The MotoGP championship took another big twist on Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix as Jorge Lorenzo snatched victory from fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez.
Mugello hearts were shattered as Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha uncharacteristically blew up with the home favourite sitting in a comfortable second, but those that left the track in a huff at their local hero’s downfall missed a thrilling end to an intriguing weekend.
Masterful Lorenzo strikes late
Jorge Lorenzo showed another side to his repertoire in the Tuscan hills as he pounced on the line to overshadow Marc Marquez’s fine battling performance to haul his Honda into the lead.
Lorenzo has become known for his metronomic nature and when the elbows are out and the need is there to rough riders up he has in the past been found wanting, but on Sunday he very much quashed that opinion.
But perhaps more importantly for the Spaniard he added to his Championship lead now holding a 10-point advantage over Marquez, but worryingly for Rossi fans, he now sits 37 ahead of his team-mate.
A major blow to the Italian at his home circuit but Lorenzo proved why he is the reigning World Champion and in that mood you’d be hard pressed to stop him claiming this year’s major prize too.
Rossi rues uncharacteristic Yamaha blow up
After Rossi’s second DNF of the season the 37-year-old will be needing some help from Lady Luck to get himself back in the title race after a bad stroke of fortune.
The Italian appeared to be cruising around behind his team-mate while his adoring public waited for the moment he chose to pounce past Lorenzo and into the lead.
Alas, his fans and those watching around the world were robbed of what could’ve been after Rossi’s pole position on Saturday looked to be turning into something more.
The Italian certainly had the pace and at his home circuit it looked to be the fairy tale that everyone in attendance donning the famous 46 had dreamt of, but instead Rossi now faces an uphill task in getting his title credentials back on track through no fault of his own.
Another layer to the 2016 cake that Valentino will not enjoy the taste of.
Iannone laments poor start
If it wasn’t to be Rossi’s weekend, then many Italians would’ve told you the next best thing would’ve been an Andrea Iannone victory.
Donning the red of Ducati he looked to be the Bologna-based team’s best hope of victory, but a poor jump from the line left him 12th after the opening lap.
Maniac Joe certainly had the pace towards the back end of the race which saw him haul himself up to third and claim a podium place but somewhere deep down the 26-year-old must have been thinking of what could’ve been had he converted a strong grid position.
A shame for the outgoing Iannone as it seems he can do no right aboard his desmosedici this season.