The MotoGP race at Mugello was the closest of the three classes at the Italian Grand Prix. Despite Rossi’s heartache the racing kept us on the edge of our seats right until the death. Brad Binder took the Moto3 win by 0.038s and Johann Zarco the Moto2 victory by 0.030s, but just 0.019s separated premier class racewinner Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.
Fernando Alonso was amongst the enthusiastic crowd at Mugello. He predicted at tight battle for the win, and he wasn’t wrong.
Valentino Rossi, who had started from pole, was unable to battle for the win after suffering engine problems, and in his absence the battle for victory was contested between Lorenzo and Marquez. Andrea Iannone, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in another tight tussle. Lorenzo claimed his third win of the year and now leads the standings from Marquez by 10 points.
Eugene Laverty completed another race in the points, after starting from eighteenth on the grid. The Irish began hesitantly but gradually grew more confident with his pace, overtaking several rivals. The Aspar Team rider has now gone on a run of six consecutive races in the points –something just five riders on the grid can boast. Laverty continues in the Top Ten in the World Championship with 36 points, with the first third of the season completed. Teammate Yonny Hernández was unable to make use of his twelfth position on the grid -his best qualifying placing of the season. The Colombian tapped his clutch at the start of the race, moving his bike before the lights went out. That earned him a penalty for a jump start, and he had to undertake a ride-through as punishment. He reemerged outside the points-scoring places, eventually finishing sixteenth.
13th Eugene Laverty: “After such a difficult weekend we salvaged three important points, and that’s the important thing because we struggled to find the correct direction after the crash on Friday. I was getting faster and faster in the race; on the final laps I overtook Bradl and the bike started to feel really good. That’s good information ahead of the next race. Now we really understand this bike better and better. The fact that it was easier for us at the end gives us a good direction to take things. I’m happy to have salvaged points here, but I expect to be stronger in Barcelona”.
16th Yonny Hernández: “After a weekend in which we have been very competitive, it is very sad to finish the Grand Prix in this way. We were closer to the top riders than usual and we have done very well in general, but I was very surprised by the penalty. The bike moved a bit off the start: I grabbed the clutch and the bike moved by itself. By the time I realised, it was a little late. It’s a shame because I was having a good race: I was twelfth, which is more or less what we had predicted, and was fighting to enter the top ten -but it was not to be. Anyway, we continue with good energy, in order to face the next race in the best way. I’ll take the positives from this one, which is that throughout the weekend we were among the first ten riders.”