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.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.