Valentino Rossi's seven-year reign at his home Italian Grand Prix has finally been broken after Casey Stoner
took victory in a wet/dry race at Mugello.
The last non-Rossi victory at Mugello was by Alex Barros
in 2001, but Stoner was able to hand Ducati its long awaited first home grand prix victory by 1.001sec from Jorge Lorenzo
after a strong performance on both his wet and dry bike.
The win was Stoner's second of the season, after round one in Qatar, and puts the Australian back on top of the MotoGP World Championship standings by four points ahead of previous leader Lorenzo.
After a wet warm-up, dry 125cc race and wet 250cc race, the MotoGP main event began on a wet but drying track - an almost exact repeat of conditions at Le Mans two weeks ago.
On that occasion Lorenzo had won his second race of the year after building a comfortable advantage in the wet, then holding the lead after a late switch to his dry weather bike.
But the Mugello pole sitter suffered a confidence denting scare even before Sunday's race had begun, falling from his Fiat Yamaha on the way to the grid. The 22-year-old remounted and returned to the pits where the mud-splattered Spaniard grabbed his spare bike.
Meanwhile, with bike swaps certain to take place, Lorenzo's team set about franticly repairing his number one bike as quickly as possible.
When the race got underway, Lorenzo wobbled away from pole while countryman Dani Pedrosa
took the early lead for Repsol Honda from eighth on the grid. Suzuki's wet weather master Chris Vermeulen
was soon a force to be reckoned with, but it was fellow Australian Stoner who was ahead by the end of the lap.
Stoner, Vermeulen and Andrea Dovizioso
began pulling away from fourth placed Rossi, and it was Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso who became the first of many Italians to lead on Sunday when he hit the front on lap four of 23.