Latest Ducati News
Andrea Dovizioso wins the Shell Malaysia Grand Prix ahead of Jorge Lorenzo to keep his title hopes alive, 21 points behind Marquez
The two Ducati Team riders produced an outstanding performance today at the Sepang International Circuit, with Andrea Dovizioso winning the Shell Malaysia Grand Prix, held on a wet track, ahead of his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
With this victory, his sixth of the season, Dovizioso keeps the title battle alive and at this point it will go down to the final round of the season at Valencia from 10-12 November. Dovizioso, who started from row 3 in third place, didn’t get a perfect start and had to battle with Pedrosa on the opening lap. The Italian then caught and passed Marquez on lap 5, before setting after the leading duo made up of Zarco and Lorenzo. On lap 9 both Ducati Team riders passed the Frenchman and then Dovizioso was able to overtake his team-mate five laps from the end and hold on to first place until the chequered flag. Jorge Lorenzo also did a great race, the Spanish rider getting an excellent start from the second row and immediately setting after the provisional race leader Zarco. The rider from Mallorca took over at the front on lap 9 and when he was caught and passed by Dovizioso, he followed his team-mate home for the runner-up slot. Thanks to today’s results, Ducati moves into second place in the Constructors’ standings with 303 points, two more than Yamaha. The MotoGP riders will be back in action in two weeks’ time for the final and decisive round of the 2017 season, scheduled for 10-12 November, at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
Andrea Dovizioso – “It was a truly perfect weekend: we were quick in every session, both in the dry and in the wet, and today in the rain we dominated. Here at Sepang Jorge and I really had a bike advantage, because our Desmosedici was very fast, and we managed to administer the gap in the best possible way even though track conditions were very difficult because there wasn’t much grip. I’m very pleased for the win which keeps my hopes alive for the title, and even though I know it will be very difficult at Valencia because it’s a track where Marquez always goes well, we’ll be going to Spain with confidence to try and bring home the victory.”
Jorge Lorenzo, who finished 2nd – “It was a great race that showed the progress we made throughout the weekend. I was really at ease on the bike, and even though I’d have preferred a dry race, when I saw it was raining I changed my mentality and tried to keep focused, in order to avoid a mistake like Misano. I pushed hard but in the last few laps I was in a bit of crisis with the tires, especially the front, and had a few scary moments in some corners. It wasn’t the right time to do anything stupid and when I almost crashed at Turn 15 and Andrea passed me I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to fight for the win. I know exactly how important a world title is for Ducati, Dovizioso has had a fantastic season and deserves to fight for the championship right down to the last race. In this weekend Andrea has always been faster and I’m pleased for the team for this first 1-2 win of the season, because it means we’re working really well.”Read more
Points gap from Marquez to 11. Sixth overall for Jorge Lorenzo, with Ducati now second in the Constructors’ standings
Andrea Dovizioso powered to his fifth win of the year today at Motegi at the end of an exciting race and a terrific scrap right down to the final corner with Marc Marquez. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider has now reduced the gap in the overall standings to 11 points to the Spanish champion, with three rounds left in the 2017 MotoGP World Championship.
Dovizioso, who started from row 3, moved up to third in the early laps behind Petrucci, who led until lap 12, and Marquez. Once he had passed the Pramac Racing Team rider, who eventually finished an excellent third at the flag, Andrea began to chase down Marquez up at the front. Dovizioso then caught and passed him on lap 21, but three laps later Marquez was back in the lead. The Ducati man didn’t lose touch with his title rival however, attacking four corners before the finish to hold onto his first place until the chequered flag.
Jorge Lorenzo eventually finished in sixth place after starting from the second row. The Spanish rider got off to a good start and led during the opening lap, but then dropped a few positions following a contact with Zarco and suffering from a poor feeling with rear tyre grip. Six laps from the end Jorge began his recovery from ninth and after passing Viñales, A. Espargarò and Zarco, he finished the GP of Japan in sixth place.
Thanks to today’s result, Ducati moves into second place in the Constructors championship with 273 points.
MotoGP returns to the track next weekend at the Phillip Island circuit, the venue for the Australian Grand Prix.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st
“It was a difficult race because at the start there wasn’t much grip and I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike but I never gave up, not even when I was losing ground, and this made all the difference. Marc was really quick and he tried right until the end, but there were some places where I could attack and he also made a small mistake on the last lap which gave me a chance to catch him again and try and pass him at Turn 11. I knew that he was going to attack me in the final two corners but I was prepared for this, I closed the door on him and he had to go a bit wide to pass me. It was absolutely vital to win here and I’m really so pleased for the whole team and for the championship.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 6th
“I can’t be happy with my race, because we had the potential to try and win if there hadn’t been so much water on the track. We weren’t able to find the right setting to be quick in these conditions and without rear grip it was impossible for me to do anything more. I gradually succeeded in getting a better feeling with the bike, and I improved my pace and was able to pass Viñales, Zarco and Aleix Espargaro. In the end we were missing almost a second per lap today, and that’s a pity because this weekend we were always fast. I want to congratulate Andrea, because he’s proving to be a really strong rider, mentally as well, and he is able to take advantage of every chance of fighting for the world title. Hats off, and congratulations to him and all the team!”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“There was so much tension today but in the end also so much satisfaction! Andrea was awesome, he did a truly perfect race, and in so doing reduced the gap from Marquez to eleven points. His fifth win of the season, here in Japan, has a special significance and I’m really happy. Pity about Jorge, who wasn’t able to get the result in a weekend in which he had always been competitive. Now we are thinking about Phillip Island, and we know that it will be a tough battle until the very end but we have all the right cards to fight for the title right down to the wire.”