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By Ducati Team

Dovizioso: “Marc always tries on the last lap!"

And try he did! But it wasn’t quite enough to overhaul a stunning win for Dovizioso and Ducati

One of the duels of the century was a first time affair: Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) vs Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at the Red Bull Ring, with the duo fighting it out over the last lap. Going down to the final corner and a classic last lap lunge, the Italian emerged ahead over the line and in doing so took his third win of the year. He also moved back up in the standings to second – behind only Marquez.

Dovi and Marquez on the hair-raising final lap in Austria

Knowing the move was coming made for a stressful last lap, but the Borgo Panigale factory rider knew it would be far from easy – and knew both he and Ducati had set him up well for the battle:

Andrea Dovizioso, P1: “Marc always tries to do something on the last lap! It was difficult for me because I lost a lot in the two left corners, and it was easy for him to overtake me – I didn’t know he wasn’t close and I closed the door, so he had chance to catch me again. He had a chance in the last two corners, but the penultimate corner I braked very, very late and it was difficult for him. I didn’t expect him in the final corner, because there is no space, it’s not a braking zone. But I heard his engine the corner before the last, he opened the gas before me, and I knew he wanted to try. So I left the door open because if I didn’t he would have hit me and could have won. He was good stopping the bike and trying to exit, but I was faster.

"Every weekend you have the chance to change everything, or lose a lot."

“It was a stressful last lap but I’m happy with how we’ve worked throughout the weekend. Every day was different temperature and the tyres worked in a different way – but we understood the medium was good in qualifying and the soft in the race. This weekend we worked really well. I had to manage the tyre and I couldn’t push, and I saved the tyre at the beginning. If we hadn’t, we couldn’t have done those laptimes later in the race. A lot of people expected us to win easily here, but the rules have changed. Winglets were much better on this track last year. We knew that and we worked very well – the situation was very different this year. Everything changing is this year’s Championship. Every weekend you have the chance to change everything, or lose a lot. There are five riders fighting for it.”

When asked about his form in 2017, the rider from Forli said the answer is simple: small improvements contributing to a big difference.

AD04: “It’s not about taking more risk, it’s about managing all situations in a better way. When you’re already fast or you’ve already had a good result, a small change can make a big difference - training, mentality, these tiny things can make a big difference. In this world, in this sport, you have to try always to improve in every area. We still need to improve some things on the bike if we really want to fight. But that’s the reason why, at 31 years old, I’m here to fight for the Championship now – and wasn’t in the past.”

Dovizioso: "I'm happy with how I managed the race"