Dovizioso beats Marquez in Austria thriller

Andrea Dovizioso pic: Ducati Motor Twitter

Andrea Dovizioso has taken victory in the Austrian Grand Prix after surviving a desperate last corner dive from Marc Marquez.

Marquez was involved in a race-long arm wrestle with either factory Ducati of Dovizioso or Jorge Lorenzo before an electrifying finish at the Red Bull Ring.

Dani Pedrosa joined his Repsol Honda team-mate Marquez on the podium while Lorenzo finished fourth despite fading in the second half of the 28-lapper.

Marquez got the best launch but lost the lead by the time he got to Turn 3 when Lorenzo blasted past.

Dovizioso ran third, having run too deep at Turn 1 and given up second position to Lorenzo, while Valentino Rossi gained three positions on Lap 1 to move into fourth.

Lorenzo, on a soft rear tyre, pulled a one second lead over Marquez, on a hard rear tyre, on the first lap and enjoyed a comfortable margin until the chasing pack began to close in on Lap 4.

Marquez sat behind before running wide at Turn 3 on Lap 8, giving second position to Dovizioso, but took it back when he snuck up the inside at Turn 7 on Lap 10.

The defending world champion set his sights on Lorenzo again, pressuring #99 into a slight error at Turn 3 on Lap 12 and triggering a frenetic few moments at the front of the field.

Lorenzo moved back across on exit, forcing Marquez to check up slightly as he tried to pass and prompting Dovizioso to make for a three-wide run back down the hill.

Dovizioso took the lead but then went too deep into Turn 4 and Marquez did indeed have first position, ahead of Dovizioso and Lorenzo.

Bikes #93 and #04 dropped the field over the next handful of laps, while Pedrosa moved into a podium position when he got past Lorenzo on Lap 18.

The lead changed again just up the road at Turn 3 when Marquez skated in with too much speed and opened the door for Dovizioso.

While the Honda rider nipped up the inside of the Ducati again at Turn 7 on Lap 20, Dovizioso reclaimed the lead again at Turn 1 on Lap 22 and refused to cede the place two corners later when Marquez tried again.

That prompted Marquez to repeat his Turn 7 move but Dovizoso was right back up the inside at Turn 8, temporarily bringing Pedrosa into contention for victory.

The top two quickly pulled clear again but Dovizioso had to run defensive for the remaining half-dozen laps.

On the final lap, Marquez looked to the outside at Turn 9 then threw his Honda up the inside at Turn 10, the last corner, taking both well wide.

Dovizioso, however, had enough drive to win the final run to the chequered flag and take his third victory of the year, ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa.

“The worst thing you can have in the last lap is Marc behind and I heard in the last corner that he opened (the throttle) earlier than me so I knew he wanted to try,” explained Dovizioso.

“I didn’t brake, I gave the possibility to overtake me, and he was good to stop the bike but I was a little bit faster.

“I’m so happy, it’s very difficult to win like this but it’s really nice; three victories this season, really good.”

Marquez confirmed that he had no intention to play it safe given he leads the championship.

“I tried. (In the) last corner I was completely on the limit,” he laughed.

“But okay, this is MotoGP, this is the show, we try, it was not possible, but next time we will try again.”

Lorenzo fell back towards fifth-placed Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha), but the finish came soon enough for the Spaniard.

Zarco thus took fifth, having held out Maverick Viñales for the second half of the race.

Behind Viñales was Rossi in seventh, with both Movistar Yamaha riders having lost positions in running wide at Turn 1 earlier in the race.

Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati) was a commendable eighth after only qualifying 17th, with Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) ninth and wildcard Mika Kallio the best factory Red Bull KTM as he rounded out the top 10.

Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) got as high as 12th position having started a lowly 19th, but crashed out on Lap 20 while sitting in 14th.

Marquez’s championship lead has grown by two points to 16, while Dovizioso and Viñales swap positions in the world standing.

In Moto2, Remy Gardner was the final points-paying finisher in 15th, having managed to avoid a first corner mess that took down several riders.

MotoGP now leaves the Continent for Round 12 in Britain on August 25-27.

Race results: Austrian Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 39’43.323
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.176
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +2.661
4 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati +6.663
5 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +7.262
6 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +7.447
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +8.995
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati +14.515
9 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +19.620
10 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +19.766
11 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +20.101
12 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati +25.523
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +26.700
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati +27.321
15 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda +28.096
16 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +32.912
17 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +34.112
18 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +36.423
19 53 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +42.404
20 22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +52.492
DNF 43 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 9 Laps
DNF 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 22 Laps
DNF 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 25 Laps
DNF 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 26 Laps

Championship points: After Round 11

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ SPA 174
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 158
3 Maverick VIÑALES SPA 150
4 Valentino ROSSI ITA 141
5 Dani PEDROSA SPA 139
6 Johann ZARCO FRA 99
7 Jorge LORENZO SPA 79
8 Jonas FOLGER GER 77
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR 76
10 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 75
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA 52
12 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA 43
13 Jack MILLER AUS 43
14 Loris BAZ FRA 38
15 Scott REDDING GBR 37
16 Andrea IANNONE ITA 33
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 25
18 Tito RABAT SPA 23
19 Pol ESPARGARO SPA 21
20 Hector BARBERA SPA 21
21 Alex RINS SPA 12
22 Bradley SMITH GBR 8
23 Michele PIRRO ITA 7
24 Mika KALLIO FIN 6
25 Sam LOWES GBR 2
26 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA 1
27 Takuya TSUDA JPN 0

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