2016 Mugello MotoGP Race Results: Up In Smoke

The eagerly awaited main event had a shortened start due to the troubled Moto2 restart.

Valentino Rossi started well, after multiple practices this weekend, but Jorge Lorenzo had the better entry into the turn. Aleix Espargaro held off Marc Marquez, Bradley Smith and Andrea Dovizioso. Loris Baz, Jack Miller and Bautista got caught up in turn one and all crashed out.

On the second lap, Rossi missed his cue and went wide into turn one, but didn't lose second place. Marquez in fourth copied him and also didn't lose a position in fourth and instead maintained his one second lead over Dani Pedrosa and Dovizioso. A lap later, Rossi had caught back up to Lorenzo and looked like he was happy to sit behind Lorenzo without trying to pass. Marquez, on the other hand, had every intention of passing Espagaro and took third very convincingly.

A few laps later, Lorenzo still led, Rossi still looked like he could pass if he wanted but Marquez closed up and made the front pair a front three. Five laps in, Rossi started to nip at Lorenzo's heels, reminding him he was there. A lap later, Rossi went wide into turn one, but once again, Marquez copied him and the positions at the front remained unchanged, but it allowed Andrea Dovizioso to close the gap in fourth.

Aleix Espargaro was caught and passed by Dani Pedrosa on the seventh lap with Andrea Iannone closing the gap by blasting past both Maverick Viñales and Scott Redding for seventh place.

On the ninth lap, Valentino Rossi slowed drastically, going wide at a left hander with smoke showing from his engine. As he dropped back, cruising off the racing line, his engine gave up the ghost and popped again, bellowing smoke out of the back, ending the Italian's weekend. As Rossi left the track, fans already started leaving the track early. Rossi looked like he had every chance of a win, but his Yamaha, like Lorenzo's in the morning's warm up, just expired.

Lorenzo had a one second gap from Marquez in second place who broke away from Dovizioso trying to catch the leader. Further back, Iannone passed Pedrosa and saw a three and a half second gap to his Ducati teammate in third. Lorenzo and Marquez bolted at the front as Dovizioso dropped back to Iannone who was clearing off from Pedrosa.

Fifteen laps in, three seconds behind the front two, Andrea Iannone caught Andrea Doviziosoand the pair spend lap seventeen trading third place, with Iannone round the outside into the first turn, Dovizioso outbraking him but missing the apex and leaving an Iannone-sized gap. Dovizioso took third back later that lap but lost it a lap later and the pair were joined by Pedrosa as they tripped each other up. Iannone was clearly quicker than Dovizioso but couldn't find a way past his wily teammate but once he did, he made a break only to be followed by Pedrosa.

Marquez made an attempt on Lorenzo three laps from the flag, but Lorenzo struck back immediately to retake the lead. A lap later, Pedrosa cleanly passed Iannone, over six seconds from the leading two, and Iannone couldn't see a way past Pedrosa, in spite of trying many times. Marquez tried a turn one pass on Lorenzo on the penultimate lap and Lorenzo was able to switchback again.

Going into the last lap, Ianonne took third before the last turn and held the position to the first turn. Ahead of him, Marquez caught Lorenzo in an unexpected pass four turns into the last lap, and made a break for it. Lorenzo was caught by surprise and took a few corners to regain his composure and put paid to Marquez's rabbit impersonation, catching and passing him midway through the lap. Leading into the chicane, Lorenzo had the better line but Marquez cut the kerb at an unlikely speed and made a pass appear from nothing and stole the lead into the last turn. Lorenzo didn't give up but had an impossible task with a Honda leading out of the last v]corner in front of him.

Jorge Lorenzo had a perfect line with perfect drive and bore down on Marc Marquez, beating him to the flag by less than two hundredths of a second. Andrea Iannone took third with a positively glacial two tenths from Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso took a lonely fifth two and a half seconds ahead of Maverick Viñales.

Lorenzo leads the championship by ten points from Marquez. with Valentino Rossi thirty seven points adrift in third after a disappointing Sunday.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 41'36.535
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda +0.019
3 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati +4.742
4 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +4.910
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +6.256
6 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki +8.670
7 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha +13.340
8 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +14.598
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki +18.643
10 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati +22.298
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +27.936
12 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +35.712
13 50 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati +38.032
14 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia +40.094
15 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha +59.811
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati +1'04.397
    Not Classified    
  46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 15 Laps
  45 Scott REDDING Ducati 15 Laps
    Not Finished 1st Lap    
  43 Jack MILLER Honda 0 Lap
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 0 Lap
  76 Loris BAZ Ducati 0 Lap


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Rossi out of the race and Lorenzo wins with Marquez 2nd. And yet no riots, no need for bodyguards. Almost a if those hated hated Rossi fans aren't the apes pretencious fans make us out to be.

Also, since I have twitter, He took the bike out of the track when the engine blew-up, looked back and there was no smoke so he continued, when he realized the engine had blown-up he took the bike off the track.

Yes, some people left. But did you fail to notice the sea of yellow all across the track during the podium ceremony?

What a battle! It was 2014 revisited, except this time it's Jorge who came out on top. But what a fighter Marquez is. It was clear to see how difficult it was trying to make a pass stick on Lorenzo, but boy did he try.

Those last few laps certainly made up for what happened to the likes of Rossi and Iannone today. Quite literally a hige blow for Valentino, who must wait another year to try win at Mugello. Iannone had tremendous pace but that start cost him so badly. 3rd was a good recovery but Ducati aren't going to get many better chances to win a race this season, so a good opportunity gone.

Though biggest disappointment I guess has to go to Vinales. So much hope after Qualifying but once again it seems his starts are a real weakness. Maverick always seems to drop places at the start and gives himself too much to do. It's not like Suzuki was slow off the line as his team mate was P3 after Lap 1. Hope it's area Mav finds much needed improvement on.

But anyways, absolutely mega mega racing today. Magical Mugello whips up another classic!

....of almost every scenario but this! What a shame. Two blown engines in one day?
I still can't believe it.
There is gonna be some serious explaining in that garage.

A thrilling last lap that also underlines how bad Honda is on corner exit. Never before in recent years had a Honda lost in acceleration from a Yamaha. They must be scratching their heads now.

Also, despite Lorenzo's victory, it surely will be Rossi's woes and Lorenzo's incident in warmup that's going to be the focus for Yamaha. How the hell can two engines blew up in the space of a few hours is beyond me.

Iannone is surely carrying a very wide smile now. Sweet sweet revenge. But it doesn't take away from the fact that no Dukes are challenging for wins today. One can only imagine for now how they will fare with JL on the seat...

Last time this happened it was Stoner's Honda reeling in Spies' M1 on the drag to the line at Valencia.

Excellent result for Jorge. Not exactly the result I wanted, but Lorenzo performed flawlessly under extreme pressure for the whole race. He really deserved that win. Tough luck for Valentino. I think Vale also owes M&M an apology. Marc didn't win, but he really couldn't have tried any harder. Not the result I wanted, but it was a cracking good race. Vale had to work ojn his qualifying, and he did. Now Maverick needs to work on his starts. He is quick enough to win races, but not while he's starting like that.


In other news, I have a question for you, David. This is NOT a loaded question. I am NOT a conspiracy theorist. I'm simply ignorant to some the facts and figures on engines.

I just wondered: Why Rossi didn't swap his engine out? Was it "time to" change an engine, or are his current engines not yet to the end of their expected lifespan? Where are they in their engine allocations?

This year they have 7 engine, up from 5 last year and always need at least 3 on the go.  Engines are rotated within reason to even out wear.  By choice you wouldnt put a brand new engine in for a race without running it in practice to know the unit is fine.

Likewise, you will probably use an older engine for FP1 & FP2 to save wear on your freshest engine which is your race unit.

These units will do about 2500 k each and you dont withdraw an engine until you absolutley have to as its a long season and you can lose an engine to crash damage at any time.

Engines go pop occasionaly, just one of those things.  

After the warm-up I was wondering if they would swap out Rossi's as a precaution.  I'm sure Lorenzo's morning failure was not part of his engine life plan so it would not be unusual to play it safe with Rossi at least until a post mortem of Lorenzo's can give more info.  With what is at risk I think it is unusual not to swap.  I guess in their analysis the unknown of swapping engines with no warmup was greater than their worry that Lorenzo's failure was not a fluke.

Even though it blew I am impressed with the durability of engines.  The engine that failed was seemingly working at 100% right up until it went.  It would be great if Yamaha could include detailed analysis of engine failures at the end of the year in the engineering presentations they, er, used to give.



...GREAT race. I simply feel that it might well have been even more exciting with three riders fighting it out at the front. It is my single favorite aspect of MotoGP: seeing the greatest riders engaged a great dogfight. Much respect and many thanks to Marc and Jorge for a great show!

If I am not mistaken, Rossi is now 37 points adrift from Lorezno not 27. Quite a bummer really as 37 points really looks like the end of the championship race for him unless the other 2 have trouble or DNFs that is. However, with 12 more races to go nothing is ever set in stone. 


I appreciate that each manufacturer has a limited number of engines and that they are sealed but surely, having blown one engine in Lorenzos bike earlier in the day, should'nt Yamaha have changed Rossis engine as a precaution and shelved the suspect one? It may be that, with no further issues with engines for the rest of the season that this one could stay on the shelf.

Such a crying shame for the race (and possibly the championship) to end like that.

Hopefully someone checks the engine allocation and posts it but didn't Lorenzo blow his new engine 3? Maybe Rossi was using 1 and 2 and then changed to 3 because of Jorge's problem but it might turn out to be something wrong with the third in the allocation? I don't really know how it works because it seemed to become a non issue after half a season when the rule came in. 

Now development is frozen do they submit all six before the season starts or would a factory supply the new engines throughout the season as the teams request them?

Championship isn't over yet. Rossi looks very comfortable with the Michelins so if he can pull out a couple in a row starting in Barcelona, likely after this disapointment, then he can probably push Jorge and hope that things get complicated somewhere else and it evens out again. No way will Rossi give up when he's pulled back from 30+ once this year already.

Did you turn the TV off when Rossi retired or something? Saying the race ended with his retirement is the most ludicrous thing I've read on this site in ages.

If I would not have seen it, you captured it. Excellent race other than the disappointment of Rossi's engine blowing up. Many battles and the last lap battle for the lead was the best one.

Thanks for your kind words. You can catch more of my waffling here after each Superbike race. :) 

Oh ye of little faith...barely a third of the way thru the season, 6 of 18 rounds completed, Rossi is 37 points behind and people are crying the season is over!  And not just on your website David!  They're ready to throw in the towel and give the championship to Lorenzo I guess.

People, let me repeat the infamous words of many a racer, "this is why we run the races."  This season has provided some cracking races and will provide more!  Everybody just needs to chill and enjoy one of the best eras of Moto GP racing.  It will only get better regardless of who wins!

... there's nothing to say Jorge's engine won't blow during a race, or anyone else's for that matter. Crashes happen, injuries happen, tyres let go, etc.

Not to wish bad luck due to mechanical failure on anyone, but just ask Dovi what sort of things can really screw your weekend.

Rossi had bad luck this weekend.  Others will have bad luck during the remainder of the season.



I assume this is unintentional, but the write up above seems a little too flattering towards Rossi and not quite flattering enough towards Lorenzo.

Absolute full credit to Rossi for getting the pole spot and then doing a great job of staying in a very close 2nd place for close to half the race before suffering a mechanical that took him out of the race through no fault of his own.

However, more credit needs to go to Lorenzo for his blistering start, making it from 5th to 2nd even before entering the first corner and then taking a perfect corner to overtake Rossi for the lead. 

After that Lorenzo held off Rossi who was very obviously not content to just sit in 2nd (at least for the first number of laps), instead trying to brake late and pass Lorenzo at least twice, with Lorenzo always getting the better of him.  Many more times it seemed Rossi was trying to show Lornezo a wheel and figure out how to get past, while Lorenzo raced inch perfect from the front never conceding a single opportunity to his competitor, before Rossi seemed to decide he needed to settle in and figure out if and how to fight again later. At no point did it look like "Rossi could pass if he wanted".

THEN Rossi's engine went up in smoke and robbed us all of the conclusion of a great dual, the result of which would be anyone's guess, especially with Marquez likely also in the mix. 

I was disapointed Rossi couldn't battle to the end, but it needs to be said that while he was battling, Lorenzo was clearly doing a better job.  We'll never know whether or not it would have ended that way, which is a shame. 


It's very hard to watch that race and believe that Rossi wouldn't have won, barring his engine failure.  He only tried to pass once.  The second time at San Donato his engine burped (note:  not his words) - according to him anyway - and pushed him wide.  There is no doubt that Lorenzo rode his pace efficiently, but when Rossi can make up 50 meters after running wide in two or three turns, and then do it again after an engine braking problem the next lap...Rossi clearly had the pace on Lorenzo today.  Whether he could have gotten in front, at Arriabatta for example a la Marquez, is indeed a different question, as Lorenzo was defending extremely well, but the balance of the probabilities says yes.

With that said, Lorenzo battled with what he had and showed a lot of intestinal fortitude with Marquez - and won the race!  I thought Marquez rode exceptionally well, and in control - Lorenzo was the "harder" of the two at the end, which is a reversal compared to the last few seasons.  I'm not a Marquez fan per se, but he had an excellent race today.

Iannone also had a very unlucky start as he was at least as fast as the leading group and would have challenged for the win even if Rossi hadn't blown up, I think - his HP advantage was insane. He's such a chancy rider, though - if Iannone was the type to get everything right...Ducati wouldn't have shipped him off.  It's too bad, becasue outside of his "one random screwup per race" he may be the 4th best rider right now (not sure where he fits in the 4 - 5 - 6 category with Vinales and Pedrosa).  Maybe the more mellow Suzuki will calm him down next year.

Rossi had a good chance to make it a three way battle at the end but I don't think you can say more than that.

Lorenzo was riding perfectly when Rossi's engine failed. Rossi would have passed him at some point - but then so did Marquez and Lorenzo ended up winning.

Not to take anything away from Lorenzo, but according to Meraghali, Rossi told him after making it back to the paddock that he had been tucked in behind Lorenzo happy to try to stay there to see if they could gap Marquez. Now, maybe Meraghali made that up to spin things for Rossi or maybe Rossi made it up to spin things for himself. But maybe that's in fact what he was doing and showing Lorenzo a wheel was no more than that. 

That said, it was great to hear Lorenzo hark back to his 05 250 race st Mugello and find out he took inspiration from that in his last lap dice with MM. I'll never forget him in that race on his satellite Fortuna Honda, which was about 10km/h slower than Pedrosa's factory bike and the Aprilias. They'd streak ahead on the straight but he'd make it right back up to them on the brakes and ended up overtaking two of them at the end of the straight on one lap if I remember correctly. 

David, could you please comment on an aspect of MGP that has been troubling me for years: how the hell can some of these guys F@%# up the start so bad? Over and over we see rider A, B, or C screw up a great qual by 'screwing the pooch' on the start. I drag raced for several years (m/c's!) and launching them is an 'art'. Didnt I read that several years ago, that Jorge arrended Ricky Gadson's drag racing school to learn the 'art', knowing full well that starting well was critical. Full points to him, because he is consistently a great starter. Some of these other guys.....

My view is that if lots of them are screwing it up, it must be very, very difficult. It stands to reason that if very few riders are good at it, it's a skill that only a few of them have. 

I'll mention a couple ;)

Bradley Smith, excelent starter, over the years he's been considtenlty good at getting of the line.


Cal Crutchlow, even when he gets front row starts he'll lose 2-3 places when the lights go out, always been his weakest aspect.

Mind you, one thing both the above have in common this year....... both ae better than their paoints hall would suggest.

Gino Rea is possibly one of the best starters in world championship racing. 

... sure, starting is an art.  But as you may know, launching a bike takes time to get used to, for a particular bike.

Given the pace of development in MotoGP, and the limited amount of testing permitted, i'd say that they simply don't get enough practice on any particular spec of bike.

Learn how to launch really well this weekend?  Next weekend we have a different gear ratio, different engine map, new clutch to fix a problem, etc.

They're dealing with a moving target.

Some clearly do better than others at it, but i don't think it's really comparable to learning to launch your street/production-based bike.

A great win for Lorenzo, an awesome fight from Marquez, a promising show from the Ducatis & a Mechanical disaster for Rossi. What i also witnessed today was that Lorenzo also completely ignored the fact that Rossi was his first adversary in the race, something that Marquez talked about during his interview, it seems that Marquez is happy to talk about how things actually happened, whereas Lorenzo takes every opportunity to dismiss Rossi, keeping the rot ongoing. Casey Stoner when given the opportunity to give his pre-race opinion of MotoGp in 2016 could not hold himself back to insult Rossi by getting Rossi mixed up with his misbehaving fans. I am sure that i am not the only racing fan who is sick of the off track nonsense by racers, fans & test riders, whoever they back.

I have no doubt that Jorge still remembers "the wall".  A physical construct but also a psychological one - it sent a message (in part) to Jorge that Vali had all the know-how and he wasn't going to share his setup etc with him.  That was disrespectful to a team-mate, and must have rankled.  You disrespect people, you must expect to get some of it back.  

As for the 'fans' leaving after Rossi's engine detonated, that's just plain odd.  Once upon a time I would have pictured a Venn diagram of MotoGP 'fans' with a smaller (but still large) circle of Rossi 'fans' completely inside it.  I have to rewrite that now, and realise that they are intersecting, and there are some for whom the racing is only incidental to the personalities.

Marquez did things with the Honda that Stoner did back then with the Ducati but it was not to be by a hair's breadth this time.

It was truly a great race and Lorenzo's fortitude was amazing given the early pressure from Rossi and latter pressure from Marquez. 

Is that the tightest Premier class GP Mugello finish in history? 

If not, it must be pretty damn close to it.

I thought the same. The gap from Marquez to all other RCV riders is really reminiscent of Stoner on the Ducati. He's clearly pouring all of his talent and effort into overcoming the bike's weaknesses. If/when Honda cures their grip and acceleration issues (sadly unlikely this year, I'm afraid) I think Marc's best days are still ahead.

Dovi struggled all weekend with fibrositis, 'stiff neck', in layman's terms, yet , although giving best to his team mate eventually, proved the wisdom of team red signing him for a further 2 years.

Should have, would have and could have spring to mind.

He should be about 50 points further up the title tree had the fickle finger of fate not intervened as it did with Rossi today.

Anyway, thats racing.

I just do not see what Ducati see in Dovi. He is not a race winner, regardless of the bike he is on. He is a solid rider, great on the brakes, very good in the wet, smooth and can make himself wider than he is and tough to pass. But, i just do not see his passion to win. I think that AI29 still has some maturing to do, but he in my mind is someone pushing hard for the win. I worry for him that Suzuki won't be right for him and his style  




Wow, wat a great race.

I think the overall racepace was not that fast: Rossi and Marquez where capable to ride to Lorenzo within half a tractdistance. Despite running wide several times. I think Rossi had the best papers for winning. But that's racing!

Maybe the long straight combined with the slipstreaming could be the cause of the enginefailure.

However, great to watch, I think Marquez overtake actions are a bit too irresponsible. Last race in the first corner he took Espargaro almost out in the second corner. This time he launched an all or nothing missile attack on Lorenzo. I like to see his virtuosity on the bike, but I think he trust too much on his talent, bringing other riders in danger and not occasionaly. I think if a rider is first at the last corner of the race for sure he can count on a kamikaze action form Marquez

One would suspect Vali was carrying some extra rpm as he slipstreamed Jorge.  He certainly seemed to have a bit more terminal speed, which may have contributed to him out-braking himself a few times as he tried to pass Jorge.

It would be interesting to get the rpm telemetry from both Jorge and Vali and see where the engines actually hit maximum rpm, and which bike it was.

I thought the overtake, which worked despite the Honda shaking its head like an angry wildebeest, was bold and exciting.  Jorge took the 'traditional' line and Marc tried to synthesise a bold solution.  Almost worked, too.  Jorge was textbook and Marc was straight out of left-field.  I admire them both.


Sheen and Read back then. I don't recall what timing systems they used back in the day, but nevertheless that pair were mighty close.

Back to Dovi and Iannone. Dovi is not in the league of Rossi and no one with half a brain will dispute it, but one aspect of Rossi's skill set that he does possess by the bucket load is dependability and adaptability. Rossi came ever so close to taking the title last year based on that skill set. Iannone is much in the mould of the late Simoncelli. He's either the joker in the pack or the unwanted fox in the henhouse on any Sunday. Ducati erred on the side of pragmatism and I think Ducati made the correct decision to keep Dovi and likewise, Suzuki by signing Iannone. I think the Suzuki with its proven and improving manoueverability will suit him.