Andrea Dovizioso's Sepang win keeps 2017 MotoGP title fight open

Andrea Dovizioso beat Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in a wet Malaysian Grand Prix to keep his slim MotoGP title hopes alive, as Marc Marquez could only manage fourth place

Andrea Dovizioso's Sepang win keeps 2017 MotoGP title fight open

In wet conditions, the two factory Ducatis of Dovizioso and Lorenzo had the clear measure of the opposition, although it was the Tech3 Yamaha of Johann Zarco that led the early going.

Marquez fleetingly led into the first corner with a great start from seventh, but ran wide to allow Zarco and Lorenzo through into the top two positions.

Dovizioso settled into fourth and pressured Marquez until finding his way past at the Turn 14 right-hander onto the back straight on the fourth lap, as the top four escaped from the rest of the field.

Zarco, the only one of the top four who opted for a soft compound rear tyre, stretched a lead out front of almost two seconds before Lorenzo began to reel him in.

Lorenzo made his move just before half-distance, with Dovizioso following through soon afterwards to establish a Ducati one-two out front.

With Marquez unable to make an impression on Zarco in fourth, it meant Dovizioso could take the title fight to Valencia by finishing ahead of Lorenzo, who received what appeared to be a coded instruction on his dashboard to move aside.

It took until lap 16 of the 20 for the positions to switch, as Lorenzo ran wide at the final corner to allow Dovizioso through and seal his sixth victory of the year by a margin of 0.748 seconds.

Zarco hung on for his second podium of the year, a further eight seconds back, and a similar margin ahead of Marquez in fourth.

Marquez's championship advantage was cut to 21 points, meaning an 11th-place finish at Valencia will be enough for the Honda rider to seal the crown even if Dovizioso wins.

Poleman Dani Pedrosa slipped to fifth by the end of the opening lap, and remained in that position for the duration, 11s behind team-mate Marquez.

Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci came from last on the grid to a strong sixth place, having suffered a breakdown on the warm-up lap, beating Valentino Rossi on the best of the factory Yamahas by three tenths.

Maverick Vinales could do no better than ninth on the second works M1, behind the Marc VDS Honda of Jack Miller, while Pol Espargaro's KTM completed the top 10.

Scott Redding spent several laps in sixth, but slipped back to 13th in the closing laps behind Alvaro Bautista and Bradley Smith.

Cal Crutchlow was the final points-scorer in 15th after dropping to 21st on the opening lap, while Michael van der Mark missed out on a point in his maiden MotoGP outing on the second Tech3 Yamaha.

Andrea Iannone also failed to score in what turned out to be another dismal outing for Suzuki, as Alex Rins crashed twice before finally being black-flagged for shortcutting his way back to the pits.

Sam Lowes, Karel Abraham and Loris Baz all crashed out too.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Laps Gap
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 20 44m51.497s
2 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 20 0.743s
3 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 20 9.738s
4 Marc Marquez Honda 20 17.763s
5 Dani Pedrosa Honda 20 29.144s
6 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 20 30.380s
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 20 30.769s
8 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 20 35.238s
9 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 20 38.053s
10 Pol Espargaro KTM 20 39.847s
11 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 20 42.559s
12 Bradley Smith KTM 20 44.602s
13 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 20 48.696s
14 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 20 50.058s
15 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 20 50.705s
16 Michael van der Mark Tech3 Yamaha 20 56.397s
17 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 20 58.391s
18 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 20 1m25.571s
- Alex Rins Suzuki 11 Disqualified
- Sam Lowes Aprilia 9 Retirement
- Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 8 Retirement
- Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 5 Retirement

Riders' standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 282
2 Andrea Dovizioso 261
3 Maverick Vinales 226
4 Valentino Rossi 197
5 Dani Pedrosa 185
6 Johann Zarco 154
7 Jorge Lorenzo 137
8 Danilo Petrucci 121
9 Cal Crutchlow 104
10 Jonas Folger 84
11 Alvaro Bautista 75
12 Jack Miller 73
13 Scott Redding 64
14 Aleix Espargaro 62
15 Andrea Iannone 60
16 Pol Espargaro 55
17 Alex Rins 46
18 Loris Baz 45
19 Karel Abraham 30
20 Tito Rabat 29
21 Hector Barbera 27
22 Bradley Smith 24
23 Michele Pirro 18
24 Mika Kallio 11
25 Sam Lowes 5
26 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 4
27 Sylvain Guintoli 1

Constructors' standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Honda 332
2 Ducati 303
3 Yamaha 301
4 Suzuki 87
5 Aprilia 64
6 KTM 64

Teams' standings

Pos Team Points
1 Repsol Honda Team 467
2 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 423
3 Ducati Team 398
4 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 238
5 Octo Pramac Racing 185
6 Team Suzuki ECSTAR 107
7 Pull & Bear Aspar Team 105
8 LCR Honda 104
9 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 102
10 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 79
11 Reale Avintia Racing 72
12 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 67



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