Down to the wire

Evo India - - MOTORSPORT MOMENT -

IT WAS THE LAST LAP OF THE RACE. An­drea Dovizioso was in lead on his Du­cati, but Marc Mar­quez wasn’t giv­ing him an easy time. He’d been on his Dovi’s tail for the last seven laps and hadn’t eased off. A cou­ple of mil­lisec­onds off the leader on the last lap, Mar­quez could smell blood. This made him dan­ger­ous – he was go­ing to at­tempt to go for the kill, and Dovizioso knew it.

Dovizioso man­aged to keep Mar­quez out of at­tack­ing range for most of the lap. How­ever, Mar­quez made up cru­cial mil­lisec­onds over the last few cor­ners and was in with a chance ap­proach­ing Turn 9 – the penul­ti­mate cor­ner of the lap. Mar­quez made a dive for the out­side line, how­ever Dovizioso an­tic­i­pated the move, ex­ited cleanly and shut the door on him. That should’ve been it. The fi­nal cor­ner of the lap wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly easy place to over­take, how­ever Mar­quez wasn’t done yet.

The last turn was another right han­der, lead­ing on to the start-fin­ish straight. Dovi had ex­pected Marc to make the move – he had heard Marc get on the throt­tle ear­lier that he did at Turn 9’s exit. He in­ten­tion­ally kept his line clean on the fi­nal cor­ner, leav­ing the door open for Marc as he hoped to get bet­ter speed out of the cor­ner. The plan worked. Marc dived in to Turn 10 on the in­side and slipped past Dovi… but ex­ited wide, bike slid­ing around try­ing to hold a tight line. Dovizioso ex­ited the cor­ner faster, blasted past the slid­ing Honda and made it to the che­quered flag be­fore the Honda did.

In a post-race in­ter­view, Mar­quez re­vealed that he had for­got­ten about the cham­pi­onship when he made that moved – he just wanted the win. He said that he gave it his all, and wouldn’t have been able to sleep that night had he not at­tempted to win. Go­ing in to this race, Marc lead the cham­pi­onship by 14 points from Mav­er­ick Vi­nales, and is now lead­ing from Dovizioso who climbed in to sec­ond by 16 points. For the first time ever, Honda and Du­cati are the two teams bat­tling it out for the Mo­toGP crown – the best years of both fac­to­ries have never co­in­cided, un­til now.

L

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