Dovizioso outduels Marquez in Austria

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Some races immediately enter the history books as the flag falls. The 2017 Austrian GP proves one such example, as Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) staged a showcase of the best of the sport, right down to the wire. Almost side-by-side over the line, it was ‘DesmoDovi’ who took his third win of the year – with Marquez just keeping it on track for second in signature style.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completed the podium, coming back from a Q1 hurdle on Saturday to make big points gains in the standings.

Polesitter Marquez took the holeshot, before a stunning move from Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) saw him cut inside second-placed Dovizioso and then take Marquez on the exit – an incredible second ahead over the line at the end of Lap 1. Marquez slotted into second as Dovizioso threatened, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) a big mover – into fourth past teammate Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).

There was early heartbreak for Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who was forced to retire as his rear brake was damaged in an early incident – before Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was then also forced in. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), who suffered a big wheelie off the line, was next to enter pitlane after a warning light on the dash.

Marquez leads from pole
Marquez leads from pole

Back in the battle, Vinales had run wide into Turn 1 to lose some ground and come back on track from the run off, with Lorenzo at the head of the race then being reeled in by Marquez. Soon, Marquez was the man to misjudge an apex – Turn 3 – with Dovizioso quickly pouncing to take over in second.

Meanwhile, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had moved up to tag onto the front four, with Pedrosa the next man to join the party – making a train of five behind Lorenzo in the lead. Marquez then struck back against Dovizioso, with 18 laps to go and everything still in the air.

Some stunning action then shook up the lead as Lorenzo headed deep, Marquez cut inside – and Dovizioso then blasted past both as the three machines were almost neck-and-neck. But Marquez struck back, before an almost replica replay of the earlier trio saw Zarco run deep, Rossi pounce – and Pedrosa take both. Then it was Rossi’s time to run wide – off at Turn 1 and dropping back into seventh as he made his way back on track.

At the front, Marquez and Dovizioso had begun to pull away, and everything settled into what felt increasingly like the calm before the storm – and was proved exactly that.

Swapping places whilst keeping the pace searing, the two men fought it out until the end. Dovizioso, ahead as they crossed the line for the final lap, kept everything inch perfect as he waited for the move he knew would come. Marquez, for his part, couldn’t make a much-used Turn 7 move this time around, and the corners were counting down.

Almost a flash of unified colour around the penultimate corner, breath was held as the moment arrived – and so did Marquez. Lunging for the inside on the final corner and then sliding out just wide, the reigning Champion was spectacular – but it wasn’t quite enough, with his Italian rival cutting back inside to cross the line for his third win of the year.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Pedrosa completed the podium after some solid pace, taking Lorenzo and at one point in striking distance of the lead. The number 26 also moved to within only two points of Rossi in the standings. Zarco took fifth after holding off Vinales and coming home top Yamaha, with Rossi crossing the line in P7.

Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) had a stunning Sunday comeback to take eighth, able to pull clear of another impressive performance from Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) in ninth after the Frenchman also made it through directly into Q2.

Marquez leads Dovizioso
Marquez leads Dovizioso

Despite early heartbreak for Pol Espargaro, there remained something impressive to cheer for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at their first home GP – with wildcard test rider Mika Kallio riding a superb race into tenth. The second consecutive top ten finish for the Austrian marque, the Finn was also only a tenth off Baz in ninth.

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was P11, ahead of Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) in P14. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completed the points scorers after a tough race.

After the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Ã-sterreich, Marquez remains ahead on the road to Silverstone, but it's now Dovizioso hot on his tail – 16 points adrift. Vinales, after Austria, moves out the top two in the Championship for the first time this season – and Pedrosa is now within two points of Rossi. The British GP will not disappoint.

Marc Marquez 2ND

“I wouldn’t have slept well tonight if I didn’t try to go for the win in the last corner! But it wasn’t possible. Today Dovi had just a little bit more than us and it was difficult to overtake him. I tried my best all race, really gave it my all, and I lost the rear many times. It was a great battle, and Dovi deserved this victory as he rode very well. We got this second place and it’s good. I’m very happy with these 20 points at this track where I had struggled a lot last year. It’s an important result for the Championship. We’re working well; step-by-step, we found a good base that allowed us to be there, and to be consistent in every situation. Today I was able to try that move at the end because I was feeling good with the bike. It will be important to continue like this and to try and be on the podium at every race."

Race Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 25 Ducati Team Ducati 39'43.323
2 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 20 Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.176
3 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 16 Repsol Honda Team Honda 2.661
4 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 13 Ducati Team Ducati 6.663
5 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 11 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 7.262
6 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 10 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 7.447
7 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 9 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 8.995
8 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 8 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 14.515
9 BAZ Loris 76 FRA 7 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 19.620
10 KALLIO Mika 36 FIN 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 19.766
11 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 5 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 20.101
12 REDDING Scott 45 GBR 4 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 25.523
13 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 3 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 26.700
14 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 2 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 27.321
15 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 1 LCR Honda Honda 28.096
16 RINS Alex 42 SPA 0 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 32.912
17 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 34.112
18 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 36.423
19 RABAT Tito 53 SPA 0 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 42.404
20 LOWES Sam 22 GBR 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 52.492
21 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 0 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 9 laps
22 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 0 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 22 laps
23 FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 0 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 25 laps
24 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 26 laps

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 174 Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 158 Ducati Team Ducati
3 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 150 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
4 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 141 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
5 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 139 Repsol Honda Team Honda
6 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 99 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
7 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 79 Ducati Team Ducati
8 FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 77 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
9 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 76 LCR Honda Honda
10 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 75 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
11 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 52 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
12 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 43 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
13 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 43 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
14 BAZ Loris 76 FRA 38 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
15 REDDING Scott 45 GBR 37 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
16 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 33 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
17 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 25 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
18 RABAT Tito 53 SPA 23 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
19 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 21 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
20 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 21 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
21 RINS Alex 42 SPA 12 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
22 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 8 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
23 PIRRO Michele 51 ITA 7 Ducati Test Team Ducati
24 KALLIO Mika 36 FIN 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
25 LOWES Sam 22 GBR 2 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
26 GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA 1 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki

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