MotoGP: Lorenzo extends Ducati’s winning streak in Austria

    Spaniard out-duels compatriot Marquez; Dovizioso rounds out the podium.

    Published On Aug 13, 2018 03:54:00 PM

    4,196 Views

    MotoGP: Lorenzo extends Ducati’s winning streak in Austria

    Jorge Lorenzo took a thrilling victory at the Red Bull Ring after engaging in a fierce dogfight with his teammate-to-be for next year, Marc Marquez. Andrea Dovizioso kept pace with the pair in the early stages of the race but eventually fell back to a solitary third place.

    Having qualified in pole position by just two-thousandths of a second, Marc Marquez seemed to be the only rider capable of taking the battle to the two factory Ducati riders. At the start, it was Dovizioso who got off the line well and led the pack out of turn one. Marquez fought back almost immediately, with a lunge up the inside at turn three, but forced both riders wide, and allowed Lorenzo to take the lead.

    A lap later, Marquez regrouped and got past Lorenzo at turn three, and put his head down straight away. Riding with a hard rear tyre on his Honda, the Spaniard pushed hard to try and break away, and for a moment, it looked like he would. However, just as the gap was about to surpass the one-second mark, the Ducatis began to close the gap.

    At this stage of the race, it was Dovizioso who seemed to be the stronger of the two, with the Italian looking menacing behind his teammate. However, he was unable to pass, and the pair rode held position as they closed in on Marquez at the front.

    Lorenzo made his first pass at turn one, diving in the braking zone and blocking the inside line. This, in turn, forced Marquez to the outside edge of the track and left Dovizioso with nowhere to go. The Italian was forced to pick up his bike and run wide at turn one, losing nearly 1.5sec in the process. From that point onwards, it was a head-to-head clash between Marquez and Lorenzo.

    Once again, Marquez fought back almost immediately, regaining the lead at turn three. It wouldn’t last for long, though, as Lorenzo fired back into first place at turn nine on the same lap. At this point, the duo pulled away from Dovizioso, while choosing not to battle amongst themselves.

    With three laps to go, Lorenzo ran wide at turn three, allowing Marquez through once more. Turn nine was an area of the circuit where Lorenzo was clearly stronger, and he once again made a hard but fair lunge up the inside, leaving Marquez with no option but to relinquish.

    Marquez made one final overtaking attempt at turn three on the penultimate lap, but Lorenzo was able to motor past him down the home straight and rode a flawless final lap to take victory by just over a tenth of a second.

    Behind the battle for the race win, Dovizioso held on to third place, ahead of top independent finishers Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci. Valentino Rossi once again pulled the rabbit out of the hat on Sunday, recovering from 14th on the grid to finish in the top six, less than a second behind Petrucci. Dani Pedrosa brought the other Repsol Honda home in seventh place, ahead of top Suzuki Alex Rins. Johann Zarco and Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top 10.

    The series now takes a weekend off, before returning to action at Silverstone in two weeks’ time. Austria will have been a bittersweet result for Marquez – despite not being able to win, he was able to extend his championship lead over Valentino Rossi to a sizeable 59 points. The Spaniard will be looking to manage that lead all the way to the end of the season.

    Results - 28 laps

    POS

    RIDER

    TEAM

    GAP

    1

    Jorge Lorenzo

    Ducati

    39m40.688s

    2

    Marc Marquez

    Honda

    0.130s

    3

    Andrea Dovizioso

    Ducati

    1.656s

    4

    Cal Crutchlow

    LCR Honda

    9.434s

    5

    Danilo Petrucci

    Pramac Ducati

    13.169s

    6

    Valentino Rossi

    Yamaha

    14.026s

    7

    Dani Pedrosa

    Honda

    14.156s

    8

    Alex Rins

    Suzuki

    16.644s

    9

    Johann Zarco

    Tech3 Yamaha

    20.760s

    10

    Alvaro Bautista

    Aspar Ducati

    20.844s

    11

    Tito Rabat

    Avintia Ducati

    21.114s

    12

    Maverick Vinales

    Yamaha

    22.939s

    13

    Andrea Iannone

    Suzuki

    26.523s

    14

    Bradley Smith

    KTM

    29.168s

    15

    Takaaki Nakagami

    LCR Honda

    30.072s

    16

    Hafizh Syahrin

    Tech3 Yamaha

    30.343s

    17

    Aleix Espargaro

    Aprilia

    31.775s

    18

    Jack Miller

    Pramac Ducati

    34.375s

    19

    Franco Morbidelli

    MVDS Honda

    40.171s

    20

    Scott Redding

    Aprilia

    53.020s

    21

    Karel Abraham

    Aspar Ducati

    53.261s

    22

    Thomas Luthi

    MVDS Honda

    54.355s

    -

    Xavier Simeon

    Avintia Ducati

    Crash

     

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