The Grand Prix of Catalunya, seventh round in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, turned into a bittersweet affair for the Mission Winnow Ducati team. On the one hand, Danilo Petrucci conquered his third consecutive podium after finishing an intense, hard-fought race in third position under the checkered flag, while Andrea Dovizioso was involved in a crash during the second lap that forced him to retire while he was in second position.
After a blistering start from P5 on the grid, Dovizioso took the lead entering turn 1 to set the pace at the front within a group of six riders. Unfortunately, the Italian was hit by Lorenzo's bike during the second lap while entering turn 10, an accident that involved four riders in total and forced them all to retire. Petrucci, who was just a few meters behind his teammate in that moment, thus gained second position and he then engaged in a close battle, first with Rins then with Quartararo, for a place on the podium. Petrucci, coming off a third-place finish at Le Mans and a fantastic win at Mugello, confirmed his positive momentum to take third place.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 3rd
"I'm very happy with this podium. For sure, without the incident during the second lap it would have been harder to seize this result and I'm very sorry for Andrea, who lost a great chance to shine today. I tried to stay with Márquez but it wasn't possible, and Rins and Quartararo were also very fast. With Alex, we passed each other many times and once he even hit me on the right side but I was able to reclaim the position quite quickly. Then, when Fabio passed me, I just tried to stay with him and pull away from the pack. We scored the best possible result today. After three podiums in a row, we're close to third position in the championship: we need to keep the momentum going at Assen."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – DNF
"After a great start, I took the lead and I was in a strategic position to ride the race we had planned. The rear tyre still wasn't perfectly heated up so I wasn't pushing the pace yet but, considering how the race eventually unfolded and the rhythm shown by other riders, I believe we could have been contenders for sure. I prefer not to comment about the incident, but the race still was entirely up for grabs at that point. Tomorrow we have another important test to keep improving our base, and we'll try to make the most of it to bounce back immediately at Assen."
After seven rounds, Dovizioso is still second in the Riders standings with 103 points – 37 shy of provisional leader Márquez – while Petrucci is fourth with 98. Ducati is second in the Manufacturers standings with 131 points, and the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Team rankings with 201 points.
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for a one-day collective test ahead of the next round, scheduled for June 28-30 at Assen (Netherlands).