Danilo Petrucci tastes MotoGP victory at last.
Danilo Petrucci tastes MotoGP victory at last.
Image: Reuters

Ducati's Danilo Petrucci claimed his maiden MotoGP victory in front of his home supporters at a thriller of an Italian Grand Prix in Mugello on Sunday.

The 28-year-old, who started third on the grid, snatched victory ahead of Honda's world champion Marc Marquez and his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, with less than half a second covering the three riders at the chequered flag.

In a pulsating encounter, which saw the lead change hands on several occasions, Petrucci picked his moment in the final lap to deny championship contenders Marquez and Dovizioso.

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"It's unbelievable, in the best place of the world," said Petrucci, who finished eighth in the 2017 and 2018 world championships.

Championship leader Marquez moved up to 115 points in the overall standings, ahead of Dovizioso (103) and Suzuki's Alex Rins (88), who finished the race in fourth place.

"My goal was to finish in front of Dovi, finish in front of Rins, in front of Valentino (Rossi) — we did, so I'm happy with these 20 points in Italy," Marquez added.

French rider Fabio Quartararo, who started second on the grid, made a dismal start to the race and slipped down to eighth spot in the opening lap and could only finish 10th on his Petronas Yamaha.

It was an even worse day for Rossi who was running 15th when he got tangled up with Joan Mir's Suzuki, with both riders running across the gravel.

The nine-times world champion went down to 21st before he crashed after 16 laps on turn nine and was forced to retire.

Jordan’s team steers Bentley GT victory

SA's Jordan Pepper played a key role in securing Bentley’s dominant victory in Saturday’s Paul Ricard 1000 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race in France.

SA’s Jordan Pepper helped steer Bentley to victory in the Paul Ricard 1000 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race.
SA’s Jordan Pepper helped steer Bentley to victory in the Paul Ricard 1000 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup race.
Image: Supplied

The team started the race on pole position following a great team effort by Jordan and his co-drivers, Briton Steven Kane and French driver Jules Gounon, but the trio had to work hard for the win, which also made up for the bitter disappointment of their being passed while leading on the last lap in last year’s race.

“Wow, what a day!” Jordan said afterwards. “We have worked so hard for this win and I am so proud and happy for the whole team.

“I had a decent start, but the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG got by, so I had to make good use of two early safety car periods and managed to take the lead back and was able to hand the car over to Steven in the lead.

“We stuck to our strategy, which worked our way with the safety cars, although we had a bit of a scare when a wheel nut got stuck in the gun while changing the front-left tyre later in the race, which cost us a few seconds.

“Fortunately we had enough in hand to also fend off a late charge from the Orange1 Ferrari and Jules made good to bring it home for a brilliant win, so all very good in the end.”

“Bentley is celebrating 100 years in 2019, so this was a great result all round and hopefully the first of a few good successes this year. “Now the focus shifts to the big one — it’s good to head to the Spa 24 off a win so let’s hope that’s a good omen.”

 VW sets electrifying Nurburgring record

Volkswagen has achieved another milestone in electro-mobility: The ID.R, powered by two electric motors, lapped the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 6:05.336 minutes — faster than any electric vehicle before it.

VW’s battery-powered ID.R sets the second-quickest lap to date around the Nurburgring.
VW’s battery-powered ID.R sets the second-quickest lap to date around the Nurburgring.
Image: Supplied

French driver Romain Dumas beat the previous record set by Peter Dumbreck in 2017 by 40.564 seconds. With an average speed of 206.96 km/h, the ID.R is a 500kW emission-free race car that is the racing flagship of the future fully electric ID. product family from Volkswagen.

The ID.R become the second quickest vehicle ever to lap the famous circuit, behind the 5:19.546 laptime set by the Porsche 919 Hybrid EVO, a modified version of the Le Mans-winning car.

“The Nordschleife of the Nürburgring is not only the world’s most demanding race track, it is also the ultimate test for production vehicles,” says Herbert Diess, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group.

Within just 12 months, Volkswagen Motorsport has already set three track records with the ID.R. On June 24 2018, Dumas achieved the absolute track record of 7:57.148 minutes at the renowned Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the USA. Three weeks later, he achieved a new best time for electric cars of 43.86 seconds at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England. The new record on the iconic Nordschleife has now been added to this successful run.