Andrea Dovizioso won a dramatic and damp Malaysian MotoGP grand prix on Sunday to keep his world title hopes intact after championship leader, Spain’s Marc Márquez finished fourth. The Italian adopted a cool strategy and worked hard to stay in the front pack as a downpour just before the start left standing water on much of the Sepang circuit.
Dovizioso rejects collusion claims
Dovizioso, who now has six wins this season, quickly defused speculation that team mate Jorge Lorenzo had been under orders to let him through at turn 15 when the Spaniard was in the lead. “He lost the front. I also lost the front many times”. He crossed the line in 44 minutes 51.497 seconds. Lorenzo was 0.743 seconds slower while Frenchman Johann Zarco came in third on 45:01.236.
Lorenzo said he pushed hard for victory but lost his grip in lap 15 when he tried to break. Asked if there had been any team instructions to let Dovizioso win, Lorenzo told reporters: “Honestly, I did not see anything. In the rain you cannot lose any concentration. I wanted to win the race but was not prepared to do something crazy. I lost grip in the front in turn 15. I thought I was going to crash. I did not want to crash into Dovizioso”.
Ducati come home first and second
It was the first time this year that the Ducati riders had achieved a 1-2 finish. The 31-year-old Dovizioso, who has a slim mathematical chance of claiming the title in Valencia in two weeks’ time, said the whole team worked perfectly. “We did everything perfect and it wasn't easy. So I am so happy about that, to show to everybody that with our work we can really be competitive in this difficult track in the dry and wet”.
Dovizioso admitted that Márquez would be competitive when they meet in a fortnight in Valencia, adding that it would not be a surprise if he wins the title there. “What Márquez did this season is incredible”, he said.
Márquez can lose the championship if Dovizioso wins in Valencia and he finishes outside the top 11. The final showdown will be at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste on 12 November with Márquez leading Dovizioso by 21 points.