Dovizioso pips Vinales to win Italian GP; Rossi 4th

By | June 4, 2017

Ducati’s Dovizioso wins Italian GP. A Ducati MotoGP team image.

Mugello, 4 June 2017: Andrea Dovizioso scored a fantastic win in the Italian GP in the MotoGP world champioinship here on Sunday. Maverick Vinales came second and Danilo Petrucci pushed Valentino Rossi back to finish on the podium with an excellent third place on the Team Pramac Desmosedici GP.

Andrea Dovizioso scored a fantastic win in today’s Italian GP, held at the Mugello circuit in Tuscany in front of a record crowd of 98,269 spectators. The Italian, who started from the front row after qualifying third, crossed the line at the end of lap 1 in fourth and then fought it out with Lorenzo and Rossi in the early stages, before moving up to second behind Viñales on lap 6. Dovizioso then took control at the front and maintained the lead of the race until the flag, holding off attacks from Viñales and Petrucci, who were second and third at the finish.
Jorge Lorenzo, who got a great start from row 3, was in the lead of the race for part of the opening lap, but then began to lose touch with the leading group and in the end he had to settle for eighth, ahead of Michele Pirro, who finished ninth after starting from row 2.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st
“It was a fantastic day for me but it had started badly after a sleepless night because I had a bit of food poisoning. Today I didn’t have much energy, but I knew that the bike was going to be strong, because we had worked well throughout the weekend and I also had a lot of support from my fans, physiotherapist and family and this made a big difference. Despite the fact that I wasn’t at 100%, I was able to administer the race even though I wasn’t the quickest man out there, but I did a perfect strategy, and I moved into the right position at the right moment. I rode really smoothly, I never forced the pace excessively and this made all the difference because Mugello is a track that physically wears you out and in any case the tyres did not allow me to push too hard. Finally we did it: winning at Mugello is really something special!”
Movistar Yamaha adds:

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales ended the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley today with a strong performance. The Spaniard held firm at the front of the field to earn a second place, his fourth podium of the season over six races. His still recovering teammate Valentino Rossi had the passionate Italian crowds at the Autodromo del Mugello in a frenzy as he battled at the front of the field. He finished the race in fourth position.

Viñales had a good start from pole and slotted in behind his fellow Movistar Yamaha rider. After a few tussles with various rivals in the opening stages, he hit the front of the field on lap four and put his head down to get a bit of daylight between him and the chasing riders. Though he was unable to completely break away, he held on to the lead for ten laps, after which he had to let Andrea Dovizioso pass.

Small mistakes in turn 15 on lap 15 and in turn one on lap 17 caused the young contender to lose some time and he found himself in third place. However, Viñales refused to give up the fight and, with four laps to go, he took back second position and was on the hunt for Dovizioso, 1.215s ahead of him. He shaved off some time in the last few laps, but decided to abort his mission on the home stretch. He crossed the line in second place, 1.281s from first, scoring valuable points for the championship.

Starting from second on the grid, Rossi had the air horns blare in the crowd as he dashed past his teammate to take the holeshot. He was joined at the front by Jorge Lorenzo, Viñales and Dovizioso. The heart rates of VR46 fans all around the world went through the roof on the opening laps, as the Doctor battled with the challenging riders. The order changed constantly, until a front group, consisting of four riders, started to form after lap seven.

While the Mugello Circuit got swamped in yellow smoke, Rossi bravely held on to third place for eight laps, until Danilo Petrucci passed him on lap 14, just when the Doctor was lining up Viñales. The nine times World Champion was initially up for the challenge to regain his position, but with his body still sore from his motocross accident, he wisely decided to bring home his YZR-M1 for a fourth-place finish. He took the chequered flag 3.685s from the front.

Viñales’ second place earns him 20 points. He maintains the lead in the championship standings with a 105-point total, 30 points ahead of Rossi in third place. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team also hold the lead in the Team standings by 44 points, with a total of 180 points, whilst Yamaha remains the top manufacturer in the Constructor’s Championship by a 23-point margin, with 128 points.

The MotoGP paddock will now travel to Spain for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, held next weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Valentino Rossi:
 I knew that today‘s race would be more difficult than usual for me. While on the bike I rode well and I didn’t have pain, but I was struggling a bit and I knew that 23 laps would be long and hard. I tried my best, I did a perfect start and I led the race for some laps, but I couldn’t really ride the way I would have liked to. At the end I tried to stay close to the riders in front, but I did not have the power to attack Danilo. I would have liked a lot to be on the podium today, but there was nothing I could do. It‘s a bit disappointing that I’m not on the podium at Mugello, but seeing where I was few days ago, and the big hit I took, it‘s been a positive weekend all in all. Being here and riding in front of so many fans was a “gift”. Now we have just few days before Catalunya, another important race, so I will try to recover and be in perfect shape in Barcelona.
Maverick Vinales:
Honestly, I‘m so happy and pleased, because today was a day to stay on the bike. When I saw Valentino fall back and with Marc not being there at the front, I thought “OK today is the day to take second place and bring home a lot of points”, which is really important after the crash on Friday. Being on the bike was already very lucky, because it was a fast crash and my arm was hurting a lot, so I‘m very pleased for today‘s result. I was only feeling pain when the bike was moving but for most of the race I was feeling really good, I was at 100%. I was, as always, preparing to push on the last five laps and make my best rhythm of the race, but like I said, today was a good day to stay on the bike.
eom/Ducati, Yamaha press releases