Danilo Petrucci takes maiden MotoGP victory in thrilling Italian GP

Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci secured his maiden MotoGP victory on home soil at Mugello after edging out Marc Marquez at the conclusion of a thrilling Italian Grand Prix.

Petrucci held on in a tense showdown, beating Honda rider Marquez by only 0.043 seconds on the drag to the finish line, with Andrea Dovizioso making it two Ducatis on the podium in third.

It marked the first win on his 125th start in the premier class for 28-year-old Petrucci, who replaced Jorge Lorenzo at the factory Ducati team for 2019.

Petrucci led much of the second half of the race after he hit the front of the field at the start of the 11th lap of 23, as a pack of five riders broke clear of the rest following a chaotic first half.

Dovizioso, Marquez, Alex Rins and Jack Miller all followed in Petrucci’s wake, but the Pramac rider crashed out of fifth spot.

Petrucci briefly ceded the lead to team-mate Dovizioso at San Donato at the start of lap 20, but the less experienced Ducati rider was able to wrestle back the advantage later that lap at Scarperia.

Dovizioso was able to draft back ahead to lead the final lap, but found himself squeezed by Marquez – who benefitted from a double tow – on the outside and Petrucci on the inside.

That allowed Petrucci to retake the lead, with Marquez now second ahead of Dovizioso, and Marquez was unable to get close enough to attempt a pass.

The reigning champion tried using Petrucci’s slipstream exiting Bucine for the last time but fell 0.043s short, ensuring the Ducati rider claimed a popular maiden win on home soil.

Dovizioso followed in third while Rins, having worked his way forward from the fifth row of the grid, took fourth, half a second behind Petrucci.

Exactly six seconds adrift of Petrucci was Takaaki Nakagami, who passed LCR Honda team-mate Cal Crutchlow for sixth – which became fifth after Miller crashed ahead of him, giving the Japanese rider his best MotoGP finish.

Maverick Vinales, who made a trademark early slump down the order, also picked off Crutchlow with five laps to go to salvage sixth on an otherwise disastrous day for Yamaha.

Fabio Quartararo made a poor start from second on the grid, ending the opening lap eighth, and from there the Petronas SRT rider was unable to mount a comeback.

He found himself passed by Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro, Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro in the closing laps on his way to a lowly 10th place.

Valentino Rossi suffered an even worse race on the factory Yamaha.

Rossi was running 15th when he got tangled up with Joan Mir’s Suzuki, both riders running across the gravel, and was down to 21st and last when he crashed at Poggio Secco on lap eight.

Franco Morbidelli had crashed two laps earlier on the second Petronas bike.

Mir recovered from the altercation with Rossi to finish 12th, a place behind Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia, while Lorenzo endured another torrid race for Honda, finishing 13th.

Karel Abraham (Avintia Ducati) and Andrea Iannone (Aprilia) completed the scorers.

Francesco Bagnaia made it a double DNF for Pramac after crashing at Bucine on lap 12, while Hafizh Syahrin (Tech 3 KTM) and Tito Rabat (Avintia) both retired in the pits.

Race result

1Danilo PetrucciDucatiDucati2341m33.794s
2Marc MarquezHondaHonda230.043s
3Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati230.338s
4Alex RinsSuzukiSuzuki230.535s
5Takaaki NakagamiLCR HondaHonda236.535s
6Maverick VinalesYamahaYamaha237.481s
7Michele PirroDucatiDucati2313.288s
8Cal CrutchlowLCR HondaHonda2313.937s
9Pol EspargaroKTMKTM2316.533s
10Fabio QuartararoPetronas YamahaYamaha2317.994s
11Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia2320.523s
12Joan MirSuzukiSuzuki2320.544s
13Jorge LorenzoHondaHonda2320.813s
14Karel AbrahamAvintia DucatiDucati2327.298s
15Andrea IannoneApriliaAprilia2328.051s
16Miguel OliveiraTech3 KTMKTM2330.101s
17Johann ZarcoKTMKTM2341.857s
Jack MillerPramac DucatiDucati15Retirement
Francesco BagnaiaPramac DucatiDucati11Retirement
Hafizh SyahrinTech3 KTMKTM9Retirement
Valentino RossiYamahaYamaha7Retirement
Franco MorbidelliPetronas YamahaYamaha5Retirement
Tito RabatAvintia DucatiDucati0Retirement

Danilo Petrucci takes maiden MotoGP victory in thrilling Italian GP

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