Dovizioso delights in home victory
By: Michael Tozer
Published: 05 June 2017 Image credit: Getty Images
Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso has delighted the home crowd in Mugello by winning the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Maverick Vinales and Danilo Petrucci.By winning the race, Dovizioso became the first Italian rider to win at Mugello on a Ducati bike - a feat that wasn't lost on the vocal crowd, who erupted when Dovizioso stepped up to the podium.
Maverick Vinales started the race on pole , while Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso joined him on the front row of the grid - but it was Rossi who got the holeshot off the start and took the lead heading into the opening corner.
However, all eyes were on Jorge Lorenzo in the early stages of the race - as the speed of his Ducati was undeniable, seeing the Spaniard rise from seventh into the race lead after two laps.
Maverick Vinales then struck on the next lap and worked his way into the lead - with the first three laps seeing three different race leaders.
Despite the hot start, some grip issues slowed Lorenzo down - allowing Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso to move into a podium position and begin his hunt of the Yamaha duo out front, as Lorenzo dropped down the field.
This also helped Danilo Petrucci to rise through the field - as the Pramac Ducati rider jumped from ninth on the starting grid into the leading pack of four - trailing Vinales, Rossi and Dovizioso after five laps.
On Lap 6, Dovizioso made his first major move of the race when he rocketed past Valentino Rossi down the straight - showcasing the straight-line speed of his Ducati.
The front four then started to pull away from the rest of the field , opening up a gap of over three seconds ahead of the trailing pack of Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Team), Marc Marquez (Honda) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha)
With ten laps remaining, Dovizioso made his decisive move to take the lead from Vinales - a lead which he would not surrender for the rest of the race.
While Dovizioso surged ahead, Petrucci made his move on the Yamaha pair by passing Rossi and Vinales on back-to-back laps - setting his sights on his first career podium finish in dry conditions.
But the Yamaha's wouldn't make it easy for Petrucci, as they constantly jostled for podium position - and with four laps remaining, Vinales moved back into second place with a stunning overtake of Petrucci and started to gain on Dovizioso.
However this was too little, too late - as Dovizioso crossed the chequered flag 1.2s ahead of his Spanish rival, moving into second place in the World Championship race in the process, trailing Vinales by 26 points.
Danilo Petrucci capped off the ride of his life by holding off Valentino Rossi in the final lap and securing a podium finish - much to the delight of the Italian crowd in attendance.
Alvaro Bautista was next to finish in fifth, followed by Marc Marquez in sixth and Johann Zarco in seventh.
The Ducati duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Michele Pirro finished eighth and ninth respectively, while Suzuki's Andrea Iannone rounded out the top ten.
Australian rider Jack Miller finished in the points by finishing in 15th.