There can scarcely have been a more popular winner in recent MotoGP history and Petrucci had to battle his way through backslapping fans and rivals alike to reach a final, rapturous reception from his team in Parc Fermé.
The 28-year-old recalled the experience recently to CNN. "It was so incredible," he smiled. "You have to go through all of the pit lane because Parc Fermé is at the end, and there was all the paddock waiting for me, just touching me. I felt really emotional."
No greater prize
For any MotoGP rider, let alone an Italian, there is simply no greater prize than a win on a Ducati at Mugello. This is the two-wheeled equivalent of a Ferrari victory at Monaco. As Fratelli d'Italia belted out over the podium ceremony, Petrucci dissolved into tears of joy and disbelief.
But his triumph also has a fascinating backstory. At the post-race press conference, his voice choking with emotion, Petrucci dedicated the win to his teammate and fellow Italian, Andrea Dovizioso.
"He adopted me this winter, like a child," Petrucci smiled as the post-race press conference roared with laughter. "Like a brother -- a very, very big child; but this was unbelievable, a true teammate."
Petrucci told CNN that he had reached a low point after the third race of the season, in Austin, and was beginning to think his future lay elsewhere. The self-deprecating Umbrian, in his first ever season for a factory team, knew things had to change.
"I'm in difficulties when I have to be an actor," he explained. "When things go wrong, you can read it on my face, and also when things go in a good way. But I always put myself in a team in the last position."
It was this tendency to put himself last that, he realized, was a key weakness. It was Dovizioso who helped him understand why.
"I was thinking, I have to be clear about the reality. I'm not 20 years old, I can't say: 'Okay, I haven'