Ducati’s Andrea Dovizoso had to wait seven years between MotoGP wins but has taken his second victory in as many weekends today at Barcelona, taking the lead from favourite Dani Pedrosa with nine laps to go and stretching the gap to a 1.8s margin over the line.
With soaring track temperatures, Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa was widely tipped for the win as his weight and riding style tend to look after tyres better but Dovizioso had other idea, stalking the little Spaniard and pouncing on the brakes into turn one.
Reigning champion Marc Marquez was not about to let the Italian get away, going under his Honda stablemate on the next lap at turn four to try and chase the Desmosedici but it was not to be as Dovizioso didn’t drop out the 1’47s and, with three laps to go, decided discretion was the better part of valour and settled for 20 points.
Pedrosa, who had chosen a hard front/medium rear like the rest of the podium men, tried had no answer for Marquez and came home seven seconds behind Dovizioso, whose team-mate Jorge Lorenzo rallied late on to take fourth place.
Lorenzo started fast and led for the first five laps but then looked like he had run out of grip on the hard rear Michelin. However, the tyre didn’t drop as much as expected and the three-time champion was able to make his way back through as the competition’s mediu, tyres gave up the ghost.
Jonas Folger was right in the scrap on a medium/medium combination but it began to give up with a couple of laps left and he was struggling to turn the satellite Monster Yamaha. Lorenzo caught and passed the German and he was left to scrap it out with team-mate Johann Zarco but lost out on fifth place by 0.083s.
A couple of late mistakes saw Alvaro Bautista pushed back to seventh place with Valentino Rossi in eighth, seven seconds behind Folger. Rossi came from 13th on the grid and looked like he had pace to make it into the top five but his medium rear ceased to function with ten laps left to run and he had a lonely race for eighth.
It was disaster for team-mate and championship leader Maverick Vinales who slipped and span his way to tenth place. His lead at the top of the points table is now just seven over Dovizioso with Marquez now third.
Hector Barbera separated the two Movistar Yamahas with Cal Crutchlow in 11th and Loris Baz in 12th. Scott Redding finished in 13th, Karel Abraham 14th and Tito Rabat 15th. Sam Lowes was 19th and Bradley Smith didn’t start after marmalising his little finger in free practice three.
Mugello podium man Danilo Petrucci was in the mix for a top-five finish, putting the hard rear to good use but he crashed out fighting with the Monster Yamahas with two laps left.