Dovizioso beats Márquez in epic Austrian GP

Dovizioso beats Márquez in epic Austrian GP

13 August 2017 – Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso prevailed over reigning World Champion Marc Márquez in a sensational race-long battle for honours at the Austrian Grand Prix as he claimed his third victory of a pulsating season.

Dovizioso grabbed the lead from Márquez when the Repsol Honda rider made a mistake just over halfway through proceedings, and the pair swapped places several times across the remaining laps.

The duo entered the final lap separated by less than a tenth of a second, with Dovizioso in front, and Márquez attempted to wrestle the lead away from his rival through the final two corners.

Márquez was left on the outside line exiting the penultimate turn but lunged up the inside into the final right-hander, attempting to complete a block pass, but the Ducati rider was wise to Márquez's advances.

Dovizioso used the cutback to out-accelerate his compromised rival and crossed the line ahead to capture his third victory of the campaign, to the delight of his jubilant team.

Márquez initially maintained his advantage from pole position but was overhauled on the run to Turn 3 by Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo, running the Soft rear tyres, as opposed to the Hard rears on Márquez's Honda.

Lorenzo led the opening 10 laps but he was unable to escape, his advantage peaking at just over a second, and was shadowed by Márquez and Dovizioso, as the trio gradually broke clear of their rivals.

Márquez's path to the lead was eventually aided by errors for both Ducati riders; Lorenzo went deep into Turn 3, enabling the Honda rider to use the cutback, the pair coming close to contact.

Dovizioso, following in third, blasted past both Lorenzo and Márquez along the next straight, as the trio went three-wide, to take the lead, but ran wide into Turn 4, allowing Márquez to move clear.

Márquez attempted to pull the pin but was not able to put a gap back to Dovizioso, and a few laps later braked too late into Turn 3, ceding the advantage to the Ducati rider.

Márquez snatched the lead through Turn 7, and a few laps later the position changed hands numerous times in the space of a minute, as they pushed each other to the limit.

Dovizioso dived up the inside of Márquez into Turn 1, Márquez fought back at Turn 3, before Dovizioso grabbed the initiative once more into Turn 4.

Márquez utilised his superior speed through the left-hander of Turn 7 to capture the advantage but seconds later Dovizioso was ahead once more, having carried greater pace through the fast right-hander at Turn 8.

Dovizioso ultimately preserved his advantage, leading to their last-lap battle, settled in favour of the experienced Italian by 0.176s, as Márquez followed behind in second spot.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa started only eighth but moved up the order and emerged onto the rear of the lead pair as they tripped over each other.

However, as soon as Pedrosa was a factor in the lead battle, Dovizioso and Márquez eased clear, leaving the elder Spaniard to round out the podium positions.

Erstwhile leader Lorenzo slipped away from Pedrosa and finished in fourth place, while Johann Zarco was the lead Yamaha rider in fifth spot, sealing another strong result for Tech 3.

Factory Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi both made errors at Turn 1 on separate laps and trailed home in sixth and seventh respectively, losing ground in the title race in the process.

Álvaro Bautista took a fine eighth for Aspar, while Avintia's Loris Baz concluded a strong weekend by racing to ninth position.

KTM test rider Mika Kallio put in an accomplished performance to record a top 10 finish on home ground for the manufacturer in only his second race outing of the campaign.

Andrea Iannone was the lead Suzuki rider in 11th, while Scott Redding and Aleix Espargaró both made gains to take 12th and 13th respectively for Pramac and Aprilia.

Karel Abraham and Cal Crutchlow rounded out the points finishers, the LCR Honda rider having been the only rider to take Hard tyres on both front and rear.

Álex Rins finished in 16th for Suzuki, as Héctor Barberá (Avintia), Bradley Smith (KTM), Tito Rabat (Marc VDS) and Sam Lowes (Aprilia) completed the finishers.

Jack Miller crashed out at Turn 9 during the closing stages, while Pol Espargaró retired after contact at the start, leading to suspected brake damage.

Danilo Petrucci and Jonas Folger also failed to reach the chequered flag after pulling into the pits in the opening laps.

Championship standings:

1. Marc Márquez - 174 points
2. Andrea Dovizioso - 158 points
3. Maverick Viñales - 150 points

The next round of the season will take place at Silverstone from August 25-27


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