Dovizioso stuns Marquez on final corner

Dovizioso and Marquez congratulate each other on great battle
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.

Race Recap

Marquez leads Dovi
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
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 Viñales 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 Viñales as three Yamahas sat in the top five at a track that has never suited the YZR-M1. Rins was 0.021 off Viñales 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."

Results

POS RIDER NAT TEAM/BIKE TIME/DIFF
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

*Rookie

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
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

Team Standings

Pos. Team Points
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
6 LCR Honda 140
7 Pramac Racing 110
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

Constructor Standings

Pos. Team Points
1 Honda 236
2 Ducati 202
3 Yamaha 179
4 Suzuki 141
5 KTM 69
6 Aprilia 47

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