Dovizioso breaks through in wet Malaysian GP

Dovizioso on his way to victory

Dovizioso on his way to victory

Andrea Dovizioso has become the ninth different winner of the MotoGP season in a race of attrition at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Valentino Rossi faded as he finished second for the second straight race, while Jorge Lorenzo inherited third after crashes for Andrea Iannone, Marc Marquez, and Cal Crutchlow.

With the start delayed by 20 minutes due to heavy rain, four different riders led during a nervous opening lap as Rossi emerged in front of the spray.

Andrea Iannone took the lead on Lap 2, which he held until Lap 9 when Rossi’s third attempted pass finally stuck.

Dovizioso ran third during the opening half of the 19-lap race, while Cal Crutchlow displayed good pace in climbing to fourth.

Marquez reclaimed the position from Crutchlow on Lap 9 before both crashed in separate incidents three laps later.

That left the three Italians all alone to battle for the podium until Iannone too went down a lap later, leaving his Ducati teammate to fight Rossi.

Rossi gifted the lead to Dovizoso when the Movistar Yamaha rider ran wide at Turn 1 with five laps remaining, and that proved pivotal as the 37-year-old battled to the end with a worn front tyre.

Dovizioso was left to take just his second MotoGP race win, over seven years after his first, extending the record for different race winners in a season.

“Wow, it was 2009 – a long time,” reflected the 30-year-old of the gap between victories.

“It’s really nice to win in this moment, in these conditions. I struggled a lot during race with some problem but I really wanted it.”

A cautious Rossi was nevertheless happy to put second place in the championship beyond doubt.

“I had a great battle with Iannone and when I was able to overtake I was very optimistic,” he said.

“When the water came less (track drying), I started to have a problem with the front tyre, I had two moments, and I had to slow down.

“It’s a shame because for sure we wanted to try to win but it’s good for the second place in the championship.”

Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) ended up a lonely third while Hector Barbera won an Avintia Ducati battle to beat Loris Baz to fourth.

Maverick Viñales (Suzuki), Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Aprilia), Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda), Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha), and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) completed the top ten.

Marquez picked his Repsol Honda back up to claim 11th.

In Moto2, Johann Zarco secured a second straight title with his sixth win of the season while Remy Gardner finished 13th, his third points finish in 2016.

MotoGP now returns to Europe for the final round of the season in Valencia, from November 11-13.

Results: Malaysian MotoGP

Pos Rider Nation Team Bike Time/Gap
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 42’27.333
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +3.115
3 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +11.924
4 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati +19.916
5 Loris BAZ FRA Avintia Racing Ducati +21.353
6 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +22.932
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +25.829
8 Jack MILLER AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +32.746
9 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +33.704
10 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati +34.280
11 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +36.480
12 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Pull & Bear Aspar Team Ducati +36.638
13 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +36.897
14 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +45.609
15 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati +49.779
16 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Repsol Honda Team Honda +52.665
17 Stefan BRADL GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +52.784
18 Tito RABAT SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +54.891
DNF Andrea IANNONE ITA Ducati Team Ducati 7 Laps
DNF Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 8 Laps
DNF Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Pull & Bear Aspar Team Ducati 8 Laps


Pos Rider Country Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ SPA 278
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA 236
3 Jorge LORENZO SPA 208
4 Maverick VIÑALES SPA 191
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 162
6 Dani PEDROSA SPA 155
9 Hector BARBERA SPA 97
10 Andrea IANNONE ITA 96
12 Eugene LAVERTY IRL 77
13 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA 76
14 Scott REDDING GBR 72
15 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 71
16 Stefan BRADL GER 60
17 Jack MILLER AUS 56
18 Bradley SMITH GBR 55
19 Michele PIRRO ITA 36
20 Loris BAZ FRA 35
21 Tito RABAT SPA 29
23 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN 5
24 Alex LOWES GBR 3
25 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN 1
26 Nicky HAYDEN USA 1
27 Mike JONES AUS 1

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