Catalan GP: Dovizioso takes Ducati to back-to-back in one week

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Andrea Dovizioso has taken an incredible second win of the season in the Catalan Grand Prix, making him the first Ducati rider to take back-to-back wins for the Borgo Panigale factory since two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner achieved the feat in 2010.

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez left a spate of crashes in practice behind to take second, with his teammate - polesitter Dani Pedrosa – completing the rostrum.

There was drama off the line as Pedrosa got a good start from pole, but a wheelie from Jorge Lorenzo saw the ‘Spartan’ almost clash with fellow front row starter Danilo Petrucci – with Petrucci then making contact Marquez. The Italian dropped back, with the reigning Champion pulling clear as Lorenzo attacked for the lead and took over at the front.

Championship leader Maverick Vinales found himself heading through the run off area at Turn 1 off the start and dropping back, with the Spaniard then facing a fight back from outside the points after a tough weekend – and teammate Valentino Rossi unable to make big progress from P13 on the grid either.

Lorenzo led Marquez and Pedrosa, with Dovizioso on the hunt in fourth and Jonas Folger a big winner off the line to move up into fifth. Next it was Marquez who struck for the lead, with Pedrosa needing no invitation to follow him through. The ‘Spartan’ then lost out to his teammate ‘DesmoDovi’ as he began to struggle after the lightning start; Folger and Petrucci the next to get through.

‘Baby Samurai’ Pedrosa then chose his moment to attack for P1, able to keep it as Dovizioso struck on Marquez – but the top three couldn’t quite yet begin to pull away from Folger in fourth, or ‘Petrux’ just behind. After a handful of laps playing high-speed chess, Dovizioso then went around the outside of Pedrosa to take the lead – pulling a small gap before Marquez followed the Italian through.

A three-way fight then broke out between Alvaro Bautista, Johann Zarco and Lorenzo for P6, with the squabble providing some spectacular wheel-to-wheel action and the Frenchman initially coming out on top. The drama wasn’t over, however, with some running out of rubber and some making big gains as the final laps approached – with Lorenzo on a charge back through and Folger one to lose out.

As ‘DesmoDovi’ arrived at the final lap clear in the lead, it became apparent the dream of Mugello wasn’t something the Italian yet had to wake from – crossing the line for his fourth career win to become the first Ducati rider since Casey Stoner in 2010 to win back-to-back.

Marquez kept it calm to take second and get back on the podium after a tough Italian GP, with Pedrosa crossing the line in third to join his teammate on the bounce back from the Italian GP.

Lorenzo sliced back through to take fourth at the flag, ahead of Zarco getting the better of Folger in a last minute duel between the Tech 3 machines. Bautista, after a late run off, came home in P7.

Valentino Rossi came home in eighth, Hector Barbera took P9, and Maverick Vinales made it to the flag in tenth - taking a big hit on his points lead in the Championship.

Cal Crutchlow, Loris Baz, Scott Redding, Karel Abraham and home hero Tito Rabat completed the top fifteen. EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller crashed out of top ten contention, with Aleix Espargaro also failing to see the flag after retiring with a problem.

 Race Result - 25 Laps

Pos. Rider Team Time/Gap
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 44'41.518
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 3.544
3 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 6.774
4 Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 9.608
5 Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 13.838
6 Jonas FOLGER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 13.921
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 16.763
8 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 20.821
9 Hector BARBERA Reale Avintia Racing 23.952
10 Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 24.189
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 28.329
12 Loris BAZ Reale Avintia Racing 33.281
13 Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Racing 35.2
14 Karel ABRAHAM Pull&Bear Aspar Team 39.436
15 Tito RABAT EG 0,0 Marc VDS 40.872
16 Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 43.221
17 Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 44.655
18 Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 48.993
19 Sam LOWES Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 55.492
Not Classified
  Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Racing 2 Laps
  Jack MILLER EG 0,0 Marc VDS 12 Laps
  Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 18 Laps