News 11 Sep 2017

Marquez ties Dovizioso in MotoGP points with Misano victory

Aegerter and Fenati master rain-soaked San Marino grand prix.

Source: Supplied.

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took his fourth win of the year in a high stakes duel at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Sunday.

With the conditions torrential and the top three in the title fight lining up for the challenge on the front row, it was always going to be a nail-biter at the front.

As the spray cleared it was Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) just ahead of Marquez on track as the two dueled and Marquez pounced on the last lap for another 25-point haul.

That gives the number 93 the championship lead once again as Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) came home third, with the two rivals equal on points and equal on wins – and Marquez ahead by virtue of more second places.

But despite the challengers on the front row in the San Marino GP, it was Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) who got away best from row two, taking the lead through the first two corners after tousling with Marquez and shooting away into the distance.

Marquez slotted into second and Dovizioso in third, with Petrucci then slicing around the outside of Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) at the start of the second lap to begin his charge. After Viñales, the Pramac rider then shot past Dovizioso, beginning to hone in on Marquez and then taking over in second.

After setting the time-sheets alight and clear in the lead, drama then struck the head of the race as Lorenzo suddenly high-sided out at turn six, leaving Petrucci in the lead and a long game of high-speed chess to set in between Petrucci, Marquez and Dovizioso.

As the laps ticked on and the stakes seemed to get higher and higher, Dovizioso began to fade backwards and the trio became a duo in the battle for the win. The ring of the Honda getting louder and louder behind him, Petrucci held firm but Marquez chose his moment well, heading through at turn one on the final lap.

The rider from Cervera was then able to keep a small margin as the spray kicked up behind him, holding his nerve to take win number four of the year and the championship lead. That meant Petrucci took second and his fourth premier class podium, 1.1 seconds off the win after Marquez fired in the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.

Dovizioso took a safe third place – his first podium finish at Misano – and another good haul of points, with Viñales able to similarly avoid mistakes despite the stakes, taking fourth to keep himself very much in the title fight.

Behind the front four, Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) made steady progress and once again impressed as a wildcard, completing the top five, as Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) put in a signature stunner in the wet from way down on the grid, for some time threatening Viñales for the top four before eventually crossing the line in sixth.

Seventh over the line was a fight back from Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), ahead of a quality ride from rookie Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) shot through the field from P16 on the grid to take ninth, with an impressive double act behind him for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, as Bradley Smith took his first top 10 with the Austrian factory and teammate Pol Espargaro crossed the line in 11th.

Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) took points in P12 and kept out of trouble, ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) in 13th, who crashed in the early stages and remounted. It was a tough day at the office for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), as the Spaniard struggled to find grip and get heat into the tyres, crossing the line in 14th.

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) supplied some late drama as he had a problem on the final lap, but managed to push the bike over the line for the final point.

Now it’s the final European round before the flyaway races, and Marquez and Dovizioso are equal on points. They’re also equal on wins, but the number 93 has more second places – making him the new leader in the sixth change so far this season.

Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) mastered the soaking conditions at Misano to take his second-ever grand prix victory in Moto2, under pressure from title challenger and compatriot Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) throughout until pulling away over the final laps to take the first win on a Suter since Valencia 2014.

That was a headline and the San Marino GP wrote a few more as championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) crashed out of the lead early on, meaning Lüthi hops up to only nine points off the top of the standings after his second-place finish.

Completing the podium was another newsworthy performance as Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) put his wet weather pace to good use to join the first ever Swiss 1-2 celebrating on a rainy rostrum. Australian Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) was on course for a top 10 prior to crashing two and still remounting for 13th.

In Moto3 Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) left the field in the dust at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, taking his ninth win in Moto3 by more than 28 seconds by the flag from Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) with only 15 finishers in total.

The 2017 MotoGP World Championship series will now move forward to MotorLand Aragon in Spain on 22-24 September.