Andrea Dovizioso kept the Ducati Teams MotoGP winning streak alive Austrian Grand Prix, the Italian has a race-long fight with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez which went down the very last corner in a classic encounter.
As the lights went out it was Andrea Dovizioso from third the grid who took the holeshot, it didn’t take long for drama to ensue as Marc Marquez made a lunge on Andrea Dovizioso into turn three running them both wide and both dropping down to third and fourth respectively.
As the two top protagonists hit the front it was very much like the 2017 race resumed with paint being swapped at every opportunity.
The opening laps wasn’t a fate of fortune for RedBull KTM man Pol Espargaro when on lap two his KTM machine cut out on him exiting turn three, causing somewhat of a chain reaction with Avintia Ducati rider Tito Rabat hitting the back of Espargaro and LCR Honda’s Cal Cruchlow hitting Rabat and ending his the brits race just two weeks before his home Grand Prix.
Jack Miller look set for another strong result after his podium in Brno, however, he lost the front of his Pramac Ducati in turn nine, ending his race at the end of lap seven.
With Pol Espargaro out Miguel Olivera took the baton as top KTM all be it on a satellite Tech 3 Red Bull KTM machine, Olivera had worked his way all the way up to eighth his eventual finishing position and his best finish in MotoGP. Despite his best efforts to overcome his Moto2 rival Pecco Bagnia for seventh place, the Portuguese rider couldn’t quite manage to get ahead of the young Italian.
As the race entered nine laps to go Andrea Dovizioso made his move on Marc Marquez into turn one, having sat behind Marquez for several laps and potentially looking stronger than the Spaniard.
However, Dovizioso took the lead and all of a sudden it looked as though Marc Marquez had more pace than Dovizioso, harrying the back of the Ducati putting the pressure on Dovizioso.
With three laps to go Marquez made his move into turn seven after a small bobble from Dovizioso coming out of turn six gave the championship leader the slight advantage that he needed to pass.
Dovizioso snapped back immediately into turn nine but ran wide given Marquez the undercut on his Repsol Honda.
As they entered the last lap Andrea Dovizioso fired his Ducati under Marc Marquez into turn one again running slightly wide allowing the Honda bike to slip underneath him and get the drive up the hill.
As they entered turn six and seven Marquez’s strongest point on the track it almost looked as though Dovizioso was done, but as the pair came hurtling into turn nine Dovizioso closed and made a lunge into turn ten, the same lunge Marc Marquez tried in 2017 and failed to pull off but Dovizioso had done enough taking a spectacular and well-needed victory for himself and Ducati.
Fabio Quartararo has a brilliant ride finishing in third his first podium since Assen in June, and his third in his career. And with Valentino Rossi fourth his best result since Le Mans and Maverick Vinales fifth it rounded up a strong weekend for Yamaha at one of there weakest venues.
MotoGP heads to Silverstone for round twelve in two weeks time (23-25 August) where we expect all the top manufacturer to be in the hunt, and with a brand new surface will the lap records go?