Braking on the limit, Marquez and Dovizioso left a sliver of room on the inside of the corner, which Petrucci mercilessly pounced upon.
The 28-year-old swung his GP19 towards the apex, cutting under Dovizioso – who had been trying to pass Marquez – and forcing the double title runner-up to lift his bike, brushing Marquez in the process.
“I braked a little bit earlier and was able to stay very tight on the kerb. There was just one metre and half and I put my bike in there,” Petrucci said,
“Andrea was close in the corner, but I was just there. I’m so sorry for that pass. Andrea was the last person in the world that I want to make pick up the bike.”
While Petrucci apologised, Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna called the turn one move “an incredible pass.”
Dovizioso knew that winning a braking duel with Marquez would be a formidable task and acknowledged the pair had left a little room on the inside.
“I knew that braking with Marc into the first corner would be really, really hard because he brakes really late and he’s able to manage the slide in the last part of braking,” Dovi said.
“But I felt quite strong in that braking and I was on the inside, so I managed that.
“We went a bit wide and gave the possibility to Danilo to enter. I didn’t feel there was a big space, so I tried to close the door as fast as I can. But Danilo arrived in that moment so I had to pick up the bike very quickly to not touch Danilo.
“But in the same moment Marc was there [on the outside]. So when I pick up, I have to be careful and keep some angle because if I hit Marc, I can crash. But in the end, everything was okay.”
Marquez explained that the double Ducati slipstream caused him to run deep.
“It was great to overtake both Ducatis on the straight, but with two slipstreams I arrived at the brake point with a very high speed and I missed the apex. I could already see that I was going wide, wide, wide.
“Then I tried to turn tight and I saw some red bike inside. I didn’t know who it was, if it was Dovi or Danilo, but just I was going in and I see that someone [Dovizioso] picked up their bike. Then I picked up my bike.
“When we got out of the first corner I could see that I was in second place and first was Petrucci. So I thought ‘okay, we are in a good situation’.”
The five-time MotoGP champion then didn’t try to attack Petrucci for fear of handing the advantage to title rival Dovizioso.
For his part, Petrucci rode a clean final lap to lead a top-four covered by 0.535s at the finish, tears soon streaming down his face as he celebrated with over 80,000 trackside fans.