Andrea Dovizioso battled Maverick Vinales and food poisoning to win the 2017 MotoGP Italian Grand Prix, while Danilo Petrucci of Pramac Ducati showed incredible pace in securing the third place. The Italian GP also remembered former world champion Nicky Hayden, who passed away last month.
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso had to beat Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and an unfortunate case of food poisoning to win his first ever MotoGP race this season on his home turf – Mugello. The 2017 MotoGP Italian Grand Prix seemed another win for team Yamaha after Vinales and Valentino Rossi were leading the grid after qualifying. However, Dovizioso showed some incredible pace, leaving both the Yamaha riders behind. Andrea’s win also marks Ducati’s first win at the Mugello circuit since the Casey Stoner scored one in 2009.
With Vinales and Rossi were aching for a win, Dovizioso didn’t seem to be in contention early in the day, given the upset stomach. The Italian didn’t post a flying lap in the morning warm up but managed to compete strongly against the Yamahas in the 23-lap race. The race started with Rossi, taking the lead from Vinales, but ‘The Doctor’ could not maintain the lead for long as Lorenzo, starting seventh showed some incredible pace early on and took the lead on Lap 2. But the Spaniard could barely manage to hold on to the top spot, and Vinales passed him again to take the lead.
Vinales held on to the top position for most of the race and by the half of the race, it seemed definite that the Yamaha rider would go on to win his fourth race out of six this season. But Dovizioso, after a slow start, made an incredible recovery and passed Vinales on Lap 14, taking the win with a gap of 1.281 seconds.
maverick vinales mugello gp motogp 2017
Vinales was the pole sitter for the race but managed to finish second
With Dovizioso in the lead, the race turned into a four-way battle between Vinales, Rossi, Dovizioso and Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. The Pramac Ducati rider started ninth on the grid, but worked his way up and even passed Vinales for a second on Lap 20. But the 22-year-old Spaniard managed to regain back to second, while Petrucci finished third securing this season’s first podium. Showing up as one of the top contenders in the race, Rossi finished fourth despite being injured in the chest and stomach after last week’s motocross accident.
Aspar Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista finished fifth, ahead of reigning champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda, who wasn’t in his element at Mugello. However, the Spaniard had a better run than teammate Dani Pedrosa, who crashed on the final lap and also taking down LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow while trying to pass the latter for eleventh.
Moving down, the Tech 3’s Johann Zarco finished seventh, while Lorenzo finished eighth, having lead the race briefly. Completing the top 10 standings were Ducati wild-card Michele Pirro in ninth place and Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone in the tenth spot. Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia and Pol Espargaro of KTM retired from the race.
As Dovizioso secured a brilliant win, the MotoGP organisers also held a rememberance for former world champion Nicky Hayden, who passed away in an accident last month. The 69 second silence marked Hayden’s riding number on the grid.
With Dovizioso’s win, the Italian is now 26 points behind championship leader Maverick Vinales (105 points) that still leads the points table, while Rossi has been pushed to third with 75 points. Rossi would want to regain his place on the standings at next week’s race in Catalunya.