Motorcycling: Ducati's Petrucci edges out Marquez to take first MotoGP win at Mugello home race

MUGELLO, ITALY (AFP) – Danilo Petrucci, an Italian riding for local team Ducati, held off Marc Marquez to gain a first MotoGP victory on Sunday (June 2) in the Italian Grand Prix.

The second place allowed Spaniard Marquez to increase his lead in the world championship ahead of another Italian on a Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso, who finished third after a prolonged three-way battle.

Five-time MotoGP champion Marquez, on a Honda, briefly took the lead in the last lap but Petrucci recaptured first place and won by just 0.043 of second.

“It’s amazing, I’m thrilled,” said 28-year-old Petrucci, who finished eighth in the 2017 and 2018 world championships.

“On front of my home crowd and in my town, it’s incredible, I can’t describe how I feel.”

Marquez – winner of three out of six races this season – started on pole but had to battle with the Ducati riders and Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who challenged hard despite starting back on the grid.

The four riders overtook each other several times but Petrucci found the power to pull clear on the final lap of the fast Mugello circuit.

Italian star Valentino Rossi crashed out of his home race where the Yamaha rider has not won since 2008, after an impressive series of seven consecutive victories.

Marquez, who has won the MotoGP category just once on the circuit north of Florence, leads Dovizioso by 12 points after six rounds this season.

Earlier, Marquez’s younger brother Alex won the Moto2 category having also won at Le Mans last time out.

Alex Marquez led a Kalex sweep ahead of teammates Italian Luca Marini, Rossi’s half-brother, and Swiss Thomas Luthi.

The Spaniard pulled clear of his rivals on Lap 14 of 21 to finish 1.928sec ahead of Marini with Luthi at 2.242.

For Marquez, 23, it was his fifth victory since he began racing in the category since 2015.

Italian Luca Baldassari holds the overall world championship lead after finishing fourth, but is just two points ahead of Marquez.

Italian teenager Tony Arbolino stormed to a maiden career victory as the Honda rider won the Moto3.

Arbolino, 18, pipped Italian teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who finished 0.029sec behind, with Spanish KTM rider Jaume Masia third at 0.078.

Spaniard Aron Canet of KTM finished seventh to hold the overall world championship lead ahead of Dalla Porta.

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