Jorge Lorenzo delivered another solid performance to clinch his third successive MotoGP win of the season in the picturesque setting of Tuscan hills, where Autodromo del Mugello is located. It was Lorenzo’s 36th MotoGP victory of his career, with which he reduced Valentino Rossi’s championship lead to just 6 points. Lorenzo was virtually untouchable during the course of the 23-lap race attended by 90,000 Italian fans. They all got their reward in Andrea Iannone taking the second place. While the championship leader Valentino Rossi finished third, defending champion Marc Marquez had a bad time at the Italian GP. He logged a poor finish in qualifying sessions and in the main event crashed out with 6 laps remaining. In the home race for the Ducati riders, Andrea Dovizioso also suffered from the misfortune of a damaged rear sprocket later in the race and had to retire. With such mishaps behind him, Lorenzo disappeared off the distance and came up with a dominant show to win by a margin of over 5.5 seconds over Iannone.
Earlier, the qualifying sessions proved to be full of contrasts. The Italian fans went into raptures as Ducati’s Andrea Iannone claimed his first career MotoGP pole position in near perfect conditions. The contrast was provided by reigning World Champion Marc Marquez, who failed to make it even through to Q2 for the first time in his career. His poor efforts relegated Marquez to the head of the fifth row in thirteenth. Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo demonstrated an incredibly consistent pace throughout qualifying and he was just 0.095s behind Dovizioso in Q2. Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was third ahead of CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow. Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro was fifth; Ducati test rider Michele Pirro findished sixth; Dani Pedrosa seventh; Valentino Rossi eighth; Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales ninth and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro was tenth.
On Sunday as the race began, Andrea Iannone shot off from his pole position but Jorge Lorenzo on his Movistar Yamaha took the lead halfway round the first lap. Once Lorenzo got on top, he left everyone way behind. The race was reduced to a battle for the second and third places on the podium. For the nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, it became important to finish at least 5th to continue maintaining his lead in the championship standings. Rossi had started from 8th position on the grid and fell to 10th at the end of the first lap. However, the veteran Italian rider slowly made his way towards the front as the race entered the halfway mark.
Despite poor show in qualifying, Marquez had an amazing start as he moved from 13th on the grid to 6th early in the race. Marquez kept progressing impressively he was third behind Iannone with six laps to go. Just when, it seemed that the reigning champion would dislodge the Ducati rider from his second place, Marquez lost his front end and his race ended in the gravel with zero points. Another mishap occurred, when Cal Crutchlow lost control of his LCR Honda and crashed at 120mph with three laps remaining. At that time, British rider Bradley Smith was behind Cal Crutchlow and Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was in 5th position ahead of Crutchlow. With Crutchlow out of the fray and Dovizioso retiring to the pits on lap 9, Pedrosa couldn’t prevent Valentino Rossi from winning the last step on the podium. Pedrosa finished 4th. Rossi really showed his class in working his way from tenth to third and the process kept his championship lead intact. Bradley Smith, despite a dislocated ankle, finished fifth; Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro was sixth. The seventh to tenth places were taken by Maverick Vinales, wild card Michele Pirro, Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez in that order.
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