Mugello, weekend review: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
The MotoGP™ classes produced three hard-fought races at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello this weekend, where it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who stormed to a dominant victory in the premier-class ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa led into turn one, however Lorenzo got past into the lead within a few bends, as the grid diced for positions in the early stages. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso also pushed past Pedrosa, as Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl fought for fourth. Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, the only rider to use the special construction rear hard tyre, did not have a great start, and had to fight his way past Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá to make up positions. Meanwhile San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro was black flagged due to a cutting the track as he was heading back into pit lane with a technical issue.
Two laps on, Pedrosa was all over the back of Dovizioso, as Lorenzo started to pull out a small gap at the front. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi had fought his way up to seventh, much to the delight of the home crowd, yet was having no easy ride, as Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was looking for a way past on his satellite Yamaha. With 15 laps remaining Stoner’s tyres had come up to temperature, and the Australian managed to push his way past Hayden into fifth. A lap later Bradl put in a brave move on Dovizioso in turn one to slot into third. This was followed up by big drama as Stoner ran off track into the gravel, managing to keep the bike upright and re-joining in tenth.
Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez meanwhile crashed out of 18th place, but managed to walk away unhurt. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards also had his race cut short as he retired with a mechanical issue. With eight laps remaining the grid had spread out, yet Crutchlow was still dicing with Rossi. A lap later Stoner had caught up to the back of San Carlo’s Álvaro Bautista, and put in an aggressive move, pushing the Spaniard wide and moving up into ninth. The final three laps promised further excitement as Dovizioso went past Bradl on the brakes into third, while Hayden, and the pursuing duo of Rossi and Crutchlow closed in on the podium battle. In the final lap Hayden made his way past Bradl, who fought back with a hard move, which pushed the American wide. This let Rossi through into fifth, with Crutchlow also taking advantage to nip into sixth.
Yet ultimately it was Lorenzo who took the chequered flag for his second successive victory at the track in front of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, who recoded his fourth podium of the season. Bradl was however one of the happiest riders, as he recorded his best ever finish in the premier class. Fifth spot went to Rossi, followed by Crutchlow, Hayden, Stoner, Barberá, Bautista and Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who was suffering from food poisoning. Top CRT spot went to De Puniet in 12th. Lorenzo now has a 19-point gap at the top of the championship ahead of Pedrosa and 37 ahead of Stoner.
It was Speed Master’s local Moto2™ favourite Andrea Iannone who recorded an emphatic home win at today’s Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello after beating Pol Espargaró and Tom Lüthi to the line.
It was Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez who got the holeshot, yet he was closely pursued by Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró and Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith. Two laps in there were already numerous crashes from NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis and Kiefer Racing’s Max Neukirchner. Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami was a man on a mission, as he had pushed his way past Interwetten-Paddock’s Lüthi to lead the pack with 17 laps to go.
Local rider Alessandro Andreozzi crashed on that lap on board his S/Master Speed Up bike, putting an end to his charge in front of his home fans. Shortly after he was followed by Cresto Guide MZ Racing’s Mike Di Meglio, who also dropped his bike in the gravel. As the group headed into lap 13, Espargaró’s teammate Axel Pons and Tech 3’s Xavier Siméon crashed out of the race, while QMMF Racing Team’s Elena Rosell retired with a mechanical issue. Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Massimo Roccoli suffered a crash further down the pack, while Pons rider Esteve Rabat also crashed out.
Espargaró provided the team with some hope however as he challenged Márquez with a move, and then went past Nakagami into second. With nine laps to go Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi ran off track, but was able to re-join. Espargaró and Lüthi touched fairings as the Spaniard took the lead, while Márquez almost suffered a near crush as he pushed hard. Mapfre Aspar Team’s Toni Elías, who’s split from his team was announced just after the race, crashed out heavily, yet was unhurt.
Iannone was on the Spaniard’s rear wheel, and the Italian ultimately passed him in turn one on the last lap, prompting a nail bighting finale. And it was Iannone who kept his nerve right up until the end to narrowly take the win, with Espargaró and Lüthi completing the final spots on the rostrum. Smith and Márquez completed the top five with the Spaniard still 34 points clear at the top of the championship ahead of Espargaró and Iannone, who are now equal on points. They were followed by Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding, Nakagami, Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter, Italtrans’ Claudio Corti and JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco.
At this weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello it was Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales who recorded a narrow victory in the Moto3™ race ahead of local favourite Romano Fenati and Sandro Cortese.
There was drama early on as Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi crashed out on lap two, almost taking out Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Danny Kent. Team Italia FMI’s Fenati started to charge up the field three laps in, taking the lead in front of Red Bull KTM’s Sandro Cortese. While the racing was keeping the crowd entertained, further down the group Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Alberto Moncayo and RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom crashed out of the race, putting an end to their charge.
Shortly after, Cortese’s teammate Arthur Sissis retired from the race with a mechanical issue, while on the same lap, Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira suffered a crash as he was chasing the leading group. IodaRacing Project’s Jonas Folger suffered further misery to his season, as he had to pit with a bike problem on lap 13. Two laps later, Moto FGR’s Jasper Iwema pulled into the pits with a mechanical issue, ending his race prematurely.
A group of seven riders had formed at the front with nine laps remaining, with all riders switching positions frequently as the win and final podium positions were being hotly contested. A lap later Viñales made his way into the lead and tried to pull out a gap to the front, with Cortese and Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins doing their best to stick with him. Fenati however put the hammer down and joined Viñales and Cortese at the front, as a battle for the top three spots ensued. The trio stuck together and were nearly wheel-to-wheel heading into the last lap with Fenati in the lead, yet it was Viñales who led as they entered the final home straight.
In the end it was the Spaniard who won the drag to the line to take the chequered flag by a mere two hundredths of a second, with Fenati and Cortese completing the podium. Cortese still retains the championship lead, although Viñales has now cut it to nine points. The winning trio were followed by San Carlo Gresini Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli, Danny Kent, JHK Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez, Alex Rins, Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Jakub Kornfeil, AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Khairuddin and Mapfre’s Héctor Faubel.