Andrea Dovizioso rode flawlessly to win the San Marino Grand Prix. Jorge Lorenzo looked like the strongest competitor given the fact that he had broken the Misano lap record in the qualifying round to grab the pole position on Saturday. The Ducati rider made a good start and was leading in the opening laps of the race. He was followed by Jack Miller, while Marc Marquez climbed two positions in 3rd.
Another rider who was making swift progress was Dovizioso – he had managed to grab 2nd place from Miller, who was also overtaken by Marquez and pushed to 4th position. Miller was pushing hard to regain his position; but the satellite Ducati rider lost his front in the process and crashed out of the race. The Ducati duo slowly expanded their lead on Marquez, with Lorenzo up front. However, he was coming under lot of pressure from Dovizioso; and with 22 laps remaining, the Italian rider passed him, followed by a thunderous applause from the Italian fans. With Lorenzo struggling for grip, Marquez was able to close in on him, making it a three-way battle for victory.
Further down the grid, the factory Yamaha riders were having a torrid time with Maverick Vinales in 6th position, while crowd favourite, Valentino Rossi was languishing in 8th.
With 15 laps remaining, Dovizioso started pushing hard and was the fastest rider on the track, which enabled him to amplify his race lead over Lorenzo by 1sec. Lorenzo was struggling with his tyres and Marquez pounced on this opportunity to pass him. But the Ducati rider was in no mood to surrender his position so easily and swiftly countered to regain his place. In the following laps, both the riders provided some intense racing action as they exchanged positions on a regular basis. This scuffle worked in Dovizioso’s favour as he had a comfortable lead over his rivals.
In the penultimate lap, Lorenzo was pushing hard to safeguard his 2nd position. In his desperation, he missed his braking point and his front tyre washed out, causing him to crash. With Lorenzo out of the race, Marquez also eased his pace to grab 20 valuable championship points. Dovizioso cruised past the chequered flag to register a dominating win in front of his home crowd.
The win at Misano was a memorable one for Ducati. For the first time in a single season, it has managed to win both the Italian races. Lorenzo’s crash promoted Cal Crutchlow to the final step on the rostrum. Marc Marquez now leads the championship with 222 points and has one hand on the trophy as Dovizioso trails him by 67 points with only six races left in the season.