Andrea Dovizioso reclaimed the lead of the 2019 MotoGP championship standings after fighting through the field to take fourth at The Circuit of the Americas.
The Italian moves to the top of the championship after runaway race leader, Marc Marquez crashed out of the race at turn 12.
Dovizioso started the race down in 13th after a disappointing qualifying session saw him fail to make it out of Qualifying 1. The 33-year-old made a blistering start however and was already up to sixth by the end of the opening lap. After making it through to fourth, Dovizioso set his sights on Jack Miller and the final podium spot, only to miss out by nine tenths.
Speaking after the race, Dovizioso acknowledged that he and the team need to continue to improve if they’re to challenge for the title. He said:
“I’m happy with this result, especially considering that I was 13th on the grid, even though if I had one half lap more to ride I would have probably finished on the podium. It’s been a very tough race. Early on, I was struggling with the front and I didn’t have the pace to stay with the leading group, but I managed to stay calm and collected. Lap after lap, I regained confidence and my rhythm in the final stages was very competitive, so much that I almost managed to catch Miller. We’ve also been lucky because there were some crashes, but those things happen when you ride on the limit.
“We’re back on top of the Riders and Constructors standings, and my feeling with the bike has improved compared with last year, but it’s not enough because there are many competitive rivals so we need to keep improving.”
Dovizioso leads Valentino Rossi by three points in the standings, with Alex Rins a further two points behind. Marquez sits fourth, but is still only nine points behind the championship leader.
The Factory Ducati team also lead the Constructors standings and the Team standings heading into the fourth round of the championship, which takes place at Jerez on May 3-5 2019.