We really must doff our cap to Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso – well done dear boy, there were very few people who saw that coming! Dovi won his home Grand Prix at Mugello, an Italian on an Italian bike, matching a feat last achieved when ‘flares were just coming into fashion.
And the best part about it was, as mentioned, that there were very few who saw it coming, us included. The variables were stacked up against him too heavily when you look at everything on paper, even though the Ducati is a rocketship down the long Tuscan straight. Rossi was slightly crocked but you knew he’d be there, and his team-mate Maverick Vinales has been doing lots of winning. Marc Marquez has also been pretty handy around the place too, as has Jorge Lorenzo.
Yet none of those prevailed, where Andrea did, overcoming the inherent turning issues of the bike and using its top speed to the fullest advantage. With Honda in the doldrums, Marquez was never going to get close. Lorenzo had a good start and appeared competitive for a few laps, but Dovi’s years on the bike mean for now he’ll always have the upper hand. Rossi’s off-roading injuries eventually took their toll and Vinales didn’t look quite as comfortable as he usually does.
All these little things, added to the fact that Mugello is Ducati’s test track, fell into Dovi’s favour and he took his first even dry MotoGP win, and the third victory for Dovi overall. It really was brilliant to behold, and while we’d love this to spark a complete turnaround in Ducati’s GP fortunes, the truth is that it won’t, at least for now. At some tracks they’ll be right there, or the rider will overcome difficulties to be in the mix, but it won’t be often - or so we thought, because he went and did it again!
With grip at a premium in scorchio Catalunya, steady-away Dovi tailed the Hondas, made his move and went on to make it two from two. Could he now push the for title? Maybe, just maybe...