Dovizioso breaks through in wet Malaysian GP
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
|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|