Struck by a bout of food poisoning, Dovizioso seemed unlikely to challenge for victory in the opening stages, as he dropped behind fast-starting factory Ducati teammate Jorge Lorenzo early on. Lorenzo enjoyed his first spell in the lead of a race as a Ducati rider as he passed Valentino Rossi for the lead at the start of lap 2, but the Spaniard couldn’t hold on to the top spot and soon faded.
The race developed into a four-way fight between poleman Vinales, who took the lead back from Yamaha teammate Rossi at Scarperia on lap 4, Rossi, Dovizioso and the Pramac Ducati of Danilo Petrucci. Vinales held the advantage for much of the running, and seemed to be on course for a fourth win in six races, but Dovizioso kept pace with the Yamaha duo and took the lead on lap 14 at San Donato.
At the same time, Petrucci powered ahead of Rossi for third, and the following lap he passed Vinales for second at Bucine, allowing Dovizioso to build a small advantage at the head of the field.Vinales repassed Petrucci on lap 20 for second, but Dovizioso remained out of reach, and the factory Ducati rider finally crossed the finish line 1.281s clear for only his third career MotoGP win.
It marked Ducati’s first win at Mugello since Casey Stoner’s triumph in 2009, as well as the first for an Italian rider since Rossi’s last victory at the track in 2008.Second nonetheless allowed Vinales to stretch his points advantage to 26, with Dovizioso climbing to second in the riders’ standings ahead of Rossi.
Petrucci held off Rossi to complete the podium on his Pramac GP17 to claim only the second top-three finish of his MotoGP career.Alvaro Bautista took the year-old Aspar Ducati to an improbable fifth place, holding off reigning champion Marc Marquez for the second half of the race.
From sixth on the grid, Marquez ran fifth in the early stages, but soon lost touch with the leading group and was demoted to sixth by Bautista on lap 11, and remained close behind for the rest of the race but unable to mount a serious challenge.
Le Mans podium finisher Johann Zarco took seventh on the Tech 3 Yamaha after passing Lorenzo, with Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro and Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone completing the top 10.