Dovizioso holds off Marquez in thriller

Dovizioso holds off Marquez in thriller

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.

dovizioso, Marquez, thriller