In what could be the most iconic race for this season, Jorge Lorenzo of Team Movistar Yamaha (41:36.535) raced to victory beating Marc Marquez of team Repsol Honda by split seconds at the Italian MotoGP in Mugello. The difference was a meagre 0.019 seconds to be precise between the world champions; while Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi saw his run cut short after an engine failure smoked his chances of bagging the podium at his home track at lap 23, much to the disappointment of fans.
Coming in third was Andrea Iannone of team Ducati (+4.742) putting up a good show against the closely trailing Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (+4.910). The last lap was the most furious off the lot as Lorenzo and Marquez swapped the lead position four times offering some edge of the seat action. The race kickstarted with both Yamaha riders fighting it out for the top spot with Rossi started at the pole; whereas Lorenzo launched from the fifth place. While the Italian rider did manage to hold on to his top spot for some time, it was only short lived. In retrospect, Lorenzo was lucky to have survived a similar engine failure on the warm-up lap earlier in the day but had a new engine fitted for the race.
Marc Marquez Mugello MotoGP
Marc Marquez chose to just attack in the last lap as he secured the lead
With Rossi’s early departure, it turned out to be a duel between Lorenzo and Marquez as the former managed to keep the Honda rider off the lead until the last lap. It was then that the Honda rider chose to take the aggressive route and attack the Spanish rider taking the inside line and grabbing the lead. Marquez held on to his advantage till the final corner, which is when Honda’s acceleration issues finally caught up, as Lorenzo used the slipstream of Marquez to claim his victory.
In fact, it was the 43rd win of Jorge Lorenzo’s MotoGP career; his fifth at Mugello of six and third of this season. Moving down, Andrea Iannone showed impressive skills at the track after a disappointing start and managed to beat Pedrosa with the Mugello GP marking the latter’s 250th world championship race across all classes. The other Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (+6.256) also performed well having started 13th on the grid and eventually finished 5th behind Pedrosa. Dovizioso though did manage to make the race memorable by setting a new MotoGP top speed record of 354.9 kmph.
Valentino Rossi Mugello MotoGP
Valentino Rossi stayed away from the podium at Mugello
Maverick Vinales of team Suzuki Ecstar (+8.670) had to be content with the sixth place after an awful start, while Bradley Smith of team Tech 3 Yamaha (+13.340) finished 7th. The dramatic last lap leaves Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez just 10 points apart from each other; whereas Valentino Rossi’s unprecedented exit in this race has left him a further 27 points down in the season’s rankings. The next race at Barcelona, Spain will be making a difference to the Italian rider who will now be eager to gain take the chequered flag first.