Lack of energy “scared” ill Dovizioso before Mugello race

Italian Grand Prix winner Andrea Dovizioso admits he was “scared” he would run out of stamina in the race, having come down with food poisoning overnight.

Lack of energy “scared” ill Dovizioso before Mugello race
Podium: Race winner Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Podium: Race winner Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

The Ducati rider was third in Saturday qualifying at Mugello, but woke up feeling unwell on race day and didn't do any meaningful running in the warm-up session.

Despite his sickness, Dovizioso managed to stay with the lead group in the grand prix itself and picked off championship leader Maverick Vinales with 10 laps left to claim his first MotoGP win in the dry.

“Very strange day for me, the strangest [part] is the victory,” Dovizioso said after the race.

“I didn't have energy, we didn't make the warm-up – fortunately we didn't have to try something because our situation [with the bike] was really good.

“And I didn't have energy before the race, I was scared about that, I was scared to lose the energy during the race. But the reality was I was able to ride fast in a smooth way, that for me made a big difference during the race, to stay behind Maverick.

“10 laps to the end I decided to overtake him but without a strategy. And after I realised nobody had margin to be faster, so I was focusing on my rhythm, my pace.”

Not sure of victory until final corner

Dovizioso said that he had not been targeting victory heading into the Italian GP, but that his pace in practice made him realise a win was possible.

“For sure we know here we were able to be closer - and when you're able to be closer, during the weekend everything can happen,” he said. “But for sure, my idea, it wasn't to win.

“But from the first practice we showed a good speed. When I realise we have a chance to fight? It was free practice four yesterday.”

Once in the lead in the race itself, Dovizioso steadily increased his gap over the chasing pack, which included Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci and the Yamaha duo of Vinales and Valentino Rossi.

But Dovizioso still expected his victory to be under threat in the closing stages.

“During the race I had a strange feeling, it was difficult for me to understand – most of the time Valentino has something to the end of the race, and here he's very strong, so I had that question mark,” Dovizioso explained.

“Maverick is very very strong and when I saw him two laps to the end, 1.2s [behind], I say I'm f**ked.

“Danilo had closed the gap to me and was zero [seconds behind], and in the battle Danilo was really strong. So just in the last corner I realised I was able to win.

"In the last lap I had eight tenths [over Vinales], but I couldn't understand if he'd close the gap during the lap, and if he was able to try to overtake me in the last corner – I didn't know, I didn't feel, I didn't hear.”

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