MotoGP™ 2017 - MICHELIN sees dominant Dovizioso produce a Mugello masterpiece
MICHELIN witnessed the first Italian MotoGP™ winner on a Ducati at the Italian Grand Prix as Andrea Dovizioso rode to a superb victory at Mugello today in front of his home crowd at the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.
Starting from third on the grid, Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was soon amongst the early leaders as home favourite Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) got the hole shot and led for the first three-laps. Rossi was then passed by team-mate and yesterday’s pole-setter Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who held first place until lap-14 when Dovizioso made the race-winning manoeuvre to seize the lead and take the chequered flag at the end of 23 demanding laps, a victory made even more impressive as Dovizioso had to sit out this morning’s warm-up through ill-health. Following the Italian across the line was Viñales, a result that extended his championship lead. Third-place went to another home-hero as Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing) scored his first dry weather MotoGP podium and the honour of First Independent Rider.
Today again underlined the usability of the range of MICHELIN Power Slick tires, as each of the three front and rear compounds was used in the race. The three podium men all used different pairings, Dovizioso had a medium front and rear compound, with Viñales choosing the hard front and rear and Petrucci favouring the hard front and medium rear. This highlights the options that are available to all riders and manufacturers and was the first time this season that all six versions of the slick tire had been used in a race. The durability and performance of the MICHELIN Power Slicks were further emphasised as the race duration time of 41’32.126 set a new record, almost four-and-a-half seconds better than the previous best - which was achieved on MICHELIN tires last season. Today’s result also saw the fourth different winner in as many races, again showing how the MICHELIN tires adapt to all machinery, with three manufacturers taking victory from those four races.
The battle for the remaining top-10 places also produced to some exciting battles with Rossi coming home in fourth before his adoring home fans, who had bathed the grandstands in a sea of yellow - Rossi also produced a great ride after a training accident had threatened to rule out his participation this weekend. Fifth went to Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati) after a spirited head-to-head with reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who took sixth. Seventh went to Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) with Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) taking eighth and ninth respectively. Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) rounded out the top-10.
Today’s race was held in overcast and slightly cooler conditions than had been experienced during the first two days and the big crowd of over 98,000 people that filled the Tuscan hillsides around the circuit were treated to an exciting day of racing. The Moto2™ and Moto3™ race were - like the main event - won by Italian riders, making today a true celebration.
The MotoGP circus now heads straight to Spain and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where round seven of the championship will take place next weekend.