|Dovizioso and Marquez congratulate each other on great battle|
Andrea Dovizioso produced a stunning last-corner overtake to beat Marc Marquez and maintain Ducati’s perfect winning record at the Austrian MotoGP as the two riders were again the class of the field at the Red Bull Ring.
The pair swapped the lead repeatedly over the closing laps and Marquez looked set to finally break Ducati's Red Bull Ring dominance, only for the Italian to launch a perfect block-pass at the very final corner to notch the win again.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]At the start Fabio Quartararo led the early laps while the pair were tussling for position on the opening lap but then Dovizioso took the lead with his Marquez hot on his heels and the two slowly pulled away.
The two swapped the lead at the front several times as they sized each other up
Dovizioso began his charge with eight laps to go, overtaking into Turn 1 using the power of the GP19.
Marquez then made his bid for victory with two laps to go at the only circuit he is yet to win at on the current race calendar, diving smartly up the inside around Turn 7 before defending his position at Turn 9.
But on the last lap, last corner, Dovizioso, using the softer rear tire Michelin had to offer, dove inside Marquez, who was on the harder medium tire, made the pass stick and powered to the checkered flag.
|Marquez leads Dovi|
Polesitter Marquez was lightning off the start, and so was Dovizioso. The two race favorites headed into Turn 1 in first and second as Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) got in slightly hot, almost clipping Dovizioso. Marquez and Dovizioso were incredibly close heading down the straight into Turn 3 as the two made slight contact at around 300km/h. Marquez had the inside line, Dovi on the outside as the two fought for first. Marquez was in hot though and ran wide, with Dovi having to sit his GP19 up. This allowed Quartararo to sweep through to the lead, with Miller and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins getting by Marquez and Dovizioso on the exit, with the Repsol Honda rider lucky to stay on as tried to control his wheelie.
Dovi then got by Marquez into Turn 4 on the opening lap as the polesitter was demoted to P5. Meanwhile, Quartararo was getting the hammer down as the rookie took a 0.5 lead onto Lap 2, but Dovizioso and Marquez started to make up ground as they recovered from a frantic opening lap. Dovi was back up to second, with Miller holding off Marquez for the time being in third and fourth. Just behind was the fast-starting Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), ‘The Doctor’ climbing his way up to fifth from P10 in the opening exchanges to be in the battle for the podium.
It wasn’t long before Marquez had dispatched Miller as the top three started to edge away from the Pramac man, Rossi and Rins. On Lap 7, Quartararo was like a sitting duck heading into Turn 1 as Dovizioso used the Ducati grunt to blast into the lead. Moments later, Marquez did the same on his Honda. There was nothing Quartararo could do about the Yamaha’s lack of acceleration as he slipped down to third. Now, Dovizioso and Marquez were sitting first and second.
Was Dovizioso then slowing the pace down? It was hard to tell but the top five found themselves split by just 1.3 seconds, as the race would then end prematurely for fourth-placed Miller. The Australian slid out at Turn 9 on Lap 8 and just ahead of him, Marquez was through at the final corner. Then the duo started to pull clear. Not by a massive amount each lap, but Quartararo couldn’t match the pace of the Ducati and Honda as we set ourselves up for another almighty Austrian battle between the two leading contenders in the MotoGP™ World Championship.
Marquez threatened to stretch away but the gap didn’t rise above 0.4 seconds. It was clear the first half of the lap belonged to Marquez, but Dovizioso was the stronger man in the second part. The laps ticked by and there was nothing between them, Dovizioso attached to the back of Marquez coattails. With nine to go: a move was made. Dovizioso powered alongside Marquez as the number 93 had a quick glare at the Italian heading into Turn 1. The Ducati man made the pass stick and it was now the 2017 Austrian GP winner who had control.
|Dovi leads Marquez|
Tensions were bubbling to boiling point as for the next five laps, Marquez trailed Dovi by 0.1, 0.2. Shadowing his great rival, where would Marquez choose to pounce? With three to go, we found out. Turn 7 was the unlikely location as Marquez stuck it underneath Dovizioso to regain the baton, was it the race-winning move? Serious questions were being asked of Dovizioso, but he was answering them. Marquez wasn’t pulling clear and heading into Turn 1 on the penultimate lap, Dovi went for it. Would he make it stick? Not quite, Dovi ran wide to allow Marquez to power back past.
Onto the last then and there was nothing separating the leaders. Marquez had a half a bike lengths lead as the duo got so close heading into Turn 1. Again, Dovi went for it but ran wide, so it was Marquez who led going down into Turn 3. Dovi was close but not close enough as Marquez led the Ducati around the final lap, was the Ducati stranglehold on the Red Bull Ring about to be broken? A breathless battle came down to the last sector. Dovi powered up the hill out of Turn 8 – he was close. No pass came at Turn 9 but then, Dovi pulled out from behind Marquez heading into the last corner. It was roles reversed from 2017 as Dovi lunged down the inside, and he got it stopped! Dovi stood the Ducati up and there was nothing Marquez could do, Ducati and Dovi were in dreamland as Marquez’ quest to win the Austrian GP ended. A scintillating scrap came to a close in the most extraordinary circumstances.
Further back, Rossi had been caught by teammate Maverick ViÃ±ales and Rins as the trio battled for fourth. Ahead of them, Quartararo took the chequered flag in a lonely third to claim his third MotoGP™ rostrum, with Rossi holding off ViÃ±ales as three Yamahas sat in the top five at a track that has never suited the YZR-M1. Rins was 0.021 off ViÃ±ales in sixth as two rookies picked up their best premier class results behind. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) pocketed P7 to finish as the second-best Ducati, while Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) finished as the best KTM on the Austrian factory’s home turf – a sensational P8 for the Portuguese rider. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) will be disappointed with P9 on a Ducati-friendly circuit, compatriot Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completed the top 10.
Andreas Dovizioso 04
"I really didn't prepare that corner [for a move], it's not really a corner for my style, for my bike to enter [well] there," he said.
"I started very aggressive, but Marc was more aggressive than me. But he lost the front on the exit [of Turn 3] and I came back again at Turn 4, and that was very important.
"When Marc overtook me he tried to push, make a gap, but his rear tyre dropped too much, and in the end I had a chance to fight to the last corner because he didn't have the same grip as me on the right [of the tyre].
"On the braking he was better, but with that grip I was able to stay with him and make that crazy last corner [move].
"I really didn't prepare for that, but I did the corner before perfectly and I was a bit inside and I thought 'OK, if I'm going long, I will be second no problem'.
"But I stopped the bike in the right way. I'm so happy for Ducati because we needed that, we need this victory, we needed this victory in this way."
Marc Marquez 93
“I’m happy because today we made a mistake with the rear tyre, immediately I saw all the soft tyres had better grip and even their consistency at the end was better than us. Even like this I tried because I’m Marc and I need to try! The second place is good, we missed in the last corner with a lot of sliding but Dovi did an incredible job. Still we are able to leave here with a 58-point lead so we will keep continuing like this. Even when we are not in the best shape, we are able to finish like this which is positive overall."
|1||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Mission Winnow Ducati/GP19||39m 34.771s|
|2||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda/RC213V||+0.213s|
|3||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Petronas Yamaha/YZR-M1*||+6.117s|
|4||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Monster Yamaha/YZR-M1||+7.719s|
|5||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Monster Yamaha/YZR-M1||+8.674s|
|6||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar/GSX-RR||+8.695s|
|7||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Pramac Ducati/GP18*||+16.021s|
|8||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM Tech3/RC16*||+16.206s|
|9||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Mission Winnow Ducati/GP19||+17.350s|
|10||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Petronas Yamaha/YZR-M1||+20.510s|
|11||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda/RC213V||+22.273s|
|12||Johann Zarco||FRA||Red Bull KTM Factory/RC16||+25.503s|
|13||Stefan Bradl||GER||Repsol Honda/RC213V||+31.962s|
|14||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Factory Aprilia Gresini/RS-GP||+34.741s|
|15||Karel Abraham||CZE||Reale Avintia Ducati/GP18||+48.109s|
|16||Andrea Iannone||ITA||Factory Aprilia Gresini/RS-GP||+11.827s|
|DNF||Tito Rabat||SPA||Reale Avintia Ducati/GP18||DNF|
|DNF||Jack Miller||AUS||Pramac Ducati/GP19||DNF|
|DNF||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||Red Bull KTM Tech3/RC16||DNF|
|DNF||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory/RC16||DNF|
|DNF||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||LCR Honda/RC213V||DNF|
|1||Marquez Marc||93||SPA||230||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|2||Dovizioso Andrea||4||ITA||172||Mission Winnow Ducati||Ducati|
|3||Petrucci Danilo||9||ITA||136||Mission Winnow Ducati||Ducati|
|4||Rins Alex||42||SPA||124||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|5||Rossi Valentino||46||ITA||103||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|6||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||102||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|7||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||92||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha|
|8||Miller Jack||43||AUS||86||Pramac Racing||Ducati|
|9||Crutchlow Cal||35||GBR||78||LCR Honda||Honda|
|10||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||62||LCR Honda||Honda|
|11||Espargaro Pol||44||SPA||61||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM|
|12||Morbidelli Franco||21||ITA||58||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha|
|13||Mir Joan||36||SPA||39||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|14||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||33||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia|
|15||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||26||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM|
|16||Bagnaia Francesco||63||ITA||24||Pramac Racing||Ducati|
|17||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||22||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM|
|18||Iannone Andrea||29||ITA||21||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia|
|19||Lorenzo Jorge||99||SPA||19||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|20||Bradl Stefan||6||GER||16||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|21||Rabat Tito||53||SPA||14||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati|
|22||Pirro Michele||51||ITA||9||Mission Winnow Ducati||Ducati|
|23||Abraham Karel||17||CZE||4||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati|
|24||Guintoli Sylvain||50||FRA||3||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|25||Syahrin Hafizh||55||MAL||3||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM|
|1||Mission Winnow Ducati||308|
|2||Repsol Honda Team||259|
|3||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||205|
|4||Team Suzuki Ecstar||163|
|5||Petronas Yamaha SRT||150|
|8||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||83|
|9||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||54|
|10||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||29|
|11||Reale Avintia Racing||18|
|12||HRC Test Team||6|