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Dovizioso Victorious at Mugello

ONE of Andrea Dovizioso’s finest rides has earnt him the third victory of his MotoGP career on home soil in the Itailan Grand Prix. Dovizioso surged to the front halfway through the race, rounding up the Yamaha of world championship leader and holding on to take a popular victory. It is the Italian’s first race win in dry conditions, and comes despite suffering from food poisoning when he woke up on race day morning.

Vinales extended his points lead with second place, while Danilo Petrucci upset the favourites to cross the line third aboard his satellite Pramac Ducati.
Valentino Rossi led the opening lap to the joy of the 110,000-plus fans that lined the Mugello circuit and loomed among the lead group until the closing stages.
A valiant fourth place, riding through the pain of internal injuries from a motocross crash just over a week ago, maintains his grip on second place in the championship.

Sunday was a day to be on a Ducati. Alvaro Bautista finished fifth ahead of Marc Marquez, while Johann Zarco claimed seventh ahead of Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and Michele Pirro. Initially, it looked like Lorenzo would be Ducati’s main challenger. He made a rocket ship start from the third row to be trailing only the two blue Yamahas on the opening tour, using the Desmosedici’s prodigious power to blast past them both into the lead down the front straight.

With Dovizioso and Marquez joining in the fun, the battle among the lead group was fierce. Rossi would retake the lead, before Vinales made his way to the front, both Dovizioso and Lorenzo. It wouldn’t last for No. 99; Lorenzo would soon fade from the lead group and drop to the foot of the top 10, ending his eight-year streak of finishing either first or second at Mugello.

Vinales looked set to run away with the race before Dovizioso forced his way past Rossi into second and began pegging back the Spaniard’s advantage.
The No. 4 Ducati moved to the lead with 10 laps remaining and set sail, pulling out a one-second lead. His cause was aided by Petrucci, who barged his way past Vinales at the final corner to make it an Italian one-two.

Vinales would find his way back past with five laps remaining, and although he trimmed Dovizioso’s lead he was unable to catch the Ducati by the chequered flag. Punctuating a disastrous weekend for Honda was a collision between Cal Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa on the final lap as they battled for a lowly 11th.
Jack Miller’s difficult weekend continued into the race itself, but the last-lap disaster for Crutchlow and Pedrosa elevated the Australian to the final points-paying position in 15th.

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