Marquez "forgot about championship" in last-lap lunge

MotoGP points leader Marc Marquez said he “forgot about the championship” when he made his last-ditch attempt to steal victory from Andrea Dovizioso in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Reigning champion Marquez shadowed Dovizioso in the final laps of the Red Bull Ring race, which culminated in the Spaniard trying a final-corner lunge down the inside of his Ducati rival.

With Dovizioso electing to leave the door open, Marquez was briefly ahead but ran wide, losing out on acceleration in a race to the finish line.

“Today on the last lap I was thinking about everything, just the championship I forget a little bit,” Marquez said, laughing. “I was pushing my 100 percent.

“I decided to make all-in because I knew that victory was very important - but even a second place is important, because last year we struggle a lot here and this year we were much closer to the Ducati riders.

“I arrive on the limit and I try on the last corner, because if not, I cannot go to sleep quiet [tonight], I have to try.

“I need to try, and I try and, yeah, was like this, it was risky - but in the end [I'm] happy because it's 20 points, important.”

Marquez admitted that he likely wouldn't have gone for a similar overtake in last year's title race, in which he'd enjoyed a bigger points advantage.

The Honda rider, who is currently 16 points clear at the head of the standings, was 53 ahead at this point in the season in 2016.

He said: “Maybe last year I didn't take the risk because the advantage was much bigger in the championship, but in this championship everything is very tight, everything is very close - so if you can get one more point you have to try.

“This will be the mentality, the philosophy, from here to the last race.”

Despite the battle for victory having gone down to the wire, Marquez felt Dovizioso had better pace.

“Dovi deserves [the win], he had a little bit more," said the Spaniard. "When he was behind me, he was very comfortable - when I was behind him, I was on the limit.

“I was able to be there for the two left corners [Turn 6 and Turn 7], only this. On the two left corners maybe I was gaining three tenths compared with him.”

Dovizioso “more angry than happy” at finish

For his part, Dovizioso – who said he anticipated Marquez's late lunge – admitted he was unsettled by the move.

“I had a strange feeling in the last corner, I was more angry than happy because he tried to overtake me in that way,” said Dovizioso, who gestured at Marquez on the approach to the finish line.

“I did instinctively [the gesture] because that is not a corner to try to overtake a rider. But I know very well, and everybody know very well Marc, and I manage in the best way the last corner.”

Dovizioso reckoned that his decision to close the door in the two left-handers, where Marquez had an advantage, allowed the Honda rider to prepare a late attack.

Speaking about his approach for the final corner, he added: “I leave the door open because if I close the door, for sure he hits me and he's able to win.

“I leave the door open to try to exit faster but he was good to stop the bike and try to exit really fast - but I was faster than him in the exit and I have a chance to win.”

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Austrian GP
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team , Ducati Team
Article type Breaking news