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Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) battled like it was dry in the Japanese GP, with everything coming down to the last lap and last corner. And like in Austria, it was Dovizioso who won - prepared for the move and able to keep in front over the line. The Italian had been in the lead initially with six laps to go, but then the situation called for a Plan B.
Dovi: "It was the right moment to win another race"
“When I overtook him I wanted to make a gap,” explains the Italian, “but I didn’t have the rear tyre. So it was just about strategy and being in the right place at the right time. I saw him struggling and I was struggling, but maybe he was over the limit and he made a mistake. Already at the start of the lap I knew I would have to do everything perfect two corners before to have the chance. I knew Turn 11 was my break, but there were two corners remaining and I knew that anything could happen. It was so exciting to be in this race, to fight with Marc always is, and it was important for the Championship.”
Dovi and Marquez share thoughts on the incredible last lap
That it was, with the gap now down to 11 points between the two with three races remaining. But, says Dovizioso, he wasn’t thinking about the Championship: “Today we didn’t think about the Championship – our speed and the battle were amazing. In the middle of the race I wasn’t as fast as them but I didn’t give up and for sure I took some risks. But I didn’t give up; that was the key to my race.”
Marquez: "A great show for the fans and a great result for me"
Marquez certainly agrees on the risk – and how incredible the race was. “It’s amazing to fight how we did today, and in the rain,” says the reigning Champion. “We knew before here that it would be difficult, but we tried and in the wet I felt good…but today with a lot of water was more difficult. I pushed and took the risk for a few laps but Dovi was able to be fast, then I made a mistake at Turn 8…my bike was shaking from the slipstream into Turn 11! Today second is ok because we’re in front, but I took a lot of risk. I said I’d try at the last corner and see how it goes like Austria, but it’s great and I’m happy. I’m taking a lot of risk and I don’t know who will win the Championship.”
Dovizioso, meanwhile, seems to think Marquez still has better odds – but echoed his sentiments from the Pre-Event Press Conference.
“It will be very difficult to beat him in the Championship,” confirms the Italian, “but like I said on Thursday, I will try.”
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