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Austria MotoGP: Dovizioso defeats Marquez in exhilarating duel

Austria MotoGP: Dovizioso defeats Marquez in exhilarating duel
Aug 13, 2017, 12:54 PM

Andrea Dovizioso scored his and Ducati's third win of the MotoGP season at the Red Bull Ring, seeing off Honda's Marc Marquez in an exhilarating duel that went down to the final corner.

Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing,Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team and Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Race winner Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Podium: Race winner Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Podium: second place Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: third place Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: second place Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Race winner Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, third place Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

The pair emerged as class of the field after a frantic opening to the Austrian Grand Prix and fought it out for victory, Dovizioso prevailing by 0.176s despite a desperate last-corner lunge by his rival.

Marquez had maintained the lead from pole position at the start, but the reigning champion had no answer to the straightline speed of Jorge Lorenzo's Ducati.

The Spaniard cleared teammate Dovizioso at Turn 1 and passed Marquez on the next straight, assuming control of the race.

As Marquez fought off Dovizioso over the opening lap, Lorenzo escaped to the tune of a second, but when the order stabilised, he was soon reeled in by the Honda man.

On the eighth lap, Marquez was close enough to look at retaking the lead, but as he ran wide in Lorenzo's wheeltracks into Turn 3, Dovizioso relegated him to third.

However, that was only a temporary setback, as Marquez was soon back into second and all over Lorenzo, forcing the Spaniard to go wide at the same corner.

Dovizioso then made it three-wide for the lead on the following straight and was even ahead at Turn 4, but ran wide, handing first place back to Marquez.

Lorenzo's pace began to fade from that point onwards, yet Dovizioso managed to stick within a couple of tenths of Marquez and coasted past again when the reigning champion erred at Turn 3 on lap 18 of 28.

Marquez retook the spot shortly thereafter at Turn 7, but again couldn't shake Dovizioso – who slipstreamed past on the main straight with seven laps to go.

On that lap, they traded places several times, Marquez not managing to make a move stick and easing the pressure on the Ducati for a few laps afterwards.

With Dovizioso repeatedly blocking off Marquez's favoured overtaking spot – Turn 7 – in the final minutes, their battle came down to the very last corner of the last lap.

Marquez lunged down the inside of the Italian, with both forced wide but Dovizioso getting a better exit to hang on to victory.

The podium was completed by Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa, who had fought his way through the pack, picking off the Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Johann Zarco in one move and then finding his way past Lorenzo.

The Marquez–Dovizioso duel allowed Pedrosa to close right up to the pair, but he was unable to keep their pace and finished 2.485 seconds off.

Lorenzo held on to fourth from Tech 3's Zarco and the Yamaha works pair of Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi, who both had costly off-track excursions at Turn 1.

Alvaro Bautista was a lonely eighth for Aspar Ducati, with Avintia Ducati's Loris Baz ninth.

KTM wildcard Mika Kallio was a standout performer, beating Suzuki's Andrea Iannone to 10th and very nearly passing Baz as well.

The other KTMs did not pick up any points, with Pol Espargaro ruled out early after a startline collision with Hector Barbera's Avintia Ducati.

Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci and Tech 3 Yamaha's Jonas Folger were also among the retirements, calling it a day in the pits, while Marc VDS Honda's Jack Miller crashed out at Turn 9.

Race results

1 4 italy Andrea Dovizioso Ducati  
2 93 spain Marc Marquez Honda 0.176
3 26 spain Dani Pedrosa Honda 2.661
4 99 spain Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 6.663
5 5 france Johann Zarco Yamaha 7.262
6 25 spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 7.447
7 46 italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 8.995
8 19 spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 14.515
9 76 france Loris Baz Ducati 19.620
10 36 finland Mika Kallio KTM 19.766
11 29 italy Andrea Iannone Suzuki 20.101
12 45 united_kingdom Scott Redding Ducati 25.523
13 41 spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 26.700
14 17 czech_republic Karel Abraham Ducati 27.321
15 35 united_kingdom Cal Crutchlow Honda 28.096
16 42 spain Alex Rins Suzuki 32.912
17 8 spain Hector Barbera Ducati 34.112
18 38 united_kingdom Bradley Smith KTM 36.423
19 53 spain Tito Rabat Honda 42.404
20 22 united_kingdom Sam Lowes Aprilia 52.492
Ret 43 australia Jack Miller Honda 9 laps
Ret  9 italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 22 laps
Ret  94 germany Jonas Folger Yamaha 25 laps
Ret  44 spain Pol Espargaro KTM 26 laps
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