Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso was the beneficiary of crashes by both Movistar Yamaha riders to claim his first podium since his second place in Austria.
Finding himself in fourth place in the opening stages of the race, Dovizioso saw himself promoted up to third after Rossi crashed out on the sixth lap. The factory Ducati rider established a solid gap ahead of the two Ecstar Suzuki’s and set about hunting down his 2017 team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
With the Italian fast closing in on Lorenzo, the Spaniard’s front tyre started giving way, before the pressure told and Lorenzo crashed out of second place. With a gap over both Suzuki’s, Dovizioso settled down to claim yet another second position.
“Today’s race was really very difficult. I started quite well but was boxed in by Valentino at the first corner and lost several positions and above all contact with the leading trio,” explained Dovizioso.
“I remained calm however and began to get closer to Lorenzo lap after lap: I didn’t want to take too many risks, but I had almost caught him when he made a small error and crashed out.”
Dovizioso explained that the bike wasn’t too easy to ride today, and with the risk of crashing looming large, his first thought was finishing the race, ahead of working hard and continuing to improve the Desmosedici.
“I am very pleased with the feeling I had with the bike and with how I managed the situation: I couldn’t take too many risks because it was very easy to crash, but I was able to be constant throughout the race and with a good pace, and get an important result for both me and Ducati,” explained Dovi.
“This weekend we worked well, and confirmed that we have a good base on which to continue to work to improve several aspects of the bike.”
Photos via Ducati Corse