DOVI v MAR­QUEZ DOWN TO THE WIRE

Dovizioso doesn’t win: Mar­quez is cham­pion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn -

This week­end will see the cul­mi­na­tion of one of the clos­est fights in Mo­togp his­tory when the 2017 sea­son goes down to the wire at Valencia. Af­ter 17 in­cred­i­ble rounds that have seen An­drea Dovizioso and Marc Mar­quez locked in bat­tle since the Ital­ian kicked off his ti­tle cam­paign back in May with a spec­tac­u­lar dou­ble win, the pair go to the Span­ish cir­cuit with all to play for.

And while the mo­men­tum is def­i­nitely in the favour of Rep­sol Honda mounted Mar­quez who has a sig­nif­i­cant 21-point lead, Dovizioso has no in­ten­tion of sur­ren­der­ing the chance of glory fol­low­ing his spec­tac­u­lar wet weather win at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

With noth­ing less than vic­tory on Sun­day good enough to give Dovi any chance of a dark horse pre­mier class ti­tle, it doesn’t mean there is any less pres­sure on Mar­quez –some­thing that he ac­knowl­edged to MCN.

The Spa­niard said: “The hard­est thing is fight­ing with some­one that doesn’t have pres­sure. I mean, he has pres­sure, but not the same pres­sure as I do. If Dovi wins the cham­pi­onship; that’s an amaz­ing sea­son. If he fin­ishes sec­ond; that’s an amaz­ing sea­son, for both Dovi and Du­cati.

“So it’s hard for me, be­cause you can feel when you speak with peo­ple that it’s like I can lose the cham­pi­onship and he can only win. It’s some­thing in­ter­est­ing and new, and some­thing I need to man­age dif­fer­ently!”

And de­spite Mar­quez only need­ing to fin­ish Sun­day’s race in eleventh place, even if Dovi wins, the Ital­ian is go­ing into the week­end up­beat, know­ing that his po­si­tion now means that he can com­mit to an all-ornoth­ing strat­egy for the week­end. It’s go­ing to be elec­tri­fy­ing.

Dovi said: “It’s dif­fi­cult, that is the re­al­ity, with a 21-point gap and with Marc at Valencia, but we’ll never give up, be­cause any­thing can hap­pen. So now we have to keep think­ing pos­i­tive thoughts and try to be fast at Valencia. Af­ter that, we can start think­ing about strat­egy, even though the strat­egy will just be to try and win.

“We know in Valencia it’s not the best track for us and Mar­quez is very strong there, but this sea­son eve-

‘It’s like I can lose the cham­pi­onship and Dovi can only win’

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