Danilo Petrucci has taken his first ever MotoGP victory last Sunday at the 2019 Italian MotoGP at the Mugello circuit. The Italian has beaten Marc Marquez and Ducati teammate Dovizioso in a heart-stopping final lap.
Another of the day’s heroes was Alex Rins. The Suzuki driver from Barcelona performed an incredible comeback from the starting thirteenth position Closing the top 5 was a brilliant Takaki Nakagami (Honda).
Also a good performance from the Spaniard Maverick Viñales (Yamaha) who came in sixth after dropping to twelfth on the first part of the race. Strong drive as well from Pol Espargaro (KTM), ninth behind Michele Porto and Cal Crutchlow (Honda).
Valentino Rossi, on the other hand, has been the great disappointment. The Yamaha #46 and local idol, had to abandon after leaving the stands speechless at the 2019 Italian MotoGP.
In sum, an amazing race by ‘Petrux‘ who played his cards to perfection in the last lap despite going head to head with beasts of the size of Marquez, Dovi or Rins. He has sent a very clear message to his current employers regarding next year’s possible renewal.
A good start for Marquez
A very hot day and a great atmosphere at the Tuscan circuit which was covered in yellow in support of local idol Rossi. Marquez made a good start keeping his starting pole position at 2019 Italian MotoGP.
Trying to keep the leader from escaping both the Ducaties of Dovizioso and Petrucci were closing up from behind followed closely by Miller.
Rins the rocket
At the bottom of the grid, a green and blue spot was advancing positions as in a Play Station game. It was Alex Rins. The Spaniard climbed from thirteenth to fifth in two laps! Eight places, no less, in the blink of an eye. Viñales, on the contrary, had dropped to twelfth after a bad start at the 2019 Italian MotoGP.
Rins continued with his relentless pace, determined to obtain a good result. He set two fast laps and with just nine laps to go he got into third (1:7.789) behind Dovi and Marquez.
‘Petrux’ takes the lead
Petrucci, pushed by the knowledge of his fragile contractual situation and by the warmth of the home crowd, soon got into first. The 4-strong leading pack was getting more and more compact. Meanwhile, Rossi was well behind in the twenty-second position.
By lap seven the Italian Grand Prix seemed a Ducati affair with Petrucci, Dovi and Miller disputing the lead. The red empire had sent Marquez to fifth first and then back to fourth after Morbidelli’s fall. A few centimetres behind was Rins.
The fight was fierce at the top between the five-strong pack of wolves. Marquez didn’t want to get the lead out of sight and soon passed Miller for third.
Drama at Mugello: Rossi says goodbye
On lap ten the unexpected happened. Local hero Rossi was out of the game. A strong blow for the Tifosi which witnessed the drama unfold in complete silence. In any case, the Yamaha #46 was having a very bad day and was running far from the top ten when it happened.
Meanwhile, at the top, things continued as exciting as ever. In one of the numerous battles going, Rins climbed to second position and then to the lead after passing Dovi. What a performance!
Not long after that, on lap 12+1, Marquez took the lead again followed by Petrucci and Dovi and started opening some ground between them. Rookie ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia suffered a fall at the same time.
The fantastic four; Petrucci, Dovi, Marquez and Rins, were now riding to glory in that order without conceding a single millimetre. The Ducati #9 tried to escape but the others would not allow it.
With nine laps to the checkered flag, it seemed as if anything could happen. Dovi was third and Miller fifth when the latter fell to the ground after having finished the fastest lap. Bad luck for the feisty Aussi.
Four go head to head for the win
Things remained extremely exciting at the top with just five laps to finish. Petrucci, Marquez and Dovi were running in the first three positions with Rins in fourth but Dovi then passed Marquez for second.
Nakagmi was fifth followed by Crutchlow and Quartararo. The four leaders were now escaping away. It was clear now that the win will be for one of them.
The Desmosedici were alternating on the lead.
With just three laps to go, the four bikes at the head were stuck to one another. Two red beasts, one orange and black and one blue, Marquez, now in third, waiting for his moment to arrive. Petrucci holding on to the lead.
An insane final lap
The final lap arrived with the leading pack in close formation and the win stillHeart-stopping final moments-stopping final moments. All of a sudden Dovi was having ‘issues’ with Petrux which coasted Marc the first place as he had to manoeuvre in order to avoid brushing against him.
At that point, a very skilful Petrucci recovered the head and didn’t let it go until the end. A few hundredths of a second later arrived Marquez, Dovi and Rins.
Danilo, whose contract for next season is still up in the air, had sealed his first ever MotoGP victory as well as the admiration of both rivals and fans.
Images: MotoGP, Suzuki & Repsol-Honda.