Michelin saw its MotoGP™ tyres used to perfect effect by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) as he powered off the line to an untouched victory at the Gr a n Premio d’Italia from Mugello in Italy today. Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo got the holeshot on his Ducati fitted with a MICHELIN Power Slick medium front tyre, paired with a soft rear, and never relinquished first place as he extended his lead as the race wore on. He crossed the line over six seconds clear of his nearest rival, as he recorded his first victory on a Ducati, all at the Italian marque’s home Grand Prix in front of the cheering ‘Ducatisti’.
Michelin had introduced a fourth front tyre for this weekend to give the riders a more complete range of options. This hard compound asymmetric tyre was the one used in last year’s race to give Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) victory and it very nearly repeated the fea t for the Italian as he followed Lorenzo home to take second place and give Ducati not only its first one – two at Mugello, but also for the first time in Italy.
Third place went to local hero Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), the hugely partisan cro wd had come to see if he could repeat his superb performance in qualifying, when he produced a stunning circulation of the 5,245m circuit to record a time of 1’46.208 and set a new outright lap record, Rossi couldn’t quite take the top – step on the podium t oday, but the sea of yellow that invaded the track certainly showed its approval. The fourth front choice of tyre meant Michelin had seven options of rubber at Mugello, with four front and three rears being available to all riders.
Six of these seven tyre s were in action in today’s race, with just the soft front being the only one not used. This is another example of the choice Michelin gives to all riders to enable them to get the optimum performance from their respective machines. Michelin also witnessed its tyres produce the fastest ever recorded speed in MotoGP, as Dovizioso set a new high of 356.5Km/h in today’s race.
A huge crowd of 90,310 filled the Tuscan hillsides which surround the track and baked in glorious sunshine, which led to the track heating up to its highest temperature of the weekend as the surface reached 47 ° C, giving the asphalt less grip than at any time during the weekend and making tyre choice an added challenge for all. The spectators were treated to some fantastic racing throughout the field, as a Team ECSTAR SUZUKI battle saw Andrea Iannone take the spoils from Alex Rins, as they finished fourth and fifth respectively, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was sixth and took the honour of First Independent Rider and seventh was another local favourite Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) on a Ducati resplendent in a Lamborghini livery that was used as a special design for this race.
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) just edged out a hard – charging Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) for e ighth, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) coming home tenth to secure his position at the top of the Independent Riders’ Championship. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) made a mistake on lap – five and crashed out, he remounted and managed to finish 16 th an d although he was out of the points he retains his championship lead. Michelin will now head to Catalunya in Spain and the seventh round of this year’s enthralling championship, as MotoGP descends on Barcelona for the next stage of the 2018 season on Sunda y 17 th June.
Jorge Lorenzo – Ducati Team: “To win here in Ducati’s home Grand Prix is a dream come true and it has come after a year – and – a – half of hard work and some suffering, but a lot of belief, so finally I can say that I am happy. We managed the tyr es very well, because the front tyre was tricky as the track conditions were so difficult. I had to change my riding style and this is now a good experience for the future as it will help me to try to manage the race a bit better.”
Piero Taramasso – Michel in Motorsport Two – Wheel Manager: “Today was very difficult for the riders to manage they tyres, as the track changed a lot from the last two days and it was very slippery this afternoon, so they had to contend with that and the complexities of Mugello as well. Set – up is so important here and that is the key to a strong race, so tyre choice was very important. We again saw most of the range we brought here used and the different front we added for this weekend was used on two of the top – three bikes, so we fe el we were justified to add it to the range, as it gave the riders an extra option. Over the weekend we were delighted to see Valentino break the outright lap – record and all the practice, qualifying and warm – up sessions had better fastest times than the sa me sessions last year, we also had the fastest speed recorded at MotoGP set on our tyres today, these are really important factors for us as it shows complete performance. I want to congratulate Jorge on his victory, I am Italian so I know how important it is for Ducati to win here and his strategy in today’s race was excellent. We now move to Barcelona where we have recently had a very positive test, so we hope to continue with the success we have so far experienced this season.”