Lorenzo makes it three in a row in Italy

Spain's Jorge Lorenzo won his third successive MotoGP on Sunday as he coasted home to take the Italian race on a Yamaha at Mugello.

Lorenzo makes it three in a row in Italy
Spain's Jorge Lorenzo (C) celebrates after winning the Italy's MotoGP Grand Prix next to Italians Andrea Iannone (L), and Valentino Rossi (R). Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

The 28-year-old two-time world champion — who was winning three in a row for the fourth time in his career — beat home pole sitter Andrea Iannone of Italy on a Ducati with Italian legend Valentino Rossi third on another Yamaha claiming his 10th successive podium finish.

Rossi leads the world championship standings, but by only six points from Lorenzo.

Two-time defending world champion Marc Marquez failed to finish, crashing out on his Honda with six laps remaining.

Lorenzo, world champion in 2010 and 2012, said that it was hard to judge if he was in the best form of his life.

“I've been in this sort of form in the past,” said Lorenzo puffing out his cheeks.

“But the bike is in great shape.

“I took control of the race with a brave overtaking of Dovizioso and even though I lacked some pace I had enough to win.

“I've won three races in a row before but now I want to make it four (Catalunya in a fortnight),” added Lorenzo, who was winning his fourth Italian MotoGP in the last five editions.

Iannone — who adopted the nickname 'maniac Joe' — was delighted to have secured second spot especially as he is recovering still from a dislocated shoulder, although the first win in this category still eludes him.

“My head is strong, that is why I can ride like I do,” said Iannone.

“Victory was too difficult because Jorge was so strong but I never give up and I pushed a lot.”

For Rossi, who is seeking his 10th world title in all categories, it was a better than expected result as he had started from eighth place on the grid.

“I'm happy because I made the podium which is a good result,” said the 36-year-old, who won two of the first three races this season.

“During the race I suffered and it has been a difficult weekend but ultimately I am satisfied with retaining the lead in the title race.”

Blistering start

The race got off to a blistering start as Iannone looked to have got a jump start but he was overtaken by team-mate Dovizioso and then Lorenzo, who then assumed the lead on the first lap while Marquez scorched through the field from 13th to be fourth.

Rossi, though, had an awful start dropping to 11th though he repaired the damage slightly by finishing the first lap in ninth.

Marquez moved into third on the opening half of the second lap of the 23 lap race passing Iannone with nonchalant ease and then ate up Dovizioso to go second.

The Italian fought back to regain second spot with 17 laps remaining while Marquez' team-mate Dani Pedrosa started to creep up on the leading quartet.

It developed into a thrilling battle between the Ducatis and the Yamahas with Marquez being demoted to fourth by Iannone to rapturous cheers from the 80,000 spectators packing the stands before the Spaniard struck back and regained second.

As they exchanged positions regularly it was Rossi who edged closer to joining their party and going out into the country with 11 laps to go 'The Doctor' was on the shoulder of Dovizioso whom he took care of soon afterwards to stupendous roars from his devoted following.

Dovizioso's race seemed to be run and two laps later he steered his bike into the pits with mechanical trouble.

Disaster was to strike for Marquez with six laps remaining as he went low on the ground to try and overtake Iannone only to come to grief and slide into the sand — the Spaniard walking away shaking his head in frustration while cheers rang out from the stands.

The decibel level went even higher if that was imaginable later on the lap as Rossi got the better of Pedrosa to move into third.

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PHOTOS: Italy’s most memorable medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The Tokyo Olympics were Italy's best Games yet, with Italian athletes taking home more medals than ever before. Here are the highlights.

PHOTOS: Italy’s most memorable medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi celebrate after winning golds in the 100m sprint and high jump. Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

With ten golds, ten silvers and 20 bronzes, the Azzurri representing Italy in Tokyo were tenth on the medal table overall and top in Italian sporting history.

Previously the most medals Italy had ever won at a single Olympics was 36, which the country hadn’t equalled since the Rome Games in 1960.

READ ALSO: ‘Do Italy just win everything now?’: Celebrations after Italian athletes take Olympic gold

As well as a ceremony at the presidential palace in September, Italy’s Olympic champions will be welcomed back with prize money from the Italian National Olympic Committee: gold medalists are awarded €180,000 each, while silver medallists get €90,000 and bronze medallists get €60,000.

And then there’s the glory: after an exceptionally successful summer of Italian sport and music, Italy’s Olympic team dubbed their athletes “stupor mundi” – Latin for ‘the wonder of the world’. 

Italy’s gold medals at the 2020 Olympics

  • Men’s high jump: Gianmarco Tamberi

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi couldn’t have been happier to share the gold with his fellow competitor Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, in what was hailed as one of the most touching moments of the Games. 

  • Men’s 100m: Lamont Marcell Jacobs

Relatively unknown long jumper-turned-sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs was in the form of his life when he outran the favourites and hurtled to first place in the biggest race in men’s athletics. He’s the first Italian ever to qualify for the Olympic final of the event, let alone win it.

Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP
  • Men’s 4 x 100m relay 

Lorenzo Patta, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Eseosa Desalu and Filippo Tortu pulled off an astonishing victory by the smallest of margins, with Tortu flinging himself over the finish line to snatch gold from the favourites, Great Britain, by just a hundredth of a second. It was another historic first for Italy: the country has never before won the event, and the last time an Italian team got onto the podium was at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin (silver). 

Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP
  • Men’s 20km race walk: Massimo Stano
  • Women’s 20km race walk: Antonella Palmisano

Antonella Palmisano cemented Italy’s domination of the walking competition when she followed up her teammate Massimo Stano’s gold with her own victory a day later. She actually performed slightly faster at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but that time only earned her fourth last time round.

Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
  • Track cycling, men’s team pursuit

Italy’s four-man team set a new track cycling world record by completing 16 laps (4km) in just 3:42.032. While Great Britain had long dominated the event and Denmark were reigning World Champions, no Italian team had won it since the Rome Olympics of 1960.

Photo by Greg Baker / AFP
  • Karate, men’s kumite -75kg: Luigi Busa
  • Rowing, lightweight women’s double sculls 
Valentina Rodini (L) and Federica Cesarini (R) celebrate their win in the lightweight women’s double sculls final. Photo by Luis ACOSTA / AFP
  • Sailing, mixed multihull – Nacra 17 foiling
  • Taekwondo, Men’s -58kg: Vito Dell’Aquila

Vito Dell’Aquila won Italy its first gold of the Games, at the age of just 20. It was his first Olympics but at this rate, it won’t be his last.

Photo by Javier SORIANO / AFP

Italy’s silver medals at the 2020 Olympics

  • Artistic gymnastics, women’s floor exercise: Vanessa Ferrari

Arguably Italy’s greatest competing gymnast, 30-year-old Vanessa Ferrari proved the value of experience when she became the first Italian to win an individual Olympic medal for women’s artistic gymnastics.

Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP
  • Men’s individual archery: Mauro Nespoli
  • Men’s kayak single 200m: Manfredi Rizza
  • Fencing, men’s foil individual: Daniele Garrozo
  • Fencing, men’s sabre individual: Luigi Samele
  • Fencing, men’s sabre team

Fencing has long been one of Italy’s strongest sports, and these Games were no exception. Altogether Italian fencers took three silvers and two bronzes in both team and individual events. 

Italy’s Luca Curatoli (L) competes against South Korea’s Gu Bongil in the men’s sabre team gold medal bout. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
  • Women’s skeet shooting: Diana Bacosi
  • Swimming, men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay
  • Swimming, men’s 800m freestyle: Gregorio Paltrinieri 
  • Weightlifting, women’s 64kg: Giorgia Bordignon
    Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

    Italy’s bronze medals at the 2020 Olympics

    • Women’s individual archery: Lucilla Boari
    • Women’s featherweight boxing: Irma Testa

    Irma “Butterfly” Testa made history as the first Italian woman to win an Olympic medal for boxing, a victory she dedicated to all of Italy’s female boxers.

    Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP
    • Women’s cycling road race: Elisa Longo Borghini 
    • Track cycling, men’s omnium: Elia Viviani 
    • Men’s 10km marathon swimming: Gregorio Paltrinieri 

    Gregorio Paltrinieri is one of the best long-distance swimmers there is, holding the men’s world record for the 1500m freestyle. He comes home from Tokyo with two medals: silver in the 800m freestyle, and bronze in the gruelling 10km swim.

    Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
    • Swimming, men’s 100m breaststroke: Nicolo Martinenghi
    • Swimming, men’s 100m butterfly: Federico Burdisso
    • Swimming, men’s 4 x 100m medley relay
    • Swimming, women’s 800m freestyle: Simona Quadarella 
    • Judo, women’s -52kg: Odette Giuffrida
    Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP
    • Judo, women’s -63kg: Maria Centracchio
    • Fencing, women’s épée team
    • Fencing, women’s foil team 
    • Karate, women’s kata: Viviana Bottaro

    Accomplished karateka Viviana Bottaro won Italy its first Olympic medal in karate, which made its debut at the Tokyo Games. 

    Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP
    • Rowing, lightweight men’s double sculls
    • Rowing, men’s four
    • Rhythmic gymnastics, group all-around

    Nicknamed le Farfalle (‘the Butterflies’), Italy’s five-woman rhythmic gymnastic team provided one of Italy’s last medal-winning performances on the final day of the Games, and one of the most spectacular.

    Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
    • Weightlifting, men’s 67kg: Mirko Zanni 
    • Weightlifting, men’s 81kg: Antonino Pizzolato
    • Wrestling, men’s freestyle 97kg: Abraham de Jesus Conyedo Ruano