Danilo Petrucci's first MotoGP win was a storybook ending to a hard-fought, three-way battle between his teammate and mentor Andrea Dovizioso, and Honda's wonder boy, Marc Márquez. An Italian, on a Ducati, at Mugello, taking victory on the last lap, no less. But fairy- tale endings must have beginnings—sometimes difficult ones.
Petrucci came to the Italian Grand Prix with the flu, conditions were hot, and finding grip was difficult. Nothing has come easy in his racing story: injuries; difficult equipment; mechanical failures. He’s gone on record saying he’s thought of hanging it up, that he didn’t belong in MotoGP. Still, the 28-year-old from Terni battled for the lead lap after lap. Then in Turn 1, leader Márquez went wide, second-place Dovizioso went underneath, and Petrucci saw his chance. The door—or window, as he said—was left open. He went through, and got his happy ending.