MAJOR WIN FOR LORENZO: Spain's Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his 2016 Italian GP victory. Image: AP / Antonio Calanni
Luco di Mugello, Italy - Jorge Lorenzo overtook Marc Marquez at the line to win the Italian MotoGP on Sunday, as home favourite Valentino Rossi retired with a mechanical problem.
Lorenzo took the lead from pole-sitter Rossi at the first corner, but nine-time world champion Rossi bowed out early after his bike failed him when he was looking primed to make a pass.
READ: Lorenzo dominates French MotoGP, leads championship
Instead it was down to Marquez to pressure world champion Lorenzo, and he took the lead from his compatriot on the final lap, only to see the Yamaha man steal the team's 100th victory in MotoGP metres from the finish.
After a week in which riders have been swapping teams for next season, outgoing Ducati rider Andrea Iannone had a horrific start for the home team.
He and team mate Andrea Dovizioso had only finished two races each going into this week, and neither ever looked like challenging for the lead at the Mugello Circuit.
That meant that the home crowd had their hopes pinned on 37-year-old Rossi, but those went up in smoke with 13 of 23 laps still to go.
Rossi said: "It's a great shame, because it's always a pity when you have a problem with the bike in the race, but here even more so because it was in Mugello in front of all the crowd. I was very competitive in the race and very fast, I had a good start and I was there.
"It's also a great shame because this zero points score for the championship weighs very heavily."
Championship leader Lorenzo made the most of the opportunity to claim his third win of the season and second in a row, to extend his advantage in the riders' standings over Honda's Marquez to 10 points.
Lorenzo said: "The pace was not very fast, so I couldn't escape like I wanted to."
"I used up a lot of energy to stay in the lead during the race and I thought that Marquez had more energy when he passed me, so I just wanted to stay in second place and take the points. I tried a crazy move, and my bike was quite fast, so I could take the win off Marquez and I won this unexpected victory."
Marquez is still hot on the heels of Lorenzo in the title fight, and looks set to put up a stronger fight for the crown he won in 2013 and 2014 than he did last year, after another excellent ride from fourth on the grid.
He said: "We struggled throughout the weekend with acceleration and top speed. I tried to give my all and I did the best race I could do today, I really tried everything.
"I took several risks in an attempt to win, but on the home straight Jorge slipstreamed me."
'I am a bit disappointed'
Iannone, who confirmed that he will be joining Suzuki next year after Ducati chose Dovizioso to partner the incoming Lorenzo for next season, battled back well to take a podium finish from what had been a very encouraging week.
Iannone said: "I am a bit disappointed. The clutch slipped and the bike started with a big wheelie. The podium in Italy is very good but I had the potential to fight for the victory."
Earlier at Mugello, French reigning champion Johann Zarco won the Moto2 category.
He finished ahead of Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri and Briton Sam Lowes, the latter taking over at the top of the overall standings from Spanish rival Alex Rins.
South African Brad Binder consolidated his Moto3 lead by reeling off a third successive win.