. Marquez was also being pushed back down the order, with 14 laps to go as Petrucci got ahead of him, followed closely by Miller.
Marquez was down in fifth and at the front of the field, Petrucci and Rins started to press hard. The leading group consisted of nine riders, with Crutchlow, Takaaki Nakagami, Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales. Soon though, the group began to fragment, with Bagnaia crashing out with 12 to go at the final corner.
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 four. This took the leading group down to four riders.
Going into the last lap, after various lead changes, Dovizioso got ahead of Marquez at turn one but ran wide, leaving the door open for 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.
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 MotoGP win, ahead of Marquez and Dovizioso in third.