Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo won his second Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in a row to stretch his MotoGP championship lead as the series packs up to head to the Red Bull United States Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks.
Lorenzo sped off after passing race polesitter Dani Pedrosa in the first turn, although it wasn’t easy as the Repsol Honda rider hung tough for numerous laps. Eventually Lorenzo got up to speed with a series of laps in the 47s, and he eased away from the field to win his fifth race of the season handily over Pedrosa by 5.223 seconds.
“Yeah, from the beginning I feel great on this track,” enthused Lorenzo. “Sachsenring was a nightmare for us. From the first practice (at Mugello) I feel strong, I feel very good on the bike, with good pace, constant pace. It was a pity the last lap in the qualifying, the electronic problem we had. But anyway, I knew the important thing was the race, and in the race I was hammering a lot. I wanted to open a gap at the beginning of the race because I thought (Pedrosa) had some problems with the cold tire. But that was not the case, I couldn’t open a gap, only hammering and going faster and faster, from 48.1 to 47.8, then I open a little gap between me and Pedrosa. Little by little the gap was going better and then I could breathe much more.”
After nine of 18 rounds in the MotoGP World Championship, Lorenzo leads Pedrosa 185 to 166, with Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner third at 148. A week after crashing out of the German Grand Prix, the reigning world champion had an off day and finished eighth at Mugello. Stoner was working his way up from a slow start when he ran off the track, rejoining the race in tenth.
Third place was decided on an exciting final lap to the delight of the home crowd. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso took the spot back from LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl entering the first turn on the 21st of 23 laps. When the final lap began, those two were joined by Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden, who’d made up ground the previous few laps. Hayden passed Bradl for fourth in a right-hander early on the final lap, but Bradl struck back in the next corner, forcing Hayden wide and allowing teammate Valentino Rossi past.
The scrapping allowed Dovi to escape the fight and finish third at Mugello for the third MotoGP race in a row, strengthening his argument that he should be Lorenzo’s teammate next year. The argument was further bolstered by Yamaha’s Ben Spies finishing 11th, after slowing dramatically for a few laps mid-race. The team later said he had suspected food poisoning. “I was feeling really not right from before warm up this morning and it just got worse over the day,” lamented Spies. “I was struggling to put three laps together at a time in the race and fighting waves of dizziness and trying not be physically sick in my helmet. Clinica Mobile did their best to help me before the race but it was a huge challenge to focus on the bike at the speeds we do.”
Bradl ended up a career best fourth, Rossi a season best fifth in the dry, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow passing Hayden on the final lap to drop the Kentuckian to seventh.
Stoner recovered to finish a distant eighth in front of Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera, with San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista tenth, who was the recipient of a hard pass by Stoner.
MotoGP Mugello race results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda
3. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Yamaha
4. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati
8. Casey Stoner (AUS) Honda
9. Hector Barbera (SPA) Ducati
10. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda
11. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha
12. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia
13. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia
14. James Ellison (GBR) ART/Aprilia
15. Mattia Pasini (ITA) ART/Aprilia
16. Ivan Silva (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki
DNF Colin Edwards (USA) Suter/BMW
DNF Yonny Hernandez (COL) FTR/Kawasaki
DNF Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/Aprilia
DNS Michele Pirro (ITA) FTR/Honda