Lorenzo holds his nerve for Mugello win

Jorge Lorenzo pulled off a late pass on the line to win the Italian MotoGP ahead of Marc Marquez while Italian hearts were shattered when Valentino Rossi’s engine failed.

Yellow flares, chants of “Rossi, Rossi” from the packed grandstands and perfect weather conditions made for an electric atmosphere as the MotoGP riders took the Mugello grid with Italian hero Valentino Rossi on pole position.

It was, however, the other Yamaha rider that grabbed the holeshot before Rossi tried to take the lead off his team-mate by slipstreaming him into Turn 1. The Italian went in too hot and fell back to second before once again latching onto Lorenzo’s rear wheel and dogging him around the circuit.

That was the story of the first eight laps as Rossi sat right on Lorenzo’s rear wheel but was unable to out-brake his team-mate. His challenge came to naught on Lap 8 when his Yamaha engine blew. It was Yamaha’s second engine failure of the day as Lorenzo’s went during the morning’s warm-up.

Marquez took over the job of challenger as he clawed his way onto Lorenzo’s rear wheel. But, like Rossi before him, any move he made ended with him running wide and Lorenzo back up into P1.

The Honda rider refused to give up and his perseverance seemed to pay dividends when he took the lead on the final lap. Lorenzo fought back but Marquez overtook him again and was leading as they went through the very last corner and onto the start-finish straight.

However, Yamaha’s superior acceleration proved to be the winner on the day as Lorenzo overtook him on the line. The reigning World Champ won by 0.019s.

Andrea Iannone completed the podium as Andrea Dovizioso fell off the pace halfway through the 23-lap race. Dovizioso, who will remain with Ducati next season, also lost out to Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.

Maverick Vinales, Bradley Smith and Danilo Petrucci completed the top eight ahead of Aleix Espargaro, who had been running as high as P3, and Michele Pirro.

Loris Baz, Jack Miller and Alvaro Bautista were involved in a first lap crash with all three out of the race. Scott Redding retired in the pits, parking his Ducati with a technical problem.

Yonny Hernandes was given a rid-through penalty for jumping the start. He finished P16.

1 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 41’36.535
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +0.019
3 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 4.742
4 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 4.910
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 6.256
6 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 8.670
7 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 13.340
8 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 14.598
10 Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 22.298
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 27.936
12 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing 35.712
13 Eugene LAVERTY Aspar Team MotoGP 38.032
14 Stefan BRADL Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 40.094
15 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 59.811
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Aspar Team MotoGP 1’04.397
Not Classified
Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 15 Laps
Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 15 Laps
Jack MILLER Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 23 lap
Alvaro BAUTISTA  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 23 lap
Loris BAZ Avintia Racing 23 lap