The stands in Mugello Italy were bathed in Rossi's electric yellow, while smoke of the same hue wafted over the track, but it was not a good result for Rossi and his Tifosi.
Rossi won the pole on Saturday, although there was some mild controversy as Lorenzo complained that Vale gained support from his future teammate Vinales, for a good draft to the top time. Lorenzo and Rossi have never been much of a team beyond sharing the same garage. I guess it won't be much worse for Dovi, whose teammate has taken him down twice this year. We'll see how he gets along with Jorge when he moves to Ducati.
On Sunday, Vinales got off to a terrible start and was swallowed by the pack by turn one. Meanwhile, Lorenzo stormed into the lead, albeit with Rossi close on his back tire. A few attempts were made to pass into turn one, after the long home stretch created the drafting opportunity, but late braking always sent Vale wide. Lorenzo is the metronome of the riders, rarely missing a line or a turning point, and always was able to grab back that front spot.
The excitement for Rossi and his fans on his home track soon ended though, as his Yamaha gave up the ghost in a fashion similar to Ben Spies on his Yamaha at Indianapolis in 2012 (which I conveniently have a photo of).
After Rossi's demise, the action continued, as Marquez stepped in to challenge Lorenzo.
He struggled with similar frustrating attempts as Rossi's until the final lap, where Marquez was able to be a bit more aggressive and make a pass stick. The two swapped positions four times on the final lap, with Marquez owning the front around the final turn, but Lorenzo's Yamaha had enough grunt to pass Marquez in a sprint for the finish line, and to beat him by a wheel.