South African rider Brad Binder (KTM) put in a storming ride to 10th in the Moto3 race, while younger brother Darryn, still finding his feet in his rookie Grand Prix season, brought his Mahindra home 24th.
As Lorenzo disappeared off into the distance, the real battle was for second, between the works Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, and the factory Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, although Rossi would join in the fun before the end of the race.
Marquez pulled an amazing start, moving up from 13th on the grid to sixth at the first corner, while Rossi battled through the opening lap, dropping down to 10th before mounting an incredible charge through the field to join the podium fight with eight laps to go.
But there was even more drama to come, as Dovizioso was forced out by rear-end chatter and defending champion Marquez, after battling most of the way with Iannone for second, crashed out leaving Iannone, to take second ahead of an inspired Rossi, who has finished on the podium in every race so far this season.
Dani Pedrosa rode a solid race to claim fourth, three seconds behind Rossi, with Yamaha Tech 3 young gun Bradley Smith the leading satellite rider in fifth, after Honda privateer Cal Crutchlow crashed out of fifth with just three laps remaining.
Smith’s team-mate Pol Espargaro was next across the line in sixth, with Maverick Vinales (Suzuki), wild card Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) and Ducati privateers Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez completing the top 10.
POINTS AFTER SIX ROUNDS
The 600cc race began as a very Swiss affair, as Kalex riders Thomas Luthi and Dominique Aegerter debated the early lead, until the Le Mans winner suffered a crash as he pushed to increase his lead over Aegerter. Luthi was unhurt, saying after the race that scoring zero points hurt more than the crash itself.
Mugello saw Aegerter return to his 2014 form as he and his crew funally began to get the best out of the Kalex chassis after racing a Suter for several seasons. Aegerter’s riding style of high corner entry speed and low mid corner speed makes him very difficult to pass, but 2014 Moto2 champion Tito Rabat, also Kalex-mounted, eventually managed it.
But the excitement continued to the last lap as Johann Zarco – on yet another Kalex, who’d qualified sixth, put in a late charge as Aegerter’s challenge faded. Zarco posted his fastest time of the race on the final lap to close the gap to Rabat to just 0.308secat the flag.
Rabat’s victory was his first since Misano in 2014; moving him to second in the standings with 78 points - still 31 points behind Zarco. Third was a welcome return to the podium for Aegerter, who surprised even himself.
Sam Lowes (Speed Up) showed solid pace earlier in the weekend but was forced wide after colliding with Simone Corsi’s Kalex at Turn 1 and had to settle for fourth.
Works KTM rider Miguel Oliviera took a career first win, becoming the first Portuguese winner in Grand Prix history – but he had to work very hard for it.
Most of the race was a frantic 16 way battle, with riders often heading into Turn 1 four or more abreast. The slipstream saw them able to jump from ninth to first down the straight, and kept a multitude of riders in the leading pack. Both Romano Fenati and Danny Kent led the race on several occasions, despite being outside the top 10 just a lap before.
Oliveira was way down in 13th during the opening laps but used the slipstream and fierce in-fighting at the sharp end to close the gap. Oliveira led for most of the closing stages, and even into the last corner, a risky move at Mugello where the slipstream can be so beneficial. Despite this, he took the win by 0.071sec.
Championship leader Danny Kent (Honda) bounced around in the leading group for most of the race, dropping outside the top 10 several times, and demonstrating his growing maturity as he rode a careful race to avoid the risk of colliding with any over eager riders, before a strong closing lap secure the podium – his fifth of the year, extending his championship lead to 46 points over Bastianini, who was fifth at Mugello.
Completing the podium was Romano Fenati, resplendent in the colours of the Italian flag in a special livery for his KTM. The local hero led during the early stages but, like Kent, dropped down the order before bouncing back, to finish just 0.003sec ahead of former team-mate Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra) in fourth in a classic Mugello slipstream finish.
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Original source: MotoGP hat trick for Jorge Lorenzo