18th place finish for Antonelli at #ItalianGP, DNF for Vietti
A Sunday with a bitter ending for the Mooney VR46 Racing Team at the Italian GP which was raced today at Mugello. Celestino Vietti was forced to retire just three laps from the chequered flag when he was in third place due to a mechanical problem on his bike. He confirms the P1 in the general standings with 108 points (same points as Ogura, second). 18th and closer to the top 15 for Niccolò Antonelli.
Starting from the fourth spot on the starting grid, Celestino has struggled to keep up the pace of the leading group in the first laps. Ninth during Lap 4, he was the protagonist of a great recovery and climbed up the standings to third place before the retirement.
Complicated race, but overall good for Niccolò, at the first real physical test on the long run. After a difficult start, he closed not so far away for the riders fighting for the points zone, ready to go back at work in just seven days for the Catalunya GP next week (12.20 pm CET, 5 June 2022, Barcelona).
I’m quite happy: it was important to finish the race, the first real long run after the surgery, to understand my real physical condition. I feel pretty good, I have to thank the whole team for the job done, and I know this is a new starting point for the future of the season. We will continue to make steps forward to close the gap.
A real shame this epilogue at the Italian GP: I didn’t have a great start, but I tried to pick up the pace and recover positions. The feelings were good, I reduced the gap from the leading group and tried to stay with Roberts for the podium. I did a couple of laps behind him, but the front tyre overheated a lot and I preferred not to take risks. The last few laps then I tried to give my best, but suddenly something happened to the bike, I think a mechanical problem and I was forced to retire. A real shame, the guys did a great job and we could have achieved a good result in front of the home crowd.