Andrea Dovizioso scooped his third victory of the MotoGP season after a spirited head-to-head duel with the reigning champion Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring in last Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix. This was also the third win this season for the Ducati team. Fellow Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo, whose hopes of winning the championship are as good as done, came in fourth.
Dovizioso may have clinched the third victory after the last-gasp lunge from Marquez but is still a long way from clinching the world championship. After the Austrian Grand Prix, Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda Team is still on top of the table with 174 points with Dovizioso in the Ducati Team coming a distant second with 158 points. Dovizioso is 16 points behind Marquez and 8 points ahead of Maverick Vinales in third place with the legend Valentino Rossi nine points behind.
Dovizioso: The Man to Watch
If there is a rider that Marc M. needs to beware of, it’s Andrea Dovizioso. He’s currently a top ranked rider in the Ducati team alongside Jorge Lorenzo. In last Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, Dovizioso made a brilliant comeback from a less inspiring performance in the tricky Brno race won by Marc M. He skillfully managed to fend off Marquez’s last-ditch move as the two entered the final corner of the race side-to-side to cross the finishing line with a 0.176 seconds lead.
The Ducati rider was however unhappy with Marquez’s spirited attempt to pass him despite winning his 3rd race of the season. Marquez actually tried to force his way on the inside of Trn 10 but the Spaniard’s Honda slid out of control and ran wide giving Dovisioso an opportunity to add another victory to his earlier successes at Barcelona and Mugello.
Maverick Vinales: Still a Person of Interest in the Championship
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales is placed third in the championship standings with 150 points after the Austrian Grand Prix. He showed an impressive start in the last race only to be bogged down by the lack of rear grip in the second half. He managed to finish 6th, which saw him lose further in overall championship standings.
However, Vinales is indeed a rider to watch out for if the Yamaha addresses the tire grip problem with the M1s. The grip concern has also been cited by teammate Valentino Rossi. He’ll also have to address his impatience if he hopes to beat leaders Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. He is nevertheless still determined to win the championship which is why I consider him a person of interest to watch out for.
In response to Dovizioso’s displeasure, Marquez defended his move by admitting that at the time he’d completely forgotten about the championship and was only keen on winning the current race, at all costs. He states that he was pushing 100% when he chose to go all-in. it didn’t matter that even a second place is still important in the championship.
Marquez still recovered and finished second ahead of his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo came fourth while Frenchman Johann Zarco on a Tech 3 Yamaha finished fifth ahead of Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.
After having won the previous races back-to-back, Marquez seemed to be in an ominous form when he arrived in Salzburg. His performance in the Austrian Grand Prix notwithstanding, the current champion is still on track to become the greatest MotoGP rider in the recent times.
He is still way ahead of the other favorites for the title including Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. And talking of Lorenzo, he made his usual front row lead at the 3rd corner and held on for 10 laps of the race. However, his dropped pace towards the end as Dovizioso, Marquez, and Dani Pedrosa sped past.
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MotoGP World Championship Standings After the Austrian Grand Prix
After last weekend’s race, Marc Marquez still holds the top position with 174 points and 3 wins. Andrea Dovizioso in the Ducati Team comes second with 158 points and 3 wins while Maverick Vinales comes third in the Yamaha team with 150 points and 3 wins. The MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi is fourth placed with 141 points and 1 win of the season while Dani Pedrosa is fifth with 139 points and one win.
I still maintain Marc Marquez is set to be the best rider in recent times despite the minor setback at the Red Bull Ring race last weekend. If you were to consider the season’s championship, for instance, second place still matters especially when you compare the dismal performance showed by fellow contenders for the world title. Jorge Lorenzo, who came third and does not feature among the top 5 in the season standings so far may as well forget the title.
He continues to blame everything else for his failures. Last week he was quoted saying he dropped off from the lead because of “fuel consumption issues” with his bike. To him, failure is never about Lorenzo’s faults.
The legend Rossi is still trailing behind, currently, 4th placed in this season standings. We’ll soon tire of seeing him make the expected come back and win his 10th title, which will give him a fighting chance for the world championship. Rossi’s fans are no longer as wild eyed as they used to be, the heat dimmed by their icon’s dismal performance in recent times.
The only consistent rider so far is the reigning champ, Marc Marquez. There are still a few races to go before the season ends but at his current form, Marc M. is poised to be the fastest rider of our time. You’re welcome to agree or dispute this claim.