Romano Fenati won a three-way drag race to the finish line to clinch victory on home soil in a sensational Italian Grand Prix. The Sky Racing by VR46 rider outdragged Isaac Vinales and Alex Rins to take his third win of the season and close to within five points of championship leader Jack Miller who crashed on a dramatic final lap.
The race provided non-stop action from start to finish with no fewer than eight riders having a spell in the lead. John McPhee was among those with the British youngster hitting the front for the first time in his Grand Prix career on lap four. McPhee was seeking to raise morale in the Saxoprint-RTG squad after Efren Vazquez had jumped the start but the Scotsman sadly crashed out at Poggio Secco when the rear of his Honda gave way.
Enea Bastianini was another rider to make his name with the GO&FUN rider spurred on by the passionate home crowd. The sixteen year old featured in the leading group throughout and on lap nine, rose to the very front of it, but he was among those to suffer as a chaotic Grand Prix finally came to a head over the last 5.245km.
Having kept his powder dry for the first nineteen laps, Isaac Vinales looked to have timed his attack to perfection, passing Fenati and Rins into San Donato but Jack Miller was in trouble back in fifth, trailing Miguel Oliveira. Under braking for Scarperia, the Australian dived up the inside of the Mahindra only to see the gap disappear and as Miller sat up, he and Alex Marquez clashed, taking the powerless Bastianini down with them. For Marquez, the outcome was especially disappointing after he had spent more time leading the race than anyone while a blow to the wrist added injury to insult.
Lost in the drama, Fenati had forced his way past Vinales for the lead but under braking for the final corner, it was Rins who found himself ahead. With such a long run out of the final corner, leading onto the home straight was more of a disadvantage and the sole remaining Estrella Galicia Honda was pipped by Vinales, just 0.001s splitting the pair. Isaac’s Calvo KTM was 100 metres away from victory but Fenati was also part of the last gasp drag race and nosed ahead of both to win by 0.010s.
The top three was the closest in Grand Prix history and Miguel Oliveira was only a tenth of a second from victory himself in fourth. Niklas Ajo was fifth ahead of Alexis Masbou and Alessandro Tonucci with Juanfran Guevara beating Brad Binder and Karel Hanika to eighth.