Dovizioso makes it back-to-back Grand Prix wins
The Ducati rider, who won last week's Italy Grand Prix, was ahead of Repsol's Spanish pair Marc Marquez, in second, and Dani Pedrosa in third.
With air temperature at 33° C and a track temperature of 54° C, conditions were very tough on tires. Both Marquez and Pedrosa got off well at the start and rode at the front for the entire race. Marquez took the lead on lap six before being passed by his teammate and Dovizioso on lap eight. Pedrosa led for a further nine laps before being passed by the Italian, who ultimately went on to win the race.
The victory moves second-placed Dovizioso within seven points of Yamaha's Vinales, who finished 10th.
Reigning champion Marquez, who crashed four times in qualifying on Saturday as most of the field struggled with grip on a slippery circuit, celebrated his podium finish by falling on the rostrum.
"It was a strange weekend for everybody to manage the track, the grip, the temperature, it was very difficult," said Dovizioso.
"It was a strange race, we couldn't push any lap because the rear tire drops a lot, but I had the speed so I was able to manage and stay on the front without pushing."
There was drama off the line as Pedrosa got a good start from pole, but a wheelie from Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) saw the ‘Spartan’ almost clash with fellow front row starter Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) – with Petrucci then making contact Marquez. The Italian dropped back, with the reigning Champion pulling clear as Lorenzo attacked for the lead and took over at the front.
Catch all the details with this stunning slow motion footage, filmed live during the race.
Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) found himself heading through the run off area at Turn 1 off the start and dropping back, with the Spaniard then facing a fight back from outside the points after a tough weekend – and teammate Valentino Rossi unable to make big progress from P13 on the grid either.
Lorenzo led Marquez and Pedrosa, with Dovizioso on the hunt in fourth and Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) a big winner off the line to move up into fifth. Next it was Marquez who struck for the lead, with Pedrosa needing no invitation to follow him through. The ‘Spartan’ then lost out to his teammate ‘DesmoDovi’ as he began to struggle after the lightning start; Folger and Petrucci the next to get through.
The fastest MotoGP riders from the race talk to the press about the results.
A three-way fight then broke out between Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Lorenzo for P6, with the squabble providing some spectacular wheel-to-wheel action and the Frenchman initially coming out on top. The drama wasn’t over, however, with some running out of rubber and some making big gains as the final laps approached – with Lorenzo on a charge back through and Folger one to lose out.
As ‘DesmoDovi’ arrived at the final lap clear in the lead, it became apparent the dream of Mugello wasn’t something the Italian yet had to wake from – crossing the line for his fourth career win to become the first Ducati rider since Casey Stoner in 2010 to win back-to-back.
Marquez kept it calm to take second and get back on the podium after a tough Italian GP, with Pedrosa crossing the line in third to join his teammate on the bounce back from the Italian GP.
Lorenzo sliced back through to take fourth at the flag, ahead of Zarco getting the better of Folger in a last minute duel between the Tech 3 machines. Bautista, after a late run off, came home in P7.
Enjoy the French rider's duel with the nine-time World Champion during the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Valentino Rossi came home in eighth, Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) took P9, and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) made it to the flag in tenth - taking a big hit on his points lead in the Championship.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing), Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and home hero Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top fifteen. EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller crashed out of top ten contention, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) also failing to see the flag after retiring with a problem.
Next stop: Assen, where the cards of 2017 are sure to shuffle again.
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