Lorenzo wins battle with Marquez in Austria

Jorge Lorenzo pic: Jorge Lorenzo Twitter

Jorge Lorenzo exercised patience before winning a head-to-head stoush with Marc Marquez to claim victory in the Austrian MotoGP.

Andrea Dovizioso was the only other rider in contention, as expected, but played a bit part role for the final 10 laps after running wide as factory Ducati team-mate Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Marquez battled.

Dovizioso led the race initially, but only as far as Turn 3 when Marquez came down the inside.

They nearly touched and the pack fanned out behind, allowing Lorenzo to pick up first position.

Marquez made a block pass stick on the #99 Ducati at the same corner a lap later and reeled off a succession of fastest laps.

The top three quickly dropped fourth-placed Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) but it appeared that Lorenzo was holding up Dovizioso and allowing Marquez to get away.

The Honda rider’s lead peaked at just over a second nearing the halfway mark of the 28-lap race, at which time Lorenzo, who opted for soft compound tyres front and rear, began to respond.

Marquez’s advantage had just about been wiped out on Lap 17 and Lorenzo went past #93 at Turn 1 on Lap 19, when Dovizioso outbraked himself and ran on.

However, Marquez fought back to re-pass up the other end of the climb at Turn 3, when the two may have just made contact.

Lorenzo and his Ducati outgunned #93 on the run to Turn 9 to lead again before the end of the lap, and they rode away from Dovizioso over the next few laps.

Marquez stalked his future team-mate until Lorenzo handed top spot back when he couldn’t get turned into Turn 3 on Lap 26.

Lorenzo squeezed past again at Turn 9, causing Marquez to nearly fall, but the championship leader wasn’t going to merely settle for second position and succeeded in another block pass at Turn 3 on the penultimate lap.

He ran in first into Lap 28 but ceded that in a straight line before they got to Turn 1 again.

Lorenzo then dealt with the Turn 3 block pass by opening the steering and decisively launching off corner exit to ultimately win by 0.130s.

“I didn’t expect that Marc would be so quick at the beginning, he really wanted to push to open the gap, so I needed to push but at the same time save a little bit of tyres,” explained the race winner.

“Then, 10 laps to the end, I decided to attack. But Marc was there, he was always there, and I knew he wanted to try.

“I was stronger in some areas of the track, especially the uphill in fifth gear, but he was very strong in (Turn 3) in braking, so he always overtook me.

“But in the last lap he didn’t expect that (I would stay on) the outside and accelerate so it was a little bit of a surprise for him.

“Then I pushed at the limit, risking so much on the braking, but I did it and I finish with this victory, one of my best victories in MotoGP.”

Dovizioso finished more 1.526s further back, while Crutchlow passed Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) at Turn 10 on Lap 1 and remained fourth thereafter.

Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) finished fifth from Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), who started only 14th but was displaying best-of-the-rest pace outside of the top three in the latter stages of the race.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Rins, Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha), and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati), rounded out the top 10.

Maverick Viñales’ shocking weekend continued when he ran as low as 16th for several laps before eventually taking the chequered flag in 12th on his Movistar Yamaha.

Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) was running 12th when he dumped six positions on Lap 15 in an incident unseen by television, and that was where the Australian would finish.

Lorenzo’s win puts him back ahead of Dovizioso in third in the championship, as Marquez extended his lead over Rossi to 59 points.

Round 12 takes place in Britain on August 24-26.

Race results: Austrian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Ducati Team Ducati 39:40.688
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.130
3 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +1.656
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +9.434
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +13.169
6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +14.026
7 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +14.156
8 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +16.644
9 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +20.760
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP Angel Nieto Team Ducati +20.844
11 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +21.114
12 25 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +22.939
13 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +26.523
14 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +29.168
15 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +30.072
16 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +30.343
17 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +31.775
18 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +34.375
19 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +40.171
20 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +53.020
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati +53.261
22 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +54.355
DNF 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 18 Laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 201
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA 142
3 Jorge LORENZO ESP 130
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 129
5 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 113
6 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 105
7 Johann ZARCO FRA 104
9 Andrea IANNONE ITA 84
10 Alex RINS ESP 66
11 Dani PEDROSA ESP 66
12 Jack MILLER AUS 61
13 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP 57
14 Tito RABAT ESP 35
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL 24
19 Bradley SMITH GBR 15
20 Scott REDDING GBR 12
21 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 11
22 Mika KALLIO FIN 6
23 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 4
24 Thomas LUTHI SUI  
25 Stefan BRADL GER  
26 Xavier SIMEON BEL  
27 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA  

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