2011 Mugello MotoGP Race Result: Tense Battle Decides Podium In Final Laps

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Mugello:

Jorge Lorenzo has taken a much-needed victory at Mugello to get his championship defense back on track, catching and then passing Casey Stoner to secure a convincing win.

Lorenzo looked like being a long way from victory once the flag dropped. Casey Stoner took the holeshot, and quickly pulled a sizable gap. Behind the Australian, Ben Spies had got into the first corner in 2nd, but he was soon swallowed up by his teammate. Once past Spies, Lorenzo began the hunt for Stoner, but the Repsol Honda rider was in no mood to hang around. Stoner put his head down and pushed, pulling out a second-and-a-half gap within the first three laps.

The race would not turn into another Stoner runaway, however. Though Stoner's advantage edged up to over two seconds, Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso never lost touch with the Australian. The factory Yamaha rider led the chase for the first part of the race, but he was constantly harried by Dovizioso. It took the Repsol Honda man until lap 8 to get past, only sliding underneath the Spaniard when he ran a little wide on the brakes at San Donato, and even when Dovizioso did get by Lorenzo, it did him no good. Lorenzo returned the favor of chasing Dovizioso, pushing him wherever he could find a gap. Lorenzo's chance came on lap 12, skating past the Italian at the downhill right-left of Casenove and Savelli.

Lorenzo then set about chasing the Australian, a job that was made easier by Stoner's sudden drop of pace. That slowing coincided, either perfectly or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, with a sudden increase in the pace of Lorenzo. Smelling blood, Lorenzo cranked up the pace another notch, and soon closed down on Stoner. On lap 18, Lorenzo had him, passing the Repsol Honda rider in the same place he had taken his Italian teammate. After fending off some stiff resistance by Stoner for a couple of laps, Lorenzo was finally clear, and he pressed home his advantage as hard as he could. The effort was enough to secure him his second victory of the season, and one that tasted all the sweeter for coming in the dry.

Stoner's misery - he later said he was struggling with a tire that had too much pressure in it, destroying the grip and spinning the rear, losing the ability to use the drive of his Honda RC212V to load the front - was compounded when Dovizioso came by on the final lap, bumping the Australian down to 3rd. Dovizioso's 2nd place made him both best Italian and strengthened his grip on 3rd in the championship. To take 2nd at Mugello, just a few miles from his home in Forli, was a dream for Dovizioso.

Behind the front three, another entertaining battle unfolded for 4th. Ben Spies got tangled up with Marco Simoncelli, causing much anxiety in the Yamaha garage, especially given the recent experience of Spies' teammate, Jorge Lorenzo. But at Mugello, Simoncelli fought hard but more sensibly, the pair swapping places through the race, Spies coming out on top at the end of the race. Spies took a 4th to consolidate his win last week at Assen, leaving Simoncelli picking up the crumbs in 5th.

Valentino Rossi ended the race in 6th after a hard and entertaining chase through the field. Starting from 12th, Rossi battled his way forward through a large group that formed for much of the race. A setup change found in warmup - lifting the entire bike 20mm while leaving the wheelbase of the machine unchanged - had solved had increased the Italian's pace, though he was still eight tenths off the pace of the front runners. The change should provide the team with more setup options, however, to help make the bike a little more competitive.

Lorenzo's win brings him 9 points closer to the championship leader, Casey Stoner. The gap is now down to 19 points, opening the championship up again and adding some spice to the MotoGP class. With a tighter championship and the best race of the season so far - not exactly a thriller, but certainly a race full of tension and more passing at the front - some interest has been reinjected into the series.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 41'50.089  
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 41'51.086 0.997
3 27 Casey STONER HONDA 41'51.232 1.143
4 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 41'59.069 8.980
5 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 41'59.165 9.076
6 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 42'16.539 26.450
7 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 42'18.834 28.745
8 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 42'22.132 32.043
9 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 42'23.510 33.421
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 42'24.813 34.724
11 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 42'27.448 37.359
12 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 42'34.053 43.964
13 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 42'37.743 47.654
14 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 42'38.929 48.840
15 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 43'05.288 1'15.199
Not Classified
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 11'10.247 17 laps


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Fantastic stuff from the world champion. Yamaha are back. They never were short of engine it appears, it's all about getting it to the ground. Back to the future with the 2010 stuff has proven that.

Stoner again proves his ability to discern minute changes in his machine. Stating he lost grip at the rear mid race which took the weight off the front and gave him a couple of moments. He asserted the rise in track temp was an issue the team discussed after morning warm up as it concerned him. Stoner wanted to alter the tyre pressures to account for this but was recommended not to by - his Bridgestone man? Nonetheless another solid champ elect ride.

Dovi. Incrementally edging closer to the front. Honda may yet be glad they were forced to retain him this year, if Lorenzo's season has turned a corner and he becomes a threat to Stoner. Dovi may just be the foil the team need.

There remain but three Aliens 2011. Dovi is knocking on the door more than Super Sic, but perhaps not as much as Spies. To my mind criteria is being a regular winner. Pedrosa still obviously in a lot of pain. He'll be back and fighting at the front though. He's pretty handy at the Sachsenring from memory.

if Lorenzo's season has turned a corner and he becomes a threat to Stoner. Dovi may just be the foil the team need.

Although in this case, he actually helped Lorenzo in the points chase... although I'm glad to see that Honda don't have any team orders in place.

Brilliant ride from Lorenzo and a great ride from Dovi.. and Spies and well done to SuperSic for finishing the race now the monkeys off his back..
Thought Stoner would have put up more of fight on the same kit.

This is why in 2011 they're down to invented personality deficiencies. Stoner has but one persona, public or private. Just finished Rick Broadbent's excellent MotoGP book 'Ring of Fire' which gives a good insight to all the top riders as to who they are as people.

I'm guessing Stoner's Bridgestone guy has now been ousted from the circle of trust. That was a rare thing to see Stoner give up that sort of lead when he had the race pace.

I guess there's one Bridgestone technician looking for another team to work for tonight.

That's a very un-Honda-like error to make, but I guess if the tyre tech from Bridgestone advises against the change you want to make after morning warm-up you'd have to listen to them. Or would you? Would be interesting to see if David can get a little more background on how the Bridgestone techs work within the teams and how much influence they have.

It could have been that lowering the pressure would have cost Casey too much in the beginning bu of course this is just speculation. Casey mentioned tire pressures in all 3 interviews I saw with him so I guarantee something will change. Curious to hear the round up from David and hope he touches on that aspect.

All in all amazing race for Jorge and Yamaha I hope they can keep that alive especially with Sachs not being a major HP track.

If the tyre gets too hot, you should raise the pressure. With lowering the tire pressure you will generate even more heat. At least that's what I think.

Stoner said they were running too much pressure in his post interview. Saying that it was causing the tire to swell and contact patch was getting smaller. So as the inner heat of the tire got higher the tire pressure got too high. I am not an expert but that is what he stated so that is what I am going on. Hopefully we can get a technical explanation from someone who knows more.

for the info about Stoner. Didn't know that. Shows there's more to it than appears. Also glad that on this site everyone is trying to put information together, 'stead of slashing each other like fe you see at crash.net.

Yes, Motomatters.com is tops when it comes to great information and insightful articles and posts. Of course it all comes from the top down when you run a site like this with intelligent writing and articles you tend to attract the same while for the other sites well you reap what you sow.

But these MotoGP Bridgestones are no normal tyre. With their ultra stiff sidewall construction they do not deform in the commonly accepted manner an ordinary tyre would. So like counter steering the opposite holds true!

Apparently Lorenzo and Dovi both commented on Stoner's lack of grip and spinning rear, as the thing that helped them get past.

I'm also interested in David's take on the attitude among the Italian press to the continuing failure at Ducati.

Sooner of later they'll have the knives out... I wonder what the mood was like in the press room.

i wonder how come the tyre damage of the slicks are not as visible as those in WSBK..

and brilliant ride by Alvaro, before he mysteriously disappear...

Bautista apparently had a near-crash when he lost the front and then ran off track after hitting neutral in the process. A pity, he was riding an impressive race.

Great to see Lorenzo shut up the critics who said Yamaha would lose their way with Rossi out of the team. Very impressive performance from Dovizioso: Simoncelli gets the press attention, Dovizioso gets the results. But Stoner will feel that was a race he should have won. He and his team can't afford any miscalculations against a guy like Lorenzo. This is shaping up to be a very tight championship.

Lorenzo is a fine and very talented racer, he just showed us today. But I understood that he found the extra speed he showed in the last two races (also Assen) by replacing some new 2011 parts for parts from last season. And that might indicate problems regarding testing and evaluation of the new parts last winter.

So I don't know if Lorenzo shut up those critics.
Anyway, very glad to see that's the championship is getting tighter.

Not uncommon at all in my opinion. See: Ducati swapping around forks last year and Yamaha having huge chassis issues in 2006. Often times new does not equal better.

I don't know if you can draw that inference.

Anyway, the claim during our telecast (by Steve Parrish) was that Yamaha have gone back to the '10 chassis.

Not unheard of, in either two wheels or four.

I was surprised by Lorenzo and Stoner in that they finished exactly opposite of what I expected.

Unlike almost everyone else, I have serious doubts about a long term career for Sic in MotoGP. And not because he will continue to crash but rather a simple lack of results.

I've not checked stats on this so correct me if I'm wrong, but Rossi may have the best record of racing better than he qualifies. It is most evident comparing him with Sic who qualifies incredibly well yet lies in 10th, Rossi is struggling yet doing fairly well in 4th. I suspect Spies will knock him down a notch however, unless Ducati/Rossi can find some speed.

I think Simoncelli is racing scared of screwing up. He's clearly fast enough, but he has to learn patience. It doesn't always happen over night like with Stoner after he got married. I think there will be plenty of people willing to take a chance on Simoncelli for some time. Whether he's willing to learn is another matter.

I think your point about Rossi qualifying and racing so differently shows something of interest. It shows how the fastest single lap doesn't reflect everything and how going after it may not be the best use of practice time. Watching Rossi dispense of that pack racing for 6th with relative methodical ease is a demonstration of why they don't give points for qualifying. Not that they shouldn't but it appears to be a different sport.

Congrats all round from #1 George's GP win all the way through to the last placed 125 racer.
Thoroughly enjoyable across all classes.

Not bad. Easily the best one of the season so far I'd say. Definitely not a great race, but perfectly watchable.


Well, the track of course.

Mugello is a brilliant MotoGP circuit. Long sweeping bends,undulating contours, the new surface, the passionate Italian crowd and THAT main straight makes it the best race on the calander by far. Just think, If they changed the rules to a simple format of 1200cc and no petrol restrictions, you'd have at least 24 bikes thundering down Mugello's tarmac.....imagine that. I'm drooling at the thought.

Mind you, the sight of the Rossi pack in particular coming over the crest at 200 odd miles per hour was awe inspiring enough and the constant outbraking, overtaking and re-overtaking was great to see - at long last.

Will it continue? I doubt it. Sachsenring and Laguna are similarly undulating and relatively free flowing (but without possessing the long main straight) and might just prove me wrong...let's hope so.

Interesting how Gavin's question to Casey was preloaded to extract the maximum negativity from the Australian.

Cal Crutchlow's exit wasn't appreciated by Herve either. I wonder if he's suffering some real confidence issues, in the bike and in himself?

Don`t think Lorenzo would of won that race `if` Stoner did not run into grip issues, but there again Lorenzo and his team had their bike set up better, so they deserved that win.
Thought that was one of the best rides Dovi has done in the dry, but i was surprised Spies and Simoncelli were not stronger.
As for Rossi and Ducati, on the face of it they have not improved since the first race of the year when VR was carrying a injured shoulder. Can not understand why he was faster through the turns of Mugello with the same bike, but with a 1000 engine in private testing [i assume with the same compound and construction tyres]. Maybe this lack of getting anywhere with the Desmocidici is starting to get VR down, and it is affecting his riding.
But the sport needs Rossi and Ducati to be competitive, lets hope they can get there soon.

Many will dissagree with me on this but I think that is due to their extra weight.

Last week with the track surface not quite 100% the extra weight helped them. This week it hindered them, as I expected, on a dry track.

Next year with the faster accellerating motors I hope this nullifies the current advantage the lighter riders have.

PS: This is my opinion. Your's may vary, that is your right.

Rossi's race time this year 42.16ish, Casey's race time from last year 42.54 ish.. the new layout is apparently worth around 20 secs over race distance.. I think they have improved this year, but didn't the last couple with the cf. meaning they are nearly 3 years behind to start with, including off season.. They are making progress but huge leaps are incredibly difficult at this level..

Maybe the Ducati team should pinch some of the Suzuki mechanics, Alvaro improved his time from 2010 to this year by over 70seconds and thats including loosing 13seconds on 1 lap due to an off this year.

Well done to Suzuki.

Just some random thoughts after watching the race and reading peoples comments.

1) Stoner and Lorenzo finally coincide on track together. They are clearly this year's title contenders but interestingly they have met very little on track over the past 3 years. Usually one was doing spectacularly well when the other was struggling. If we can see some straight fights between them it may still be a great season.

2) Dovi and Sic seem to be the inverse of each other. One has the brains and consistency but lacks the killer instinct the other is all brawn. Even through the 250 years Sic has always been in the spotlight either winning, setting fastest times or crashing/taking out rivals. Dovi is the quality supporting actor, you don't realize he is there but always delivers the goods. Its going to be interesting to see which style will take one further in MotoGP.

3) This has to be the most talented starting grid ever. Every rider except Abraham and Barbera is a world champ from some category. The middle of the pack always has the raw action we miss at the front.

4) Rossi is now 4th in the championship, 61 points down. Seeing him battle through the field and coming back from his crummy qualifying positions is proof that he still has it. Sure Ducati is struggling, but if they finally find the tenths they need so he can mix it up at the front, he may even have something to say in the championship outcome.

It has been said that if you took Dovi's consistency and brains and mixed in Sic speed, bravado, and personality then mixed that all together you would get Rossi.

Thats what I thought when I read the qoute in one of the round ups. Although I would say Rossi has a bit more brainpower than Dovi!

Great ride from Lorenzo, its about time he gave it some properly.

I am amazed at how well Jorge has been starting. In both of the past two races, Lorenzo came from behind the front row to be first or second into turn one. It's pretty crazy actually how well he's been getting off the line - not sure what that's attributed to.

Also, it's the first time, aside from race one, we got to see tire wear across manufacturers in a full-dry race. Both Yamahas moved forward at the end as all three leading Hondas moved back.

And, it was great to watch the battle between Sic and Spies (at least the small part they covered). Sic ran a good race and had a fantastic and fair battle with Spies. I believe those two will be having that battle for the lead before the season is over.

The lap sheet tells the story.
Stoner fastest lap was # 7.
Lorenzo fastest lap was # 17.
Dovi leads race for 5th alien.

Did anyone notice how pissed Herve Poncharal was after the race? Cal Crutchlow has pulled into the pits twice now, and Herve is clearly not happy. Crutchlow has a reputation as a bulldog, but i get the impression that if he ever pulls in again Herve will have his head.

I think Poncheral would prefer a valiant effort for 15th over a rider settling for an easy finish at a higher position. Bravery and persistence seem to be valued higher than wisdom and consistency. It's a wonder he doesn't have Simoncelli and Cluzel on his payroll.