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Dovizioso, Ducati take memorable home MotoGP win at Mugello

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Andrea Dovizioso led Ducati to its first home MotoGP victory in eight years on Sunday with a controlled display in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

On a day that saw Italian riders take victories in all three world championship classes, Dovizioso charged from third on the grid to score Ducati’s first win of the season, breaking Yamaha and Honda’s dominance.

Dovizioso made a slow start, dropping back to fifth by the end of the second lap as old rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo battled for position at the front.

World championship leader Maverick Viñales managed to pick off Lorenzo and Yamaha teammate Rossi to take the lead by the end of Lap 4, with Dovizioso following him through.

Dovizioso managed to hit the front 10 laps later, slipping past Viñales and leaving the Spaniard in the clutches of Danilo Petrucci, who had charged all the way from ninth on the grid to find himself embroiled in the battle for second.

While Dovizioso was able to finish a second clear of the field to claim his third MotoGP win, Viñales held on to P2 to extend his championship lead, leaving Petrucci third.

Despite riding with injuries sustained in a motocross accident last week, Rossi took fourth place for Yamaha ahead of Alvaro Bautista, who was fifth and the third-fastest Ducati.

Honda’s Marc Marquez was sixth ahead of Tech3’s Johann Zarco and Lorenzo, who faded after his early charge, eventually finishing eighth. Michele Pirro and Andrea Iannone rounded out the top 10 positions at Mugello.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.