Mugello MotoGP 2015 Results
The Mugello Circuit - just Northeast of Tuscany’s most populous city of Florence - was home to round six of the 2015 MotoGP Champion.
The current 3.259-mile was constructed in 1974, and hosted its first Grand Prix motorcycle race in 1976. That year, a young British rider Barry Sheene took the win en route to his first of two 500cc GP titles.
The track is known for its off-camber chicanes and long sweepers, but the most famous part of the circuit is it’s front straight - one of the longest in MotoGP, allowing riders to achieve 215+ mph.
The winningest rider of the current MotoGP grid at Mugello is Valentino Rossi, who earned seven-consecutive victories before a home crowd from 2002-2007. Besides legions of cheering fans, Rossi also entered Mugello with a one-point lead over his teammate Lorenzo.
But Lorenzo had nearly equal bragging rights ahead of Mugello MotoGP, earning first or second in the last six Italian Grands Prix, which included three wins. Lorenzo also arrived in Mugello after garnering some serious momentum in 2015 MotoGP; the two-time MotoGP Champion won the last rounds at Le Mans and Jerez.
This momentum-trend continued for Lorenzo throughout the 23-lap Italian Grand Prix. He took the lead on lap one, and rode with pure consistence. When the 75-mile race was complete, Lorenzo earned his third back-to-back win of 2015 MotoGP.
Lorenzo finished 5.563 seconds ahead of the pole-sitter Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and 6.661 seconds ahead of Rossi.
“Today my bike was working very well, even if the Ducati had a chance to challenge us for the win. I had a good start and in the first lap I overtook Dovizioso in a brave move to take the lead," Lorenzo says. "Then as always I tried to find my rhythm, even if today the pace wasn’t so quick. A few times in MotoGP I have won three races in a row, but now the goal is to win four races in row which will be difficult but I will try my best.”
Iannone started from pole - the first for an Italian on Italian machinery at the Italian Grand Prix since Giacomo Agostini on an MV Agusta at Imola in 1972 - but was quickly passed by teammate Andrea Dovizioso and Lorenzo. Lorenzo made quick work of Dovizioso and began began his journey towards win number 3.
Behind these three were the Monster Tech 3 duo of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, and the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, who qualified way back in 13th. As for Rossi, he qualified seventh, but fell back to 11th.
On the start of lap two, Marquez was already into third, picking up nine positions, and Rossi into ninth. On the next lap, Marquez battled his way into second. Behind, Team Suzuki ECSTAR’s Aleix Espargaro had some contact with Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, and suffered a crash at turn one. He also slid hard on his right hand; he recently had reconstructive surgery on his right thumb due to a huge highside during Le Mans practice.
The next to crash were Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden and Athinia Racing Yamaha’s Stefan Bradl.
Marquez, meanwhile, allowed could not catch Lorenzo. Behind, the Ducati duo of Dovi and Iannone hunted the two-time MotoGP Champion down. In fifth running alone was Dani Pedrsoa.
With 17 to go, Dovi moved into second ahead of Marquez with Iannone remaining in four. Up front, Lorenzo was doing exactly what he did at the last two rounds, and already had over a two-second lead..
Marquez and Iannone battled, similar to their early Moto2 years. Pedrosa was also able to join this battle, and a a four-way fight for the podium began between the factory Honda and Ducati teams.
Behind, though, Rossi was on a charge, and soon took CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow for sixth. He would soon join the battle for second. While in the fight for second, Dovizioso started dropping through the field. He had rear-chatter issues with his GP15, and suffered a DNF with 10 laps remaining.
The battle for second was now between Iannone, Marquez, Pedrosa and Rossi. Marquez and Iannone swapped second numerous times - he was riding on the very edge, but it didn’t last long. Marquez lost the front on turn 3 with six laps to go, suffering his second DNF due to crashes this season (the other in Argentina).
On the same lap, Rossi took third from Pedora, but couldn’t catch Iannone for second. Regardless, Rossi finished third, and continued his podium dominance in 2015 MotoGP, which includes two wins (Qatar, Argentina).
Iannone also became the first Italian on an Italian bike to finish on the podium at the Italian Grand Prix since Loris Capirossi in 2006 (Ducati).
Pedrosa finished fourth, followed by the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Smith and Pol Espargaro, respectively. Crutchlow was set to take fifth, but crashed with two laps remaining. It should be noted that the Brit and Marquez were two of only four riders running the hard front Bridgestone slick.
Rounding out the top 10 were Team Suzuki ECSTAR’s Maverick Vinales, wildcard rider Michele Pirro (Ducati Team Test Rider), Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and Petrucci’s teammate Yonny Hernandez.
With six of 18 rounds complete, Rossi continues to lead the points. He has 118, six ahead of Lorenzo. Dovizioso is third, 35 points behind Rossi, and Iannone fourth, 37 points behind.
The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of Catalunya - the home circuit of Lorenzo. Can Lorenzo win four in a row - something he never achieved in his MotoGP career - and rob Rossi of the points lead?
Mugello MotoGP 2015 Photo Gallery: