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DETERMINED VIÑALES COLLECTS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AT DEMANDING ITALIAN GP

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


Marquez fights fiercely for Italian GP second

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.

Marc Marquez
2ND
“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.”

Jorge Lorenzo
13TH
“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


Superb win by Danilo Petrucci at the Italian Grand Prix

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


Marquez sixth as sunny Italian GP commences

Less than half a second split the top nine on the opening day of practice, Marquez amongst the top ten in sixth and Lorenzo looking for more tomorrow.

Yesterday’s clouds were nowhere to be seen as the Repsol Honda Team rolled out of the garage for Free Practice 1. Overcoming the final remnants of a post-French GP cold, MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez set the pace from early in FP1.

Temperatures rose slightly to 23°C ambient and 45°C on track for Free Practice 2, with the pace at front quickening alongside it. Improving to a 1’47.062, half a second faster than FP1, Marquez concluded the day sixth fastest – 0.330s from Bagnaia. Marquez and his team are pleased with progress made having spent the day focusing on solutions for Sunday’s race.

Jorge Lorenzo spent Friday practice at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley with one eye looking towards Saturday and electing to save his softer tyres. Less than a second off his teammate in FP1, Lorenzo was outside of the top 15. The times remained close in FP2 and despite improving his lap time around the Mugello Circuit, Jorge Lorenzo concluded the day 20th.

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 01, is when the one lap pace matters most as the grid for the 23-lap Italian Grand Prix is decided. The day commences at 09:55 local time with Free Practice 3, deciding the ten riders who advance automatically to Q2.

Marc Marquez
6TH 1'47.062
“Today we worked just with the tyres for the race. I am still a little bit sick from yesterday and also the bike wasn’t 100% either, hopefully a good night’s rest will help us both to be back at 100% tomorrow! Even like this we aren’t far and we just need to keep pushing tomorrow. It’s Friday and we didn’t put a new tyre in at the end so we are still feeling good.”

Jorge Lorenzo
20TH 1'48.114
“Of course we can’t be happy with 20th, it’s not a good position to be in. But today at the end of FP2 everyone fitted the soft and I stayed working with the harder tyre because I feel we will be able to profit more tomorrow morning. My pace is not so far from everyone else but we still need to improve our one lap pace a bit. I think we could have been top ten with a new tyre. Tomorrow we will see.”

Friday, 31 May 2019 11:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Petrucci 3rd in Friday's free practice

The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Mugello Circuit for the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix, sixth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship and home race for the Italian manufacturer. In two free-practice sessions, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso worked as usual on the race setup, posting respectively the third (+0.131) and eleventh (+0.615) time in a classification characterized by particularly narrow gaps, with 18 riders within less than one second, headed by rookie Francesco Bagnaia on the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team. Official test rider Michele Pirro also joined the action as a wild-card, posting the 13th time (+0.689).

Second in the morning session, Petrucci improved his lap times by over nine tenths of a second in FP2, clocking his personal best in 1:46.863. Dovizioso also made steps forward despite still not being completely satisfied with the feeling on the bike, taking almost one second off his best time in the afternoon with a 1:47.347. Pirro, on track with a third Desmosedici GP19 fielded by the Mission Winnow Ducati team, finished the day with a personal best of 1:47.421.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:46.863 (3rd)
"Today the feeling with the bike was quite good, even though I'm not in perfect shape physically since I have a cold. Both sessions went quite well, even though the track doesn't have much grip at the moment, to the point that you don't feel a big difference even with a new soft rear tyre. So far, I'm still losing some time in the final sector, where I struggle to make the bike turn as I'd want to and I still can't pick the lines I'd like to in the last corner. This is what we'll focus on first, analyzing and comparing data. We need to stay focused and get ready for a fight during qualifying, because we're all close at the top. Our goal is to fight for pole position, or the first two rows at least."

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:47.347 (11th)
"All in all, we're actually not that far. I still haven't found the best feeling with my Desmosedici GP, even though we're quite competitive in terms of race pace. During FP2 we tried and compared two quite different setups, both with positives and negatives, so now we need to be smart putting together all the data to find the best possible compromise. As we were expecting, compared with recent years, there are more fast riders who can fight at the top and some of our advantages perhaps are not that obvious anymore, but we've just started and I'm confident that working methodically, as we always do, we'll be in the mix both during qualifying and the race."

Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:47.421 (13th)
"It's been a bit of a strange day, because in the morning I was fast despite not being able to clock many laps, while in the afternoon track conditions changed a bit and I couldn't improve my lap times enough to finish within the top ten. We need to analyse the data since I was faster on a medium rear tyre, with which I felt competitive and closed FP1 in third position. Now, together with my team, we'll crunch some data to understand how to improve with softer compounds. I'm confident we'll make more steps forward tomorrow."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow, June 1st, at 09:55 for the third free-practice session with qualifying scheduled to start at 14:10, shortly after FP4.

Friday, 31 May 2019 11:55 Published in Rider and Team Releases