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Hayden and Dovizioso recall last-corner fight

Hayden and Dovizioso recall last-corner fight

Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso grabbed much of the attention as Sunday’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix drew to a close, going head-to-head at the final corner.

As Hayden muscled his way into eighth, both riders bounced over the kerbs and lost momentum, allowed Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith to seize eighth place. It was very nearly a case of déjà vu, as in the Dutch TT at Assen a last corner lunge from Dovizioso had resulted in both he and Hayden running wide; coincidentally, Smith had been the beneficiary on that occasion as well.

"I was just racing with Dovi and he really pushes and doesn’t make many mistakes," Hayden began, having crossed the line in ninth place. "We went back and forth a lot and then at the last corner on the last lap, we had contact which was my fault. When the door started to close, I was already committed and didn’t want him to take out my front wheel. Unfortunately, Smith still beat us to the line. It’s a shame, but we still need to improve the bike over race distance. The race went better than last year and the fans were great to me, but I would’ve liked to put up a better fight than that."

Dovizioso then shared his version of events:

"The race became a strategic battle between Nicky and I. I’m fairly pleased with how I managed my race because I was able to pass him back on the final lap, but at the last corner he wanted to get by me at any cost, using a really aggressive maneuver. I didn’t expect it because I hadn’t left the door open. Nicky came beside me and we touched; it certainly wasn’t a safe move - but we can say it was a racing incident. We were called to Race Direction because of course it’s important to talk about these things and immediately clear them up. Honestly, I’m quite annoyed to have lost two positions and I also wanted to keep Smith behind me. Still, there’s no sense in creating controversy in a situation like this, so for me it’s over."

In the Riders’ Championship, Dovizioso sits seventh overall with 87 points while Hayden is placed ninth and a further 15 points in arrears.

MotoGP, 2013, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

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