When MotoGP heads to Mugello, all eyes are on the home hero Valentino Rossi.Heading into round six of 19, the nine-time World Champion had seven wins at Mugello, the most of any MotoGP pilot.
The 39-year-old Italian was quick throughout practice, and claimed the pole position Saturday – the 65th of his career. This tied him with Jorge Lorenzo for second in all-time pole positions across all GP classes (Marc Marquez leads with 74).Come race day, Rossi did capitalize on the endless fans donning yellow and his pole position. But it wasn’t a win. Rossi had to settle for third behind two other Italian favorites – Ducati Team GP18 pilots Lorenzo, the winner, and runner-up Andrea Dovizioso.This was Lorenzo’s first win aboard the Ducati, a prototype he has struggled with since joining last season. His best finish to date with the Italian manufacturer was second last season in Malaysia, which was only one of three podiums the Spaniard earned with Ducati.Lorenzo, who now has six wins at Mugello, started from second on the grid, and got into first on the opening lap. From there, he was untouchable. The five-time World Champion led all 23 laps to take his first win since Valencia in 2016, which was his final race with the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team.Dovi finished 6.370 seconds behind, and Rossi 6.629 seconds behind.Team Suzuki ECSTAR’s Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins claimed fourth and fifth, respectively, and were followed by LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, the Brit who won in Argentina.Rounding out the top 10 were Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci; Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Mavericak Vinales; Angel Nieto Team Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista; and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco.Six riders crashed out; Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Angel Nieto Team Ducati’s Karel Abraham and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Scott Redding crashed out on the opening lap. Also DNFing were Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro; Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller; and Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi.After six of 19 rounds, Marquez, who won three-consecutive rounds heading into Mugello, leads the points battle with 95 points, 23 ahead of Rossi and 28 ahead of Vinales.The MotoGP series now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.