MotoGP Austria: Ducati's Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late battle

Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the 2018 MotoGP season after outduelling Honda rider Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring.

Starting from pole, Marquez gave up the lead to Andrea Dovizioso at the start and when he fought back at Turn 3, his move compromised both riders, allowing Lorenzo to move to the front.

But Marquez passed his future Honda team-mate at Turn 3 next time around, and started to slowly inch away from the factory Ducati duo.

Marquez’s lead was up to 0.8s when Dovizioso started to put pressure on Lorenzo for second.

But he could only shadow Lorenzo for several laps, which allowed the Spaniard to eventually close the gap back to Marquez.

When he got there, Lorenzo then ran wide at Turn 3 and narrowly escaped without giving up second place, but then moved past Marquez at the first corner with six laps to go.

Marquez immediately fought back, but Lorenzo pulled off another move on the same lap at Turn 9.

There was no counter-attack this time but Marquez refused to drop behind, and was all over Lorenzo as the final five laps began.

Marquez’s first opportunity arose when Lorenzo ran wide at Turn 3, but recovered with a forceful move at Turn 9.

On the penultimate lap, Marquez then made another overtake at the same corner and, while Lorenzo could not respond on that lap, he breezed past Marquez on the main straight.

Marquez tried to repeat his move on the final tour, but Lorenzo had better run on the outside line and kept his position, eventually crossing the line 0.130s ahead of the championship leader.

Dovizioso had started to lose ground around the some moment Lorenzo took the lead for the first time, and in the end he finished 1.5s behind in third.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow spent the entire race as best of the rest, with Danilo Petrucci completing the top five on the third Ducati GP18.

Valentino Rossi completed a solid recovery from 14th on the grid on the lead Yamaha, running eighth after the early stages and then passing Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat to salvage sixth.

Dani Pedrosa was right behind Rossi in seventh, while Rins, despite running as high as third on the opening lap, finished eighth.

Tech3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati) completed the top 10 as Rabat dropped to 11th despite running seventh for most of the race.

The second factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales did not spend a single lap in the top 10 as he dropped down to 16th after the start but eventually rose up to 12th ahead of Andrea Iannone (Suzuki).

KTM’s Bradley Smith was 14th, ehile Takaaki Nakagami took the final points-paying position on the second LCR Honda.

After his third win of the season, Lorenzo is third in the standings, while Marquez’s points lead is up to 59 points over Rossi.

Results – 28 laps

Pos Rider Team Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 39m40.688s
2 Marc Marquez Honda 0.130s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1.656s
4 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 9.434s
5 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 13.169s
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 14.026s
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda 14.156s
8 Alex Rins Suzuki 16.644s
9 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 20.760s
10 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 20.844s
11 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 21.114s
12 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 22.939s
13 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 26.523s
14 Bradley Smith KTM 29.168s
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 30.072s
16 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha 30.343s
17 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 31.775s
18 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 34.375s
19 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda 40.171s
20 Scott Redding Aprilia 53.020s
21 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 53.261s
22 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda 54.355s
Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Crash

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