Andrea Dovizioso led from the front to take a dominant victory in Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix as Ducati maintained their unbeaten record since the summer break. The Italian was unchallenged after taking the lead on lap six, taking victory ahead of Marc Marquez, but the race ended in bittersweet fashion for Ducati after Jorge Lorenzo crashed a lap and a half from home.
Lorenzo had begun the race as the overwhelming favourite and his chances appeared to be boosted when he led through turn one, followed by qualifying star Jack Miller. However, the Australian was quickly shuffled back to fourth by Dovizioso and Marquez who were keen to keep the polesitter in sight and when Miller lost the front end of his Ducati on lap two, the front three were detached from the rest of the pack.
Crucially, Lorenzo had been unable to make his trademark early break and Dovizioso soon snatched the lead into Quercia. The Italian looked confident and assured at the front but as half-distance approached, Andrea suddenly unleashed a new race lap record to leave his pursuers trailing and from that point onwards, Lorenzo and Marquez were merely scrapping over second.
The battle for the two remaining rostrum spots looked to be swinging Lorenzo’s way after seeing off an early Marquez assault by passing into turn 12 but a rare error from the no.99 settled matters with two laps to go. At the same corner he had earlier lost the lead, Jorge lost the front end of his Ducati and handed 20 points to Marquez.
The misfortune of Lorenzo up ahead also brought rewards for Cal Crutchlow who capped off a fine race with a podium in third while Alex Rins finished a tremendous fourth for Suzuki. Movistar Yamaha endured another chastening afternoon with Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi a distant fifth and seventh respectively, split by Dani Pedrosa, while Andrea Iannone, Alvaro Bautista and Johann Zarco rounded out the top ten.
2018 GP Octo di San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini (Result)
|1||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||42:05.426||25|
|2||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+2.822||20|
|3||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda Castrol||+7.269||16|
|4||42. Alex Rins||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+14.687||13|
|5||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+16.016||11|
|6||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+17.408||10|
|7||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+19.086||9|
|8||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||+21.804||8|
|9||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+23.919||7|
|10||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+27.559||6|
|11||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+30.698||5|
|12||21. Franco Morbidelli||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+32.941||4|
|13||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Honda||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||+33.461||3|
|14||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+35.686||2|
|15||51. Michele Pirro||Ducati||Ducati Team||+35.812||1|
|16||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+46.500|
|17||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||+46.614|
|18||43. Jack Miller||Ducati||Alma Pramac Racing||+50.593|
|19||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+55.168|
|20||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Angel Nieto Team||+1:02.255|
|21||45. Scott Redding||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+1:09.475|
|22||12. Thomas Luthi||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+1:12.608|
|23||23. Christophe Ponsson||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+1 Lap|
|NC||6. Stefan Bradl||Honda||HRC Honda Team||+10 Laps|
|NC||43. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+10 Laps|
|NC||10. Xavier Simeon||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||+25 Laps|