Dovizioso holds off Marquez in thriller
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso breathed new life into the MotoGP championship yesterday, edging Marc Marquez in a ferocious duel to win a rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi.
In a white-knuckle battle in appalling conditions at the Twin Ring circuit, Dovizioso snatched the lead from championship leader Marquez in a dramatic last lap after the swashbuckling Spaniard made a rare mistake when rounding a corner.
The Italian’s nerve-jangling win by 0.249 seconds trimmed the Honda rider’s lead to 11 points with three races left in the season.
Danilo Petrucci finished third on a non-works Ducati, his fourth podium for the season, while Maverick Vinales’ faint title hopes were all but extinguished after a disappointing ninth for Yamaha.
Spaniard Vinales heads to Phillip Island in Australia 41 points adrift of three-times MotoGP champion Marquez, who improved to 244 points in the title race.
The dogged Dovizioso was beaming, however, having completed a brilliant race from ninth on the grid and fended off the series’ most fearsome competitor.