Not only did the Italian riders stun the Italian fans this weekend, Andrea Dovizioso also stunned himself by crossing the chequered flag just 5.5 seconds behind race winner Valentino Rossi.
|Dovizioso gave Ducati yet more reason to smile at Misano
Photo: Ducati Corse
Dovizioso handed the Ducati team another promising surprise in the TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix by sealing fourth place while bridging the gap to the front-runners.
The Italian rider got a quick start off the line and moved up a place to fifth by the end of lap one. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa soon got past the Ducati man. However, Dovizioso managed to stick to the back of Pedrosa’s bike and they both overtook Andrea Iannone on lap eight. When Marc Marquez lost the front end of his Honda, they both found themselves in a scrap for the final step on the podium. However, Dovi was unable to put a move on Pedrosa and was forced to settle for fourth, ahead of Iannone, at the flag.
Dovizioso admitted his surprise at his performance during his home race. He said, “I am so happy, I did a really great race! This weekend was actually quite a difficult one and I didn’t believe I could do such a race. I’d like to thank all the team because we are working so hard to try and make up the gap to the leaders, and slowly but surely we are succeeding.
“A gap of five seconds at the flag is like a dream, I didn’t think it was possible today. We’re not yet close enough to fight with the front-runners and we still have to grit our teeth for the entire race. I tried to grab third place from Pedrosa until the very end but today I was really over the limit in certain parts, so fourth was OK!”
The Ducati Corse General Manager Luigi Dall’lgna expressed his delight in the Italian’s performance and the hard work of the team. “We are very satisfied with Dovizioso’s race! Today at Misano we managed to reduce the gap from the winner to five and a half seconds, and that is a very important result for us. Even Iannone finished the race in fifth place with a reasonable gap and both riders did a great race. Days like today fill us with more motivation and optimism, and we will continue to work hard all together to cut the gap to the frontrunners.”
After a promising result at Misano, Dovizioso sits 5th in the MotoGP championship standings with 142 points and will head into the next round at Aragon hoping to close the gap to the front runners even further.