He maintained frontrunning pace from there on, adding a win in Austria and three poles, before injuries derailed the final stretch of his Ducati tenure.
Lorenzo reckoned he was the man to beat in MotoGP in the mid-season run following his Mugello victory.
“Was very special because I arrive after one year and a half of struggling and not so much luck – because I think the first real victory could arrive in Misano last year [when Lorenzo crashed out of the lead] – but when it arrived as you could see in the images, we enjoy it a lot, was very special.
“Next race we repeat in Montmelo with lot of seconds of advantage, second [place] in Brno then the third [victory] in Austria fighting with Marc [Marquez].
“For two months we were the best ones. I felt like the king of the world and only the bad luck avoid us to get more victories and podiums.
“Unlucky, but these things can happen in MotoGP because it’s a risky sport. I have perfect years, I have very difficult years like this one, but at least we demonstrated that I could manage the bike, I could ride it very quickly and altogether we made GP18 probably the more complete bike and we should be very proud about it.”
Lorenzo, whose 2019-20 deal with Honda was announced three days after his maiden Ducati triumph, is convinced he could’ve mounted a title challenge with the Italian manufacturer going forward had the partnership continued.
“You have to be sad because the real challenge, trying to win the championship like Casey [Stoner] did in 2007, is not done,” he said.
“We’ve got our potential to do it, probably if we could have more time together we could try, I am sure if I would keep in the team, I would be competitive from the first race and not like this year.
“But this will be not possible.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images