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With four podiums in the opening six Grand Prix – of which the latest two have featured both riders – the Mission Winnow Ducati squad are taking the fight to Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team. Danilo Petrucci’s win at Mugello comes as a timely reminder that after back-to-back Marquez wins, it certainly is not over in the unpredictable world of MotoGP™.
Having defeated Marquez in numerous last lap scraps before, it wasn’t Andrea Dovizioso who the reigning World Champion had to overcome. Danilo Petrucci’s inspired ride at home in Italy saw Marquez on the back foot and for the first time, unable to make a desperate lunge on the final lap. This comes after late moves in Austria and Japan in 2017, whilst also in Qatar and the Czech Republic in 2018 failed to work out for the seven-time Grand Prix Champion.
In 15 mins: Italian Grand Prix MotoGP™ highlights
“It’s amazing. It’s unbelievable,” said an elated Petrucci, who pipped Marquez at the finish line. “At the beginning of this season I start to think maybe I never will (win) but then I adapt this strategy of making the best off-track, on-track without thinking about anything. I have no contract for next year, so I started to think about doing other things in my life,” said the Italian Grand Prix race winner.
“I’m really sorry to Andrea for that pass but I saw, not a door, but just a window open and I had to jump into it. Andrea has helped me a lot this winter, now we have to think about the future,” concluded the Italian, who became the 109th premier class Grand Prix winner.
Dovizioso was also happy to for his younger teammate, having worked extensively with his compatriot in the off-season, helping Petrucci with training and preparation whilst also becoming close friends.
WHAT • A • WIN! WHAT • A • TEAM! ???? @Petrux9 conquers his maiden #MotoGP win and Ducati's third consecutive victory at Mugello, with @AndreaDovizioso just behind in 3rd! Yessssss!!!! @PirroRider finishes 7th!#ForzaDucati #ItalianGP #MissionWinnow pic.twitter.com/XWvcm9PyAA— Ducati Motor (@DucatiMotor) June 2, 2019
“Danilo was fast, he was able to stay at the front and do the same lap times as me and Marc,” began the two-time MotoGP™ runner-up. “I didn’t put myself in a bad position; I was managing the tyre, I didn’t push too hard and I did the right overtakes in the right moment. But, unfortunately, that corner (Turn 1) happened. I had to pick up the bike very quick and that’s the reason I also lost a position to Marc, so that is the negative part of the race.”
On the contrary, Dovizioso was disappointed to lose out on the chance to gain points in the title race. “I’m so disappointed to lose the points here today, but I decide to work with Danilo because I saw some potential. He had to change just a few things and he’s done it, that’s why he won today. He needed that result for the future, so I’m happy for him.
Petrucci's smart move to stop Marquez at the Italian GP
“We have to be really happy with the race we put together because the conditions were really difficult. The reason why Marc was able to stay with us at our good track is the speed in the middle of the corner. We accelerate better, we brake better but in the middle of corner we are too slow,” concluded the Italian, who lies second in the championship and just 12 points behind Marquez.
The Italian manufacturer now heads to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, another track at which Ducati have won at in the last two seasons. The pattern shows that the winner of the Italian Grand Prix goes on to win the Catalan Grand Prix too. Will this be the case in 2019?