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MotoGP: 5 Talking Points from the Italian Grand Prix

Petrucci won a hard-fought race for Ducati
Petrucci won a hard-fought race for Ducati

Italian GP turned out to be an amazing race as Danilo Petrucci emerged from a race-long battle for the lead to win his first race. Starting the last lap 3rd and still ending up victorious encapsulated what was an amazing ride from a rider under immense pressure to perform or perish.

At the other side of the grid, Yamaha continued their horror run as Valentino Rossi fell from his bike after a moment early in the race with Joan Mir. Maverick Vinales salvaged a top 6 result but on a circuit where power is so important, the Japanese manufacturer got shown up yet again.

The bottom line though that one could conclude from the race was that Marquez despite coming into Ducati's backyard was still able to stretch his lead further in the championship. With Italian GP ticked off let's look at the 5 Talking points from the Italian GP.

#1 Repsol Honda under Marquez is the class of the field

The Honda is a complete this year
The Honda is a complete this year

You've got to feel for Andrea Dovizioso. At Mugello, a Ducati track with massive straights he leaves, with his deficit to Marquez increased by a further 4 points. One of the highlights of the race was watching Marquez in a Honda overtake the Ducati down the straight. That Honda under Marquez doesn't have any deficits anymore. It's one of the best bikes on the grid when it comes to straight-line speed and it is the bike to be on in the corners.

Marquez leads the championship by 12 points despite a DNF. His worst result excluding the DNF is a 2nd place finish. He just looks supreme this year and there's no one on this grid that is a match for him. He's the best rider in the race, he's the fastest in qualifying and he's had the best starts in races every time. At the moment Marquez is running away with the title this year and unless he slips up and has a couple more DNFs, Dovi doesn't seem to have an answer for him.

#2 Petrucci might have just confirmed his seat for next year

Petrucci powered to the first win of his career
Petrucci powered to the first win of his career

Petrucci put the demons to rest in the previous race where he was able to break the shackles and snatch a podium for Ducati. When the circus rolled on to Mugello, Danillo was the rider who was arguably the most aggressive rider in the race (even to his teammate at times) and showed great pace throughout.

No-one would fault Ducati if they sign him up now and extend his deal as he has proven to be the better rider as compared to Jack Miller. Miller on his part might have the better pace as compared to Danillo but when scoreline reads 82-42 it's not a contest. It would be interesting to see if Ducati wait a bit further and provide Miller a chance to fight back or jump the gun early with their decision. Even if they do it would be hard to fault them.

#3 It goes from bad to worse for Yamaha

Yamaha's weakness was exposed at Mugello
Yamaha's weakness was exposed at Mugello

Fabio Quartararo somehow managed to pull off a blinder and put his Petronas Yamaha on the front row for the race. But on a track where the Yamaha is close to 15kmph slower on the straights, there wasn't much he could have done after he had a messy start. Things are just not looking up for Yamaha at the moment and it was capped off by a disappointing afternoon for Valentino Rossi as he qualified 18th and was never a factor in the race.

Vinales scored the best result for the Japanese manufacturer at 6th but you've got to wonder what's next for them as the team is stuck yet again in no man's land. They are currently the slowest in a straight line by such a huge margin. Everyone from Ducati to KTM has overtaken them. Both Vinales and Valentino Rossi are championship caliber riders and both the riders have been extracting the most out of their bikes. It's a travesty to see the two championship-level riders trundling around in substandard machinery with Marquez waiting for a worthy challenger at the top.

#4 Its a tough long road for Lorenzo

Another race another disappointment for Lorenzo
Another race another disappointment for Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo would be having a sense of Deja Vu of sorts. He was in a pretty similar situation during the start of his stint with Ducati. Dovizioso was fighting for wins while Lorenzo was just going around at substandard speeds just struggling to come to terms with Ducati. Finally, when he was able to get on top of his troubles and dominate a few of the races he announced his move to Honda.

Now, at Honda, he's going through the same cycle yet again and he's admitted that he's not liking it. Honda was supposed to be a bike much easier to ride than Ducati but by the looks of it, Lorenzo is suffering massively on it. He sounded a bit frustrated this weekend as he voiced his opinion regarding Honda being reluctant to make the changes on a bike that's consistently winning with Marquez. It does look like it's going to be a long road ahead for Lorenzo to try and figure out the Honda machinery.

#5 Joan Mir not having the best of rookie seasons

It's rocky ride so far for Joan Mir
It's rocky ride so far for Joan Mir

Joan Mir would not be a happy man after the Italian GP. The season seems to have unraveled for him in a way that not many would have expected. His pace or his results have not even been in the same ballpark as his teammate Alex Rins who already has a win next to his name. Comparing 88 points to 12 for Mir just shows how one-sided it has been.

Yes, Mir has been a victim of a crash here and there a lot was expected of the Spaniard. Sure beating Alex Rins is a step too far but a rider who had choices between Suzuki and Honda should have done better. He has improved his pace in qualifying and has started matching Rins but with Rins consistently fighting at the sharp end of the grid on race day with Mir nowhere close does leave a lot to be desired. Mir was touted to be the best talent in MotoGP after Marquez but while Marquez won the championship in his first season Mir is getting pummeled to the ground by his teammate.

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Edited by Sal
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