It’s Either Marquez or Dovizioso for the MotoGP Title – It’s almost guaranteed that the battle for the 2017 MotoGP title is between the two top-ranked riders especially after Andrea Dovizioso’s dramatic victory in last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Admittedly, the Ducati rider actually did stun the world champion Marc Marquez in a ferocious duel that saw him revive his championship hopes at the rain-soaked Twin Ring Circuit in Motegi Japan. Both riders now have now clinched five victories each in this year’s MotoGP season with Marquez still 11 points ahead.
The Fierce Motegi Duel
Dovizioso’s nerve-jangling win over Marquez by 0.249 seconds has been cited by race analysts as one of the greatest duels in recent times. Dovi overtook Honda’s Marquez in a fierce final corner battle on the last lap. Marquez had initially made a good start on the wet Japanese track taking a quick lead.
He was soon overtaken by Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, who maintained the lead for most parts of the opening half of the race. Marquez and Dovizioso then took the lead with 11 laps to go and it soon became evident that the race would be won by one of the two. The rest of the race was a thrilling exchange for the lead between Marquez and Dovizioso.
It was a battle waged in the pouring rain as the Ducati rider stayed close waiting to take advantage of any slip from Marc Marquez.
At Turn 8, Marquez ran wide and Dovi didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the slip. He latched back on his rear wheel and sped past the stunned Marquez. With Dovi on the lead, the pair waged a thrilling battle that ended in Dovizioso’s favor.
It was his fifth victory of the season that saw him reduce Marquez’s lead in the overall championship table by 11 points.
In a post-race press conference, Marquez stated that he was also thrilled by the battle. “We fight in a good way,” he said but still apologized to Dovizioso for having hit the limit while making an aggressive pass at Turn 3. Both riders, however, said they really enjoyed the last lap battle.
Sad State of Affairs for Other Contenders
Danilo Petrucci came second around 10 seconds behind the leading pair. He was followed by Italian Andrea Iannone of the Suzuki team. Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo came in sixth while Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales, who still holds the third place in overall championship standings, managed a less-than-impressive ninth position.
Italian nine-time overall champion, Valentino Rossi, suffered the biggest disappointment of the day after spinning into the gravel in the early stage of the race. Keep in mind, Valentino Rossi suffered a double leg fracture last month. Crashing out in the wet further dampened his chances of clinching this season’s title.
Current Standings – It’s Either Marquez or Dovizioso for the MotoGP Title
Last Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix was the 15th out of this season’s 18 races. With just three more races to go, it is now clear that the battle for the title is between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. To be honest, it is too close to call with each rider having won five races so far.
Marquez enjoys the lead with 244 points while Andrea Dovizioso is a close second with 233 points. The current champion is 11 points ahead of his close rival but three races can make a big difference in points.
Despite his dismal performance in Japan, Maverick Viñales is third in the championship standings with 203 points followed by Honda’s Dani Pedrosa with 170 points. Valentino Rossi is fifth with 168 points. This has not been one of his best seasons so far, especially with injuries and lower-than-expected performance.
Jorge Lorenzo is placed 7th with 116 points. By the look of things, he’ll be lucky to finish among the top five in this year’s championship.
Marquez Inches Away From Another Title
It seems like a close contest between Marquez and Dovizioso but Marquez has the better chance of winning the championship. He’s eleven points ahead, with just three races to go. As the two prepare to take the battle to a higher notch in the Australian Grand Prix in Philips Island next weekend, expect to see a more rejuvenated Marc Marquez.
It’s all systems go for Number 93 in the season’s homestretch.