Dovizioso Victory Takes Title Race to the Wire

Andrea Dovizioso - Photo Credit: Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso led a Ducati 1-2 in wet conditions at Sepang to take the race for the MotoGP world championship to the final round in Valencia. The Italian overcame team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to claim his sixth win of the season with title rival Marc Marquez finishing fourth, ensuring he will head into the championship decider 21 points ahead of Dovizioso.

Dani Pedrosa lined up on pole position but remarkably, it was Marquez on the other Repsol Honda who arrived at turn one first after a blistering start and ambitious breaking point. The Spaniard skated wide on the sodden race track, taking Dovizioso with him, allowing Johann Zarco to take an early lead from Lorenzo, Pedrosa and the two title protagonists.

As a lack of wet-weather pace saw Pedrosa drop back, the championship rivals were soon squabbling over third and despite an error at the final corner which almost saw the two collide, Dovizioso was clearly the faster of the two. Under braking for turn four on the fifth lap, Dovizioso finally made the move stick and gave chase after the front two.

Zarco had opened up a 1.6 second lead early on but the pace of the Ducatis in the wet soon overpowered the Frenchman, Lorenzo and Dovizioso passing in quick succession on lap nine. One the pair had taken control of the race, the only question surrounded Ducati’s potential use of team orders to swap their riders around but a slip-up for Jorge at the final corner rendered it academic, as Dovizioso inherited a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Zarco maintained third to hand the rookie his second podium of the year while Marquez cruised home in fourth, meaning eleventh or better will secure the championship for the Spaniard in Valencia. Pedrosa fell almost half a minute back in fifth, narrowly holding off Danilo Petrucci who stormed from the back of the grid to finish sixth having stopped on the sighting lap.

Valentino Rossi recovered from a dreadful start to finish seventh ahead of Jack Miller and Maverick Vinales while Pol Espargaro rounded out the top ten for KTM.


2017 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix – Result

14. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team44:51.49725
299. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team+0.74320
35. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+9.73816
493. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team+17.76313
526. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team+29.14411
69. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing+30.38010
746. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+30.7699
843. Jack MillerHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+35.2388
925. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+38.0537
1044. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+39.8476
1119. Alvaro BautistaDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team+42.5595
1238. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+44.6024
1345. Scott ReddingDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing+48.6963
148. Hector BarberaDucatiReale Avintia Racing+50.0582
1535. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda+50.7051
1660. Michael van der MarkYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+56.397
1729. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR+58.391
1853. Tito RabatHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+1:25.571
NC22. Sam LowesApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+11 Laps
NC17. Karel AbrahamDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team+12 Laps
NC76. Loris BazDucatiReale Avintia Racing+15 Laps
DQ42. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTARDisqualified