Red Bull KTM picked up more MotoGP points as both Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco finished 11th and 14th respectively at a warm Brno for the Monster Energy Ceske republiky today. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliviera was the third RC16 rider in the top fifteen with a creditable 13th.
MotoGP clicked into the second half of the 2019 campaign with the visit to the popular and demanding Automotodrom Brno circuit and where a wet and complicated day of qualification changed to largely summery conditions for the tenth round of nineteen.
The 50th Grand Prix at Brno started brilliantly for KTM with the manufacturer’s best qualification results in their short two-and-a-half year spell in the premier class: Johann Zarco obtaining the KTM RC16’s first front row position with 3rd and Pol Espargaro equalling a previous best with 5th place.
On Sunday afternoon a freak shower on part of the track caused a 40 minute delay and plenty of consternation among the teams and riders as the grid formed up. The race was shortened from 21 to 20 laps and declared a ‘Flag to Flag’ sprint.
Espargaro initially ran within the top five as Zarco could not ace a start to head the pack. The Spaniard struggled with rear tyre grip to slip just outside the top ten while Zarco defeated Stefan Bradl to place just behind Oliveira. The Portuguese’s teammate, Hafizh Syahrin, crashed out in the first laps.
Pol Espargaro: “Qualifying went very well, and today we could keep the rhythm near the front for the first four-five laps after making a good start in very tricky conditions. Then we had some wheel-spin as the tyre dropped, mostly on the straights, and it meant we lost some positions. I tried to go with Valentino [Rossi], [Danilo] Petrucci and [Cal] Crutchlow but it was complicated. I was losing a lot each lap. So, some positives and negatives today and we’re looking forward to tomorrow to see if we can make some improvements. We have a big target for next weekend.”
Johann Zarco: “Not the plan we had. The start was a disaster. I think I had some spin because I was on the right side of the track where there were some wet patches. It was the right decision to wait forty minutes and start the race with the slick. I messed-up the start but it was good to fight and I did my best to be as constant as possible. In the end it was good to be in the points and to beat the guy I was racing with at the end. I want to say I am happy but it is because I did not finish the last two races and that is the most disappointing thing. Compared to yesterday 14th is not so satisfying but it’s where I am at the moment.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a nice race: difficult for everyone, especially to manage the grip of the rear tyre. The pace was the best I could do. We did a great job after having only one day of practice in the dry, the team gave me a nice bike to ride, so I’m really happy for that. The gap to the first is not so big, it’s the second-best gap that we had all season. We are definitely on a line of improvement and we just need to keep working like this.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “I’m very disappointed. It was a really good race. I felt confident and I was one of the only three riders to choose the hard tyre in front but for some reason we suddenly lost the front. Plus, the start was strange. I tried to put in the launch control, but it was not working and also the dashboard was a bit confused, so I needed to start without launch control, which was very difficult for me. But on the first lap I was really strong and on the second one, I caught back up with the group. I arrived in 15th and knew I would be able to pass Aleix [Espargaro], but first I tried to stay with Maverick [Viñales] and to pull away a little bit and then the crash happened. That’s racing, I feel sorry for everyone.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “In general the weekend for KTM was not so bad but for sure our target was the top ten. Pol nearly did it but lost the rear tyre quite dramatically after mid-race distance and could not keep his position. He did a great job and we need to work harder so our tyre life stays longer. Johann rode well to get a good position on the grid but the bad luck with the weather meant it was very wet on that side and it affected him to focus and make a good start. He scored two points and all of us are not so happy with that but it’s where we are right now. Miguel had a decent race and we had three bikes in the points. Tomorrow we’ll test and try some items to improve lap-times and stability for the race. Next week is our home GP and we are focussed on our target there and to finish in a good position.”
Moto2 & Moto3
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder tumbled from a top ten position in Moto2 while teammate Jorge Martin rode to 13th place. Iker Lecuona was the highest RC12 runner with 10th spot. Moto3 featured at least twelve riders in the leading group and tussling for podium honours. Victory went to Sterilgarda Max Racing Team’s Aron Canet for the fifth time this season and Bester Capital Dubai’s Jaume Masia registered 4th. Canet leads Moto3 by 3 points from Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Brno saw Can Öncü in action with his twin brother, Deniz, for the first time in Red Bull KTM Ajo colours. Can continues to improve his speed and was at the back of the principal gaggle, eventually coming home in 14th for just his second batch of GP points in 2019. Deniz managed 18th on his FIM World Championship debut.
Brno cannot rest just yet. All the MotoGP teams will gather for the IRTA test on Monday and then a busy and eagerly awaited home Grand Prix lies in store for KTM next week; the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, taking place once more at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Sunday, 04 August 2019 22:26 Published in Rider and Team Releases
After a three-week break, the MotoGP World Championship is ready to resume action at Brno (Czech Republic), home of the tenth round on the calendar, and officially begin the second half of the season. The Moravian track, characterized by its elevation changes, evokes good memories for both Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who ended the last race in Germany separated by only 92 thousandths of a second on the finish line: Dovizioso took five podiums in total at Brno, including a fantastic win last year ahead of his then teammate Jorge Lorenzo, while Petrucci has always finished the race within the top ten with Ducati. Let's discover ten key data about next round:
- The Brno circuit opened in 1987 and hosted the World Championship each year except 1992. Brno is also the only track on the calendar that hasn't undergone any layout modifications since its inauguration.
- The largest elevation change on the track is 74 metres, starting from the high point at the entrance of turn 3 (450 metres) to the lowest point between turns 10 and 11 (376 metres).
- Originally a public-roads Grand Prix, Brno is ready to host the World Championship for the 50th time. Assen is currently the only venue on the calendar to have hosted more World Championship races.
- In 32 years since its opening in 1987, the Brno circuit only hosted one wet race in 2016.
- In Brno, MotoGP riders brake 11 times, for a total of 31 seconds per lap. The most challenging braking area coincides with turn 10: riders enter it at speeds around 280 km/h and brake for 4.2 seconds to decelerate to 100 km/h applying 6.2 kg on the brake lever.
- Ducati holds the top-speed record at Brno with 316.4 km/h, established in 2015 with Andrea Iannone.
- Ducati won three times at Brno: back to back in 2006 (Capirossi) and 2007 (Stoner), and last year with Andrea Dovizioso.
- Ducati scored eigth podiums in total at Brno with 6 different riders: Bayliss, Capirossi, Stoner, Elias, Lorenzo and Dovizioso.
- Andrea Dovizioso's best result at Brno coincides with the win seized last year at the end of a spectacular race in a sprint to the finish line, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (second) and Marc Márquez (third).
- Danilo Petrucci has always finished within the top ten at Brno since joining Ducati. Petrucci's best result to date is sixth, scored last year as he finished just three seconds behind the winner Dovizioso.
Thursday, 01 August 2019 11:23 Published in Rider and Team Releases
After taking fourth and sixth place on the finish line at the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen with Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci respectively, the Ducati Team is ready to take it to the track again for the second consecutive weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, located near Chemnitz (Germany) and home of the ninth round of the 2019 MotoGP season, the last one before the summer break. The German track, rebuilt in 1998, will host MotoGP for the 22nd year in a row; let's discover 10 key data ahead of next round:
- With a length of 3.7 kilometers, Sachsenring is the shortest track on the calendar. Consequently, the German GP features the highest number of laps to complete: 30
- Only 0.307 seconds separated the first four top-class riders on the finish line of the German GP in 2006 (Rossi, Melandri, Hayden and Pedrosa): it's the shortest gap ever recorded among the top-four riders in MotoGP's history.
- Turn 11, also known as "Wasserfall" (Waterfall), is one of the trickiest and most iconic. It's off-camber and riders enter it at speeds beyond 200 km/h despite its steep inclination (in 250 meters riders face a 21-meter drop, equivalent to seven floors). Also, it's the first right turn after seven consecutive left turns and, as the right side of the tyre drops in temperature, crashes are quite common there.
- Brakes are used for 24% of the lap. The hardest braking point is at the end of the start-finish straight, where riders reach 290 km/h and brake for over five seconds, covering about 260 meters.
- Ducati's best result to date at Sachsenring coincides with Casey Stoner's win in 2008. That year, the Australian completed the hat-trick by taking also pole position and fastest lap of the race.
- Ducati conquered five podiums in total at Sachsenring: with Bayliss (2003), Capirossi (2007), Stoner (2008 e 2009) and Dovizioso (2016).
- Andrea Dovizioso's best result to date with Ducati at Sachsenring is a third place scored in 2016 at the end of a particularly dramatic race, started in rainy conditions and ended on a dry tarmac
- Andrea Dovizioso took two podiums overall in Germany, in 2012 and 2016. The Italian rider also took pole position at Sachsenring in 2004, the year in which he was crowned 125cc World Champion.
- Danilo Petrucci's best result with Ducati at Sachsenring is fourth, scored in 2018 when the Italian missed the podium by only five tenths of a second.
Friday, 05 July 2019 10:06 Published in Rider and Team Releases
It was a day of mixed emotions for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the TT Circuit Assen today. Maverick Viñales delivered a strong race performance at the Motul TT Assen round, riding his YZR-M1 to a brilliant victory after a hard fight at the front. Valentino Rossi’s luckless streak continued in the Netherlands. He suffered a crash on lap 5, ending his challenge prematurely.
Viñales had a good start from P2, but a wobble in Turn 1 left him a bit unsettled. He fell back to fourth, which he held crossing the finish line for the first time. There was a small scrap between him and Marc Marquez early on, until the number-12 rider noticed the three front men getting away, prompting him to make his move. As he chased the race leaders, frontrunner Álex Rins crashed. It didn’t shake up the Yamaha rider though. He passed Joan Mir, and then the battle with Marquez and Fabio Quartararo really started.
The 24-year-old was in third place for a while and was having a good look behind Marquez with 14 laps to go, deciding carefully where he would make his move. He first led the race on lap 16, but Marquez proved difficult to shake. With 9 laps to go, the Yamaha rider ran wide going into Turn 1 and fell back to second place, but it was only briefly. He retaliated that same lap by using the Yamaha’s nimble character to perfection, reclaiming the P1 spot. It was the right moment to put his head down, and this time he broke free from his rival. He showed his incredible race pace, setting a personal best lap of 1’33.720s on lap 21. The Spaniard kept his concentration until the very end and took the chequered flag with a 4.854s advantage.
Rossi did well to manoeuvre himself through the busy mid-pack in the early stages of the race. Setting off from P14, he held his position in the opening lap and gained a place on the next. He had found a set-up he liked in this morning's warm-up, and it clearly worked for him in the early stages of the race as he swiftly moved up to 11th place in lap 3.
However bad luck struck for the third time in a row. Eager to hit the front, the Italian attempted to overtake Takaaki Nakagami on lap 5 but suffered a fast crash in Turn 8, unfortunately taking his rival down with him. Thankfully the Doctor was quickly back on his feet and able to check on his fellow rider, but he could not resume his challenge.
Today's NC result means Rossi stays in fifth position in the championship standings with an 88-point gap to first. Viñales on the other hand moves up from eleventh to seventh in the rankings, with a 95-point margin to the top. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP gains one position, to third, in the team classification.
The team will be back in action next week, when the riders take on the Sachsenring for the German GP.
“We start with the positives. Maverick was strong all weekend and started the Dutch GP with the same confidence level he had in Barcelona. To have him battle at the front, which is where he belongs, and win in such a convincing manner is fantastic, especially in hot weather, the circumstances in which we struggled in the past. This win is an indication that we’re heading in the right direction and is a very important reward for both Maverick, his team, and Yamaha, because they have been working very hard. It also slightly makes up for the misfortune our team encountered in Catalunya. However, as much as we are happy for Maverick, we are disappointed for Valentino. The race is always tricky when you’re starting from more towards the back, but he had found something he liked in the morning and was on his way up the order when he crashed. It’s a shame, and also very unlucky that Nakagami was taken down too. In any case, we have learned from this weekend and head to the Sachsenring fully motivated to get to work.”
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
"It feels like I'm dreaming. These have been difficult times for me, because I've been out of the three tracks where I thought I had the most potential with the bike. My season has been difficult, but I've tried to keep the momentum from Catalunya, because I felt really good on the bike. I'm so grateful to the team, because they did a great job this weekend and prepared well for the last laps of the race. I was strong, even one-to-one on the brakes, I knew I could make the overtakes. It was very important to relieve some of the pressure by taking a victory. I think the team will be more relaxed now. Being back on the top step of the podium again feels really good and bringing Yamaha back to its winning ways is the most important to me. We knew we had the potential but hadn't been able to show it. It's always a combination between the team's, the rider's, and the bike's efforts. Sachsenring is a track I'm usually fast at, so we'll try our best."
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
"I was quite fast, so I tried to recover some positions. I was battling with Nakagami and I tried to overtake him, entering Turn 8, but I was a bit too much off the line, I think. When I entered the corner, I lost the front and unfortunately I also took out Nakagami, so that's a great shame and I have to say "sorry". It was a mistake and a pity, because today, after being slow this weekend, we had found something, so during the race I was good. I felt good with the bike. So, on one side this makes it an even bigger shame, but on the other side it's also important to realise that I was suffering too much this weekend and that we need to be stronger."
Monday, 01 July 2019 17:39 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Second place after a spirited battle at The Cathedral sees Marquez walk away with an even greater championship lead.
Somewhat cooler than predicted temperatures at the TT Circuit Assen, 44°C track temperature, added an extra challenge to the 26-lap Dutch GP. Losing a place off the line, Marc Marquez quickly worked to make up his lost position. A dramatic third lap soon had the reigning MotoGP World Champion back in podium contention.
On lap 11 Marquez pounced into the led again down the back straight but Viñales and Quartararo soon responded, a thrilling three-way breaking out. With his lead in the MotoGP World Championship on his mind, Marquez eased his pace towards the end of the race and settled into a solid second.
Collecting 20 valuable points, Marquez leaves Assen with a total of 160 World Championship points, 44 points clear of second placed Dovizioso. The result also maintains Honda’s lead in the Constructor Championship, now 22 points ahead of Ducati.
Before the start of the race, Kunimitsu Takahashi and Mick Doohan delighted the Dutch crowd as the sound of two-stroke machinery returned to Assen with a demonstration lap aboard the 1959 RC142 and the 1989 NSR500 to celebrate Honda Racing’s 60th Anniversary.
There’s not long to wait for the German GP which runs from July 05 – July 07. The Repsol Honda Team heads directly for Germany as Jorge Lorenzo continues his recovery after falling in FP1.
“An amazing weekend here in Assen overall. I chose the soft tyre and targeted the podium so this is like a victory as we have again increased the advantage in the championship. I saw Viñales was faster than me and I tried to stay with him to avoid a battle with Quartararo at the end. I was behind Viñales for a few laps and then I saw he was faster than me today, congratulations to him on the victory. The most important part is we have extended our lead in the championship at a circuit where we struggle. Thank you Assen, see you next year!”
Monday, 01 July 2019 17:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases
On the eve of the Grand Prix of Catalunya, the Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action at Montmeló for a one-day, collective test. In hot weather conditions, with 30 degrees in the atmosphere and 55 on the tarmac, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso clocked 57 and 63 laps respectively to try several chassis, electronics and aerodynamics upgrades on the factory Desmosedici GP 19. Petrucci finished with a personal best of 1:39.917 in eleventh position overall, with Dovizioso (12th) just eight tenths of a second behind him in 1:39.925.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.917 (11th)
"I'm satisfied with how this test went. We tried several upgrades in terms of chassis, electronics and aerodynamics, finding some solutions that gave me better sensations on the bike. In particular, we improved the feeling with the front and mid-corner turning. The track may have been a bit quicker compared to yesterday, but we were fast with used tyres, which is never something to take for granted. We'll utilize some of these upgrades starting from next round at Assen, where we'll resume from this base to keep the positive momentum."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.925 (12th)
"It's been a positive test, in which we focused on several areas. We tried some new tyres brought by Michelin ahead of the next races, and a chassis upgrade that gave us a good feeling especially in corner entry, even though we'll be able to gauge its true advantages only during a race. Yesterday didn't go as planned, but it's important to keep working hard to understand where we have more room for improvement and to further increase our competitiveness. Starting from Assen, we'll try to use these upgrades to our advantage."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Assen (Netherlands) for the eighth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for June 28-30.
Monday, 17 June 2019 13:44 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Marc Marquez celebrated a dominating home victory at the Catalan GP while an apologetic Jorge Lorenzo had his strongest start to a race this season before falling.
The hottest conditions of the weekend met the MotoGP World Championship as the 24-rider strong field lined up on the grid. 51°C track temperature caused Marc Marquez little issue as he relished an early fight as the lights went out.
Marquez would soon find himself leading his home Grand Prix with a comfortable advantage due to incidents behind. Consistently lapping in the mid to low 1’40s during the early stages of the race, Marquez maintained his advantage to cross the line 2.660s clear of second place. This is the reigning MotoGP World Champion’s second premier class win in Barcelona and his fourth of the 2019 season.
The victory is Marquez’s 48th in the premier class and helps to extend his championship lead to 37 points over Dovizioso who was involved in the accident with Lorenzo. Honda hold a 15 points advantage over Ducati in the Constructor Championship.
Jorge Lorenzo had his best start to a Grand Prix as a Repsol Honda Team rider, jumping from tenth up to fourth place by just the second corner. Looking comfortable at the front, Lorenzo quickly closed in on the leading trio. Unfortunately Lorenzo suffered a fall at Turn 10 soon after, ending his race while fighting for the podium and sadly unable to avoid contact with other riders. The opening laps demonstrated Jorge Lorenzo’s ever-improving feeling on the RC213V.
The Repsol Honda Team now prepares for a day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where both Marquez and Lorenzo will run through a number of solutions for the future. Racing action resumes in Assen, June 28 – 30 in a few weeks time.
“I chose the soft rear to try and push in the beginning and to try to not overheat the tyre but to try to be constant and fast. All of the Repsol Honda Team did a really good job this weekend; we worked hard and prepared well for the race. The team told me something had happened to Dovi, so I just kept pushing and focusing on my own race. We had the perfect strategy regardless and I want to thank all the fans who came out. Gracias! It's always special when you can celebrate winning together with your brother, Alex rode well this weekend!”
“You don’t have any options if you brake a little bit too late here, like happened with me. It was my fault, my mistake and I apologise. It was really unfortunate to take out Dovi, Maverick and Valentino – it wasn’t their fault obviously, it was mine. The only thing that matters today is the crash, I took out three riders unfortunately but if we think aside from this it was a weekend where we were able to make a step forward and I was consistent throughout.”
Monday, 17 June 2019 13:40 Published in Reports, Results & Points
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales showed great stamina and character in today’s sweltering Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, riding back from a provisional 12th to take sixth place at the chequered flag. Valentino Rossi was fortunately unharmed but unable to continue after an unlucky fall on lap 7.
Starting from P7, Viñales lost a few positions in the tussle of entering the first corner and settled in twelfth position. After a few laps he gained two places and tucked in behind fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, hoping to join the rider group of nine in front.
With relentless focus he reeled them in and tapped them on the back lying in ninth place when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out with 11 laps to go. But soon the group was pulled apart again. The Spaniard, however, used his experience and kept his head cool. Like he predicted yesterday, he managed the tyres and used his great physical fitness to bring a strong challenge to the riders ahead of him in the final stages.
With eight laps to go he gained a place as Jack Miller ended up in the gravel, which was the no.12 rider's cue to start his late charge. Over the next two laps he overtook Quartararo and Crutchlow, moving up to sixth place. With an over 1s-gap to the rival in front of him, the Yamaha man pushed to the max but was unable to inch close enough. He finished sixth, 7.481s from first.
Rossi had a decent start from P18 and, despite the flurry of activity in the busy rider field, gained two positions before crossing the line for the first time. The home hero began his chase, showing good pace, but with 19 laps to go he had to do the work all over again. Having taken 15th from Jorge Lorenzo, he was in the groove but clipped the rear of Joan Mir going into Turn 4 and had to skillfully steer his YZR-M1 through the gravel trap. He rejoined the track in 22nd place.
The Doctor soon moved up a position again as a rival crashed out, but it wasn't to last. Bad luck struck twice when he restarted his hunt. He suffered a crash in Turn 9 with 16 laps to go and was unable to continue his home GP.
Today's unlucky 0-point finish pushed Rossi down to fifth position in the championship standings, with a 43-point gap to first. Viñales’ sixth place result moves him up from tenth to eighth in the rankings, with a 75-point margin to the top. Yamaha is now fourth in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP continues to hold third in the team classification.
The team will be back on the track in two weeks’ time for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Monday, 03 June 2019 10:23 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Just 0.043s separated Marc Marquez from victory at an explosive Italian GP as his Repsol Honda Team teammate Jorge Lorenzo collected more world championship points.
The hottest conditions of the weekend, the track at almost 50°C, awaited the MotoGP World Championship as they 23-rider field lined up for the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. From a record-breaking pole position, Marc Marquez made a perfect launch to lead from fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow.
A race-long battle for victory saw Marquez fending off Petrucci, Dovizioso and Rins for the majority of the race. In true Mugello style it all came down to the final lap of the race, the reigning world champion saving himself for a late attack. A small mistake at San Donato opened a gap to Petrucci that was fractionally too big to close, Marquez taking second by 0.043s as they roared across the line.
With a haul of 20 points, Marquez extends his championship lead to 12 points over Dovizioso. Honda have a six point advantage over Ducati in the Constructor Championship.
A strong launch off the line saw Jorge Lorenzo move into 15th on the opening lap and with some clear space on track. Able to lap consistently, Lorenzo was able to avoid trouble and steadily gained positions during the course of the race. Crossing the line in 13th, Lorenzo picks up more valuable championship points and experience on the RC213V.
LCR Honda Rider Takaaki Nakagami achieved his best finish to date on the Honda RC213V, crossing the line in fifth and as the first Independent Team rider.
The MotoGP World Championship now enjoys a week off before the Catalan GP, the home race of both Jorge Lorenzo and championship leader Marc Marquez. There’s not long to wait until the lights go out on the Catalan GP on Sunday, June 16.
“Today was time to defend, and we did it in the best way we could because usually this is not one of our best circuits. I stayed calm and waited to try something in the last lap. I was able to try but I missed the apex on the first corner and then both Ducati overtook me. Petrucci rode very well at the front today, congratulations to him. My goal was to finish in front of Dovizioso and Rins and we did this so I’m happy. Also congratulations to my brother Alex, he had a great race today too. As always, thanks to the Repsol Honda Team as they have worked hard to allow us to fight for victory here.”
“Today was more or less what we expected. I didn’t have the pace and wasn’t as comfortable on the bike to be more competitive. We made a change in the Warm Up and it improved some areas. Not better or worse than we expected but neither myself nor Honda give up on making progress and finding a solution together. Now I will go to Japan to work with Honda on some improvements to come back stronger.”
Monday, 03 June 2019 10:19 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Mission Winnow Ducati team enjoyed a Sunday to remember at the Mugello Circuit with Danilo Petrucci claiming the win at the Italian Grand Prix – his maiden victory in MotoGP – in a sprint finish to the line ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, third under the checkered flag, only three tenths of a second behind. For Ducati, this is the third win in a row at its home GP after those claimed by Dovizioso and Lorenzo in 2017 and 2018 respectively, an extraordinary result celebrated also by the many fans who filled the Ducati Grandstands to capacity.
Starting from first row, Petrucci immediately joined the leading group together with Dovizioso, who got off to a great start from third row and entered turn 1 in third position. Both riders exchanged overtaking moves repeatedly and towards the end, with only four riders left fighting for the victory, Petrucci defended the lead to precede Márquez on the finish line by only 43 thousandths of a second, with Dovizioso third quickly in tow. Michele Pirro took seventh place as a wild-card, mounting a strong comeback despite an issue with his forearm to recover many positions in the second half of the race.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st
"I really wanted this victory and when I realized the pace at the front wasn't too fierce and I was able to manage my rhythm in the leading group, I told myself it was the right time to go for it. I tried to control the race by staying in the lead to avoid the risk of losing too many positions in the battle, dictating the pace to preserve the energies and the tyres for the final rush. I was a bit worried about the slipstream as we entered the final lap, but I managed to brake really deep and find a small gap between Andrea and Marc to retake the lead, then I simply pushed as hard as I could until the checkered flag. A good chunk of this win came thanks to Andrea, who took me under his wing this winter and gave so many precious tips. Now we'll keep fighting together for the championship."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 3rd
"It's been a really exciting race, as it's often the case here at Mugello. Until the very last lap, everything went to plan. I got off to a great start and I put myself in a good position to manage the tyres, staying always within the top three despite the many overtakes in the leading group. My plan was to seize the lead at the beginning of the last lap, but I had to pick up the bike out of turn one to avoid contact and I lost positions and points. I'm a bit disappointed because of that, but also very happy for Danilo, who really deserved this win. It would have been better to score a one-two finish, but Márquez was very competitive also here. As for us, we struggled a bit early on in the weekend but once again we managed to stay in contention until the very end during the race. We want more and we'll keep working to improve."
Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 7th
"The most important thing is that we won again at Mugello, for the third time in a row, because we couldn't take it for granted. As for me, I'm a bit disappointed because today during the race my Desmosedici GP was really competitive, but unfortunately I faced an issue with my forearm in the early laps, which slowed me down. Then, I simply tried to stay calm and I managed to climb back to seventh. I want to thank Ducati because, after last year's big crash on this track, we've done a great job together and I'm confident I'll be back to top form soon."
Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
"Winning is always fantastic, but to do it here at Mugello really has a special meaning. It's our home race, and on this wonderful track we can always count on the support of so many people from our company and thousands of passionate ducatisti. Until a few laps to go, we had as many as four bikes fighting for top positions. Danilo probably had a bit of an edge today, but both our factory riders fought for the win until the very last inch and I believe that Andrea deserves part of the credit for this victory, as he was the first to highlight Danilo's potential and he took him under his wing, doing a really excellent job."
Luigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager
"We all must be proud of the work done, because winning three times in a row at Mugello, in front of so many Ducati fans, is a dream come true. Danilo was really phenomenal, he rode a fantastic last lap, with an incredible pass at the beginning, and I'm really happy he took his maiden MotoGP win at his home race. I'm sorry for Andrea, who couldn't pass Márquez back before the checkered flag, but he rode a fantastic race as well and a podium is always a great result. I want to congratulate myself with all three of them, because they really put on a show."
After six rounds, Dovizioso is still second in the Riders standings with 103 points – 12 shy of the lead – while Petrucci climbs to fourth with 82. Ducati is second among Manufacturers with 115 points, while the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Team rankings with 185 points.
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action in two weeks' time at Montmeló for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, scheduled for June 14-16 on the track just outside Barcelona (Spain).
Monday, 03 June 2019 10:12 Published in Rider and Team Releases