MotoGP Motegi: Dovizioso beats Marquez in wet epic to cut points gap

Andrea Dovizioso closed the gap on MotoGP points leader Marc Marquez after coming out on top in an epic dice for glory in the wet at Motegi

MotoGP Motegi: Dovizioso beats Marquez in wet epic to cut points gap

The race turned into a two-way fight between this year's title protagonists, a reprise of their pulsating Red Bull Ring duel earlier the year, which was also won by Dovizioso.

Marquez looked to have the edge until suffering a major wobble at Turn 8 on the final lap, allowing Dovizioso to close and make the race-winning pass at Turn 11.

As in Austria, Marquez tried to fight back at the very last corner, but ran wide, allowing Dovizioso to score his fifth victory of the season by 0.249s from the reigning champion.

Danilo Petrucci enjoyed a lengthy spell in the lead early on, and held an advantage as big as 1.9 seconds by the end of the fourth lap with the help of the extra-soft rear tyre.

But the Pramac Ducati rider couldn't keep up the pace, and after being reeled in, the Italian was passed in quick succession by Marquez and Dovizioso on laps 13 and 14 respectively.

With Petrucci now out of the picture, the gap between Marquez and Dovizioso hovered around the half-second mark until Dovizioso made his first attack on lap 19, grabbing the lead at Turn 5.

Dovizioso led by eight tenths at the end of that lap, but Marquez rapidly closed in and took the lead back with three laps to go to set up another thrilling showdown.

The pair traded the lead twice more on the same lap, with Dovizioso making a bold move at Turn 6 only to lose the advantage three turns later, after which Marquez appeared to have the win sealed.

That was until his final-lap error, which allowed Dovizioso to close and pass to take the win, closing his deficit to Marquez in the standings to just 11 points.

Petrucci held on to third place, 10.308s down on Ducati stablemate Dovizioso at the chequered flag.

Suzuki pair Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins delivered the manufaturer its best result of the season in fourth and fifth places, both passing Johann Zarco's Tech 3 Yamaha late on.

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo, who led the opening lap but soon found himself shuffled back to the lower end of the top 10 after being pushed out wide by poleman Zarco, passed the Frenchman to take sixth, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) following through for seventh.

Zarco ended up eighth ahead of the factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales. Valentino Rossi crashed out of ninth place on the sixth lap to complete a disappointing day for the marque.

A late problem for Dani Pedrosa's Honda elevated Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati) to the final top 10 place, ahead of Pol Espargaro on the best of the KTMs.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga was the best of the local contingent in 12th on his wildcard Yamaha, as Hiroshi Aoyama (Marc VDS) struggled to 18th and Kohta Nozane (Tech 3 Yamaha) was an early crasher.

Cal Crutchlow's nightmare weekend continued with two crashes in the race on his LCR Honda, while Aspar duo Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham were the remaining retirees, both falling.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 47m14.236s
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 0.249s
3 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 10.557s
4 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 18.845s
5 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 22.982s
6 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 24.464s
7 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 28.010s
8 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 29.475s
9 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 36.575s
10 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 48.506s
11 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 56.357s
12 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Yamaha 1m00.181s
13 Sam Lowes Aprilia Aprilia 1m00.980s
14 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m03.118s
15 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda Honda 1m03.514s
16 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m04.162s
17 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m06.271s
18 Hiroshi Aoyama MVDS Honda Honda 1m13.250s
- Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda Retirement
- Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda Retirement
- Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha Retirement
- Kohta Nozane Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha Retirement

Riders' standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 244
2 Andrea Dovizioso 233
3 Maverick Vinales 203
4 Dani Pedrosa 170
5 Valentino Rossi 168
6 Johann Zarco 125
7 Jorge Lorenzo 116
8 Danilo Petrucci 111
9 Cal Crutchlow 92
10 Jonas Folger 84
11 Alvaro Bautista 70
12 Aleix Espargaro 62
13 Jack Miller 56
14 Scott Redding 56
15 Andrea Iannone 50
16 Loris Baz 45
17 Pol Espargaro 42
18 Alex Rins 38
19 Tito Rabat 29
20 Karel Abraham 28
21 Hector Barbera 25
22 Michele Pirro 18
23 Bradley Smith 14
24 Mika Kallio 11
25 Sam Lowes 5
26 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 4
27 Sylvain Guintoli 1

shares
comments
MotoGP Motegi: Rossi 'lucky' to avoiding further injuries to leg

Previous article

MotoGP Motegi: Rossi 'lucky' to avoiding further injuries to leg

Next article

MotoGP Motegi: Marquez sorry for hitting 'limit' in Dovizioso fight

MotoGP Motegi: Marquez sorry for hitting 'limit' in Dovizioso fight
Load comments
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021