Dovizioso, Márquez laud Motegi win battle
15 October 2017 – Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez revelled in their race-long scrap at the Japanese Grand Prix, after the Ducati rider prevailed over his Repsol Honda title rival.
Dovizioso and Márquez pulled clear of the pack in wet conditions and traded the lead on several occasions, with Dovizioso taking the initiative into Turn 11 on the final lap.
Márquez made a last-ditch lunge into the final corner but Dovizioso kept the door open, enabling Márquez to run wide, and in turn using the cutback to cross the line two-tenths clear.
"In these [last] two corners anything can happen," joked Dovizioso.
"I was so slow in those two corners, and there was Marc behind me so I had to try and make a wide left corner and what I did was the right decision.
"I closed the door [at the last corner], for him it was very difficult to try and overtake me, and when he did, he couldn't change direction very fast.
"I'm so excited to win this race, to fight with Marc is always big tension, and it was important for the championship.
"We know it's very difficult to beat him in the championship, but we will try until the end and see if it's enough."
Márquez, whose title advantage over Dovizioso was trimmed to 11 points, said that stages of the fight were "on the limit".
"We fought in a good way," said Márquez.
"The only corner I want to say sorry is at Turn 3, it was a little bit… on the limit as I braked very far from him and then in one time I realised I [had to] go inside or I catch him.
"Then I [went on the] inside and that was on the limit.
"The rest of the battle was very, very nice, I enjoyed it a lot.
"Entering the last lap, I knew I had only a very small advantage ahead but then I made a small mistake in Turn 8, well, quite a big mistake actually, and he caught me.
"After he passed he was very strong on the brakes and I wasn't able to match him.
"In the last corner I tried again but it was not possible to pass him again."