Marquez leaves it late to score Misano MotoGP victory
Marc Marquez left it late to secure his fourth victory of the 2017 MotoGP season and move back into the lead of the riders’ championship on countback, passing Danilo Petrucci on the final lap of the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano on Sunday.
Starting third after crashing out of qualifying on Saturday, Marquez made a good getaway to sit second early on behind Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who vaulted up the order on a wet circuit.
Marquez slipped behind Octo Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci in the early stages as he struggled in the spray, but moved back up to second when Lorenzo high-sided and was thrown from his bike.
Petrucci led a close train including Marquez and points leader Andrea Dovizioso, with the trio being covered by just a couple of seconds for much of the race.
Marquez looked uncomfortable as he worked to keep up with Petrucci, informing his Repsol Honda team to ready a dry setup bike with different brakes despite conditions still being damp.
Petrucci and Marquez dropped Dovizioso heading into the final few laps, with the Spaniard closing in on the leader heading onto the final lap.
Marquez lined up a move on the main straight on the final lap, passing into Turn 1 before defending well and pulling clear, posting the fastest lap of the race en route to the checkered flag.
The result sees Marquez move back into the lead of the riders’ championship with five races to go, tied with Dovizioso on 199 points but ahead by virtue of having more second-place finishes than the Italian.
Petrucci took P2 to mark his fourth MotoGP podium, but was left disappointed after coming within a lap of his maiden victory in the premier class of motorcycle racing.
Pole sitter Maverick Viñales failed to recover from a poor start, finishing fourth on the sole Yamaha factory bike ahead of Michele Pirro and Jack Miller.
British racer Scott Redding took P7 ahead of Alex Rins and Jonas Folger, while Bradley Smith completed the top 10 positions, having gained places after Johann Zarco slowed on the final lap, ultimately pushing his bike across the line.
MotoGP returns at Motorland Aragon in two weeks’ time before embarking on its final flyaways of the season.