Dovizioso seals rare Italian double for Ducati at Mugello

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Andrea Dovizioso went from an upset stomach to an upset victory in winning his home grand prix at Mugello on Sunday, as MotoGP world championship leader Maverick Vinales was forced to settle for second.

Dovizioso, who had battled the effects of gastroenteritis ahead of the race, started third on the grid and watched compatriot Valentino Rossi make a fast start to jump ahead of pole-sitter and Movistar Yamaha team-mate Vinales off the line and into the first turn.

The Spaniard regained the lead on the fourth lap, getting past Rossi at Scarperia, but he proved unable to hold off the pace of Dovizioso, who steadily applied pressure before slipping into Vinales' draft and getting through on the 14th lap, holding position into San Donato.

Vinales, winner of three of the first five races of the season, could not reel in the new frontrunner, as he battled to hold off Rossi and a red-hot Danilo Petrucci.

Indeed, Petrucci, riding a Ducati for Octo Pramac, later deprived Vinales of second but then dropped back to third after the Spaniard took advantage of Petrucci's slipstream down the main straight.

There was no catching Dovizioso, though, who led by 0.9 seconds going into the final lap and extended that margin to seal a memorable victory for the host nation and its flagship manufacturer. 

"A lot of emotion during the race," the 31-year-old said in an on-track interview.

"My energy wasn't so good. We have a big support from Ducati and all the fans, the team worked very well. I really wanted this victory. It's a dream come true for every Italian rider."

It was a forgettable end to the weekend for Dani Pedrosa, though, as he crashed into Cal Crutchlow, taking both men out of the race, while attempting to pass the English rider on the final lap. 

 

HAYDEN REMEMBERED AT MUGELLO 

Sunday featured an emotional tribute to former world champion Nicky Hayden, who passed away last month after succumbing to injuries suffered in a cycling accident. Riders, teams and fans have paid their respects to the popular late American throughout the weekend.

 

ROSSI'S MARK OF RESPECT FOR FELLOW GREATS

Battling severe pain after a motocross accident, Rossi nevertheless was passed fit for the race and battled to a credible fourth-place finish, sporting a specially designed helmet that featured references to both the departed Hayden and Roma football great Francesco Totti, who retired at the end of the Serie A season last month.

 

IN THE POINTS

1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) 41:32.126s    
2. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha)    +1.281
3. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing)    +2.334
4. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) +3.685
5. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) +5.802    
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +5.885
7. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) +13.205
8. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) +14.393
9. Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) +14.880
10. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +15.502
11. Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) +22.004
12. Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) +24.952
13. Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) + 28.160
14. Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) + 30.676
15. Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) + 30.779

TITLE STANDINGS

1. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) - 105
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) - 79
3. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) - 75
4. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) - 68
5. Dani Pedrosa (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) - 68

NEXT UP

It's a quick turnaround for the MotoGP circus, as focus shifts to the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona next weekend, where Rossi won last year.