Dovizioso unwilling to risk chasing front two
11 September 2017 – Andrea Dovizioso says he had the championship in mind as he settled for third position at the San Marino Grand Prix, behind Danilo Petrucci and Marc Márquez.
Petrucci, Márquez and Dovizioso broke clear of the pack after Jorge Lorenzo crashed out in wet conditions at Misano, running at a similar speed for most of the race.
However, the front two turned up the wick in the closing stages, with Honda rider Márquez ultimately passing Pramac rival Petrucci for the victory on the final lap.
Dovizioso came home over 10 seconds adrift, though admitted post-race that he was unwilling "to take too many risks" and backed off to preserve the final podium spot.
Márquez's win moved him back into the title lead, tied on points with Andrea Dovizioso, the pair separated on countback of number of second places.
"In the end I'm happy with my third place because I wasn't able to find a perfect feeling with the bike," said Dovizioso, reflecting on the race.
"I tried to keep up with Márquez and Petrucci and I did for 20 laps, but the track conditions were really difficult.
"When they began to lower their lap times I would have had to take too many risks to stay in touch, and I preferred to slightly drop my pace to bring home the 16 points for third.
"[It was] very important for the championship.
"The weekend, however, confirmed that we can be competitive on every circuit and we can fight for the title until the very end."
Dovizioso's team-mate, Lorenzo, felt he could have "won by a distance" had he not crashed out, which he attributed to losing concentration while trying to change settings.