Championship drama in the British GP as Marquez retires and ‘DesmoDovi’ wins
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) became the first man to win four races this season at the British GP, as the Championship challenger put on a tactical masterclass once again. In a close second but unable to make a last lap lunge was Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), with early leader Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completing the podium in his 300th premier class race start. As well as the podium finishers, the standings took a shake up as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was forced to retire.
It was Rossi who bolted off the line; the nine-time World Champion getting a lightning start from the middle of the front row and disappearing into the distance in the initial stages. Behind the ‘Doctor’, Marquez led a close five rider train with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Viñales, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Dovizioso on the chase. Marquez suffered a huge moment early on, but the rider from Cervera remained in charge of the chasing pack.
Soon, the Dovizioso struck against Lorenzo and the group began to pull away from the ‘Spartan’, just as Rossi pulled away on his own at the front. The game of high-octane chess continued with the four in line and staying within touching distance of Rossi, until a sudden puff of smoke gave the Championship a serious shake up and Marquez was out of it.
That left four, with Rossi then reeled in and everything looking like it would go down to the wire. And that it did, with Dovizioso able to pounce with three to go and get past his compatriot, swiftly followed by Viñales. The ‘Doctor’ tried to fight back but found the duo able to just stay clear – and the final lap was approaching.
With the concertina effect seeing the Ducati able to pull a gap and then the Yamaha able to close, it was incredibly tight as the two headed around the final 5.9km lap of Silverstone. Having played his hand to perfection, Dovizioso was able to keep the advantage to the line – taking his fourth win of the year. Viñales took second, with Rossi completing the podium. Crutchlow, not quite able to get close enough to make his move, took fourth.
Lorenzo had a great race to cross the line in fifth – and only 3.5 seconds off the race winning time of his teammate. The ‘Spartan’ overcame Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in the latter stages to pull a sizeable gap on the Frenchman over the line as he continues to move forward. Zarco took P6, comfortably ahead of a more difficult day at the office for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).
Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) showed his home race pace once again to take eighth, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) equaling his best rookie result in ninth just behind the Brit. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), after a more difficult qualifying day, completed the top ten.
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was hugely impressive once again for KTM, taking P11 after also getting straight through to Q2. Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) followed him home, with Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Reale Avintia Racing pairing Hector Barbera and Loris Baz locking out the fastest fifteen.
Now it’s Misano – home turf for many, including Valentino Rossi and new Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso.