The Yamaha MotoGP squad enjoyed a successful day at Mugello, with Jorge Lorenzo claiming a flawless victory and local hero Valentino Rossi claiming a hard-fought third place – his sixth consecutive podium.
After a flying start from second on the grid, Lorenzo tucked in behind Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso before moving up from third to lead the way when he crossed the line for the first time. With a clear track ahead of him, Lorenzo put the put the hammer down and pulled away from the chasing pack.
He gradually built a gap and remained untouchable for the rest of the race – his third win at the Mugello circuit in four years.
His team-mate had an equally impressive race. Starting from eighth on the grid, Rossi lost time when he got caught up in the pack and finished the first lap in ninth. He quickly made his way through the field, hunting for Cal Crutchlow riding in sixth and overtaking him on lap eight. It took The Doctor four laps to close down a 2.5s gap to the group battling for second place. He immediately passed Dovizioso for fifth before closing in on Pedrosa, Marquez and Iannone.
Rossi had his mind set on the podium and, having watched Marquez crash out, he was quick to make a move on Pedrosa for third. He pushed hard to close in on Iannone, setting a personal best of 1.48.173, but was unable to catch his compatriot and secured the last podium place, 6.661s from his teammate, accomplishing a third consecutive double podium for Yamaha.
Lorenzo said: “I’m very happy, because I didn’t expect to escape with such a big margin, but sometimes it happens that you feel great on the bike. Today the track was not so quick so everyone has been a bit slower than we expected. I was the only rider to ride multiple 1’47s, so luckily for me I was gaining six or seven-tenths per lap, this was key to the win of the race.
“If someone would have told me before Jerez that I would win three races in a row I wouldn’t have believed it, but this is what happened. We are in a great shape; Valentino is getting podiums in every race so that means he is strong and also the bike is working really well. It seems that this year could be our year, so we have to take advantage of it. It was a different situation when I was twenty-nine points behind than now when it’s down to six, but even like that it’s difficult to close in on Valentino in points because he is always on the podium.”
Lorenzo’s 25 point score adds to his total of 112 points, keeping him in second position in the standings. He is six points behind teammate and championship leader Rossi, whose 16 points put him on 118 points.