Is this one of the greatest MotoGP passes of all-time?

We present the case for why Danilo Petrucci’s daring last lap double pass at Mugello will make MotoGP listicles for the remainder of time…

Petrucci, Dovizioso, Marquez pass

DANILO PETRUCCI is MotoGP’s newest GP winner – its 262nd to be exact – and he did it in some style with his last lap, pin-point perfect double overtake of both Marc Marquez AND Andrea Dovizioso. 

It came at the end of a breathlessly pulsating Italian MotoGP at Mugello where we lost count of the number of overtakes and changes for the lead over 24 laps. However, it was the final one that mattered most and it was oh so sweet.

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Firstly, enjoy it in all of its glory here...

While there have been many overtakes over the years we can file under 'how did they do that?' it's arguably the circumstances of Petrucci's brilliant pass that sharpen how sublime it was. Allow me to break it down…

1. He has never won a MotoGP race

He's come close, he even scored his first Ducati podium at Mugello in 2017 in Pramac colours, but going 131 Grands Prix without tasting the winners' champagne brings with it its own mental gymnastics in the heat of the moment. Moreover, Petrucci never came through the traditional GP ranks and you have to go right back to his time in the (now defunct) 2011 National Superstock 1000 class for the last time he stepped on top of the podium!

2. He’s in Ducati’s National Park

Mugello may be a sea of yellow for Valentino Rossi, but regardless it’s still the most important race of the year for Ducati when it comes to impressing fans (and management). This isn’t just Ducati’s back yard, it’s their Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks combined. Pressure then even if you are wearing red regardless of where you come from, but for Petrucci as an Italian in his first Italian MotoGP as a factory Ducati rider, the buzzing high was inevitably tempered by the crushing expectation. 

3. He was really ill

Marc Marquez launched chemical warfare by bringing his flu to Mugello (unintentionally we assume... we hope), with Petrucci - who was forced to cosy up next to him in the cramped media room during Thursday's press conference – consequently catching it. It meant Petrucci was relying on a potent cocktail of adrenaline and Sudafed to get him through the race, let alone battle so physically and mentally from start-to-finish. Hopefully the team will let him have a lie-in today…

4. His team-mate was right there

Whilst we are too early into the season to completely discount Petrucci from the championship fight - especially now - it's not unreasonable to think Ducati didn't consider leveraging team orders to give Andrea Dovizoso a better chance looking ahead. At the very least, friendly firing into Dovizoso would have been disastrous even before you consider where they were racing, so whilst there may be some luck in with that skill - plus a bit of trust - there is no chance he would have attempted it if he didn't think he could do it cleanly.

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5. It was the difference between a new contract or a P45 

A week is a long time in motorsport and this time seven days ago there were rampant rumours that Petrucci was already on his way out of Ducati following an indifferent start to factory life, particularly with a feisty Jack Miller biting at his heels. Petrucci appeared to confirm he was considering the unthinkable (well… emotional) if things didn’t pick up. What a difference a week makes though, because with Miller crashing out the Italian MotoGP and Petrucci winning it, we’d not be surprised if the new contract was signed the moment he stepped off the podium…

6. It was just a perfect pass

Ignoring all the mental games, pressures and build up though, the move itself is an exquisite example of how to win a race and was the perfect conclusion to a magnificent race. Tight, opportunistic, beautifully and coolly executed, if Petrucci felt pressure it really didn’t show.  

Indeed, such has been the wait, few would begrudge Petrucci this success whether he’d done so by slipstreaming past on the final straight or won in a procession by several seconds.

The greatest overtake of all-time? Maybe...

A moment to remember? Absolutely!

Danilo Petrucci - Ducati Corse