Valentino Rossi's VR46 team ends win drought at Mugello in Moto3

Valentino Rossi's VR46 Moto3 outfit ended a 14-month wait for a victory in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, after Andrea Migno snatched his maiden lightweight class win by just 0.037 seconds

Valentino Rossi's VR46 team ends win drought at Mugello in Moto3

Nine-time world champion Rossi entered his own team into the Moto3 class back in 2014, and was immediately a force to be reckoned with - former rider Romano Fenati claiming four wins that season including one at Mugello.

Since winning the 2016 Austin race, times have been difficult for VR46.

Four podiums were all Fenati, Nicolo Bulega and Migno could manage in the remainder of 2016, with long-time Rossi protege Fenati sensationally dropped by the team mid-season amid discord.

Struggles with the new KTM chassis has also hindered the team, with neither Migno or Bulega registering a rostrum in this season's opening five races.

Starting from 12th on the grid at Mugello, Migno quickly worked his way through the massive lead pack and by the seventh lap had found himself in the lead after scything past championship leader Joan Mir into the Luco chicane early in the lap.

As is typical at Mugello in Moto3, Migno's lead was shortlived. Once again he made a move for the lead with four laps to go, but it was not until the final lap that he made a pass stick.

The Italian had compatriot Fabio Di Giannantonio on the Gresini Honda on his tail throughout the final lap, and looked to have called his strategy wrong as he led out of the final corner for the last time.

But weaving along the pit straight in a bid to keep Di Giannantonio behind, Migno held on to clinch his first win in the world championship and the first for KTM this season, ending Honda's best season-starting run in the third tier since 1995, as the top 15 bikes finished within 1.5 seconds.

After a tough race for championship leader Joan Mir, who was pipped to sixth by poleman John McPhee, Migno's win moves him up to fifth in the standings and 40 points adrift.

Di Giannantonio's second brings him within 37 points of Mir, while a maiden podium for RBA Racing's Juanfran Guevara keeps him an outside bet for the 2017 title 58 points back in eighth.

The VR46 team has also entered the Moto2 class this season with double Moto3 race winner Francesco Bagnaia and Stefano Manzi.

Enjoying a strong start to its intermediate class campaign, the team has reached the podium on two occasions courtesy of Bagnaia, who finished second in Spain and again in France after a battle for the win with Moto2 championship leader Franco Morbidelli.

Rossi himself starts his home MotoGP race from second on the grid later on Sunday, despite being injured in a motocross crash last week.

LEADING MOTO3 RESULTS - 20 LAPS:

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Andrea Migno SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM 39m43.963s
2 Fabio Di Giannantonio Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda 0.037s
3 Juan Francisco Guevara RBA BOE Racing Team KTM 0.166s
4 Darryn Binder Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM 0.362s
5 Aron Canet Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 0.364s
6 John McPhee British Talent Team Honda 0.419s
7 Joan Mir Leopard Racing Honda 0.556s
8 Ayumu Sasaki SIC Racing Team Honda 0.710s
9 Marcos Ramirez Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM 0.772s
10 Nicolo Bulega SKY Racing Team VR46 KTM 1.125s
11 Enea Bastianini Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 1.229s
12 Bo Bendsneyder Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 1.261s
13 Romano Fenati Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda 1.461s
14 Philipp Ottl Sudmetall Schedl GP Racing KTM 1.524s
15 Jorge Martin Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda 1.553s
16 Niccolo Antonelli Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 1.858s
17 Marco Bezzecchi CIP Mahindra 2.259s
18 Adam Norrodin SIC Racing Team Honda 2.272s
19 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Aspar Mahindra Moto3 Mahindra 2.319s
20 Jakub Kornfeil Peugeot MC Saxoprint Peugeot 3.053s

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Rider Points
1 Joan Mir 108
2 Aron Canet 74
3 Fabio Di Giannantonio 71
4 Romano Fenati 68
5 Andrea Migno 68
6 John McPhee 63
7 Jorge Martin 60
8 Juan Francisco Guevara 50
9 Marcos Ramirez 43
10 Enea Bastianini 36


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About this article

Series Moto3
Drivers Riccardo Rossi
Teams Team VR46
Author Lewis Duncan