Ducati picked up a home win in MotoGP’s San Marino GP at Misano with Andrea Dovizioso claiming his third of the 2018 season from Honda’s Marc Marquez and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.
Jorge Lorenzo started off well from pole leading the San Marino GP from Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller with Dovizioso into third from Marquez as Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales dropped few places in a slower start for the Spaniard.
While Lorenzo led the way, Dovizioso made it a factory Ducati 1-2 after passing Miller as the Australian dropped to fourth with Marquez passing the Pramac rider soon. The fight for fifth had a four-way fight with Vinales leading the charge.
The Yamaha rider had his teammate Valentino Rossi, Suzuki’s Alex Rins and LCR Honda’s Crutchlow in the mix as well with the likes of Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Angel Nieto Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista and Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli making ground.
The Top 3 started to pull away when Miller crashed helping Vinales and the rest of the group to gain one place. The Australian though joined the pack at the back of the field but lost any chance of a more than decent result.
Meanwhile, the fight for win intensified as Dovizioso started to catch his teammate. The Italian eventually made the move on Lap 6 to take over the lead as Marquez trying to get through Lorenzo as well. By that time Rins had already passed Vinales for fourth.
The Yamaha rider then lost a place to Crutchlow as well with Rossi losing out to Pedrosa in the fight for seventh. Morbidelli started off well but then started to lose places to drop out of the Top 10 helping Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone in the process.
Iannone started from 13th but made up good places to run in ninth behind Rossi as Dovizioso led the way from a fighting Lorenzo and Marquez. The two exchanged places for a couple of times with Lorenzo winning the battle.
However, the pressure continued on from Marquez which eventually led Lorenzo into a crash with barely two laps remaining. The Ducati rider joined the field just outside the Top 15 position battling KTM’s Bradley Smith.
At the front though, Dovizioso eased into his third win of the season in a dominating fashion in not only his home grand prix but also Ducati’s. Marquez was second with Crutchlow third after the British rider had passed Rins early on.
The Suzuki rider finished a fine fourth on a tough circuit for the bike with Vinales in fifth from Pedrosa and Rossi. The two Yamaha riders salvaged good points result despite the lack of performance from the M1 as Iannone ended up eighth.
The Italian thus made up five places from 13th. Bautista also had a good outing to be ninth on the tail of Iannone with Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco completing the Top 10. The Frenchman lost places at the start but recovered to 10th.
It wasn’t a good day for Pramac team in the end with Danilo Petrucci only 11th. The Italian couldn’t start his bike initially for the formation lap but eventually got going. He lost places at the start and was handed a 1.1s penalty for using shortcut in Turn 1 and 2.
Behind the Italian was his fellow countryman Morbidelli who fended off a late charge from LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami. The Italian was inside the Top 10 early on but then lost touch as he dropped places.
Still he just managed to hold off the Japanese rider for 12th. While the KTM riders couldn’t score, Aprilia had Aleix Espargaro in points in 14th with Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro scoring a point as well in 15th after Lorenzo’s fall.
The factory Ducati eventually finished 17th, only 0.114s behind Smith. Another one to make some recovery after his fall was Miller as he finished 18th from Tech 3 Yamaha’s Hafizh Syahrin – in another lowly result for the Malaysian.
Angel Nieto Ducati’s Karel Abraham, Aprilia’s Scott Redding, Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi and Avintia Ducati’s Christophe Ponsson completed the 23 finishers with the latter finishing a lap down on the leaders.
DNF: Pol Espargaro, Stefan Bradl and Xavier Simeon.
About the Author
Darshan Chokhani is a FIA Accredited journalist covering both Indian and International championships, including Formula 1, MotoGP, Formula E, World Endurance Championship and more. Although specialising in motor racing, but follows Cricket, Tennis, WWE and events involving Indian athletes.