Lorenzo Masters Mugello
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo delivered an incredible performance this afternoon, taking a hard fought victory at Mugello to claim the Grand Prix of Italy, the second consecutive GP win for Yamaha this season. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider was quick to get his YZR-M1 off the start line, jumping from fifth on the grid to tuck in behind race leader Casey Stoner on the first corner. Stoner went on to build an early lead while Lorenzo engaged in a battle with Andrea Dovizioso for second. Having finally dispatched him after four laps the Mallorcan began the hunt for Stoner. Lorenzo delivered a series of perfect laps to catch and then pass the race leader before extending a lead of just under a second to the line.
I knew it would have been difficult today, but the ‘martillo’ is back!
Ben Spies spent the Mugello race locked into a battle with Marco Simoncelli for fourth place. The American rider had opted for a slightly different set up to that used during the practice sessions and struggled to gain the same performance for the race. Having swapped places with Simoncelli several times Spies then waited to make his move, passing the Italian on the final lap to take fourth place in the sweltering Tuscan sunshine.
Lorenzo now heads to Sachsenring for the Grand Prix of Germany in two weeks time having reduced the gap to Championship leader Stoner to 19 points with a total of 133. Team mate Spies jumps another place up in the standings to sixth, just 13 behind Valentino Rossi in fourth.
Position 1st - Time 41.50.089
“For a long time it has been one of the sweetest victories. The victory in Jerez was not ‘real’ because it was raining. It’s been a tough race because of the hot conditions without water in the camel back. I pushed and tried to be there with all of my heart! I tried to overtake Andrea in the downhill at the chicane and then I did the same with Casey because I thought it was the perfect corner for it. Now we have a competitive bike and I hope to keep this pace. Now I am more motivated and confident for the future, after this great result. I think it was one of my most demanding races in my career. It reminded me a bit the 125cc times, with many overtakings. I did a good start again and now I just want to watch the race again on TV. Congratulations to all of my team, they never gave up. I knew it would have been difficult today, but the ‘martillo’ is back!”
Position 4th - Time +8.980
“It was a good race, me and Simoncelli battled it out. I made a couple of mistakes at the beginning which I’m a little upset about. Looking at the lap times we definitely weren’t the strongest but I think we were just on the cusp of fighting for the podium. I made a couple of crucial mistakes on lap three and six and then let the front guys get away. We did a good job getting back up to Simoncelli. Once I saw we weren’t going to catch the front guys I let Marco back by, I wanted him to pull me around to see where I was stronger than he was. I left it until the last lap, the last corner I could see he was leaving the door wide open so we were able to sneak right in and get fourth place. It’s great for Yamaha to get a win and me a fourth, I would have liked to have been on the podium but you can’t do it every time. Marco and I had fun, we had a couple of good passes back and forth and he was clean so I was happy!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A great race, we feel really happy for everybody. He deserved it really well and fought for it right to the last lap. He did the pace that only Jorge could do, especially at the end. I’m really happy for him and for the team; we all worked hard together to get this. Now we are back in shape and feeling better than we ever did so let’s see what happens in the next 11 races.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“First of all, Jorge made a fantastic race, the way he controlled the racing was superb and also how he passed Stoner on the most difficult point of the circuit showed us his confidence. To win here in Italy for the first time is great. We have two wins now which is really important for us, it proves that the work we have done so far is good. For sure we are looking to Sachsenring with good optimism. Ben had a difficult start to the race then he was catching up. He could have caught the first three guys but then he had some fighting with Simoncelli. He was calm and waited until the last lap to pass him and get a good fourth place. This brings valuable points for the championship standings.”