Brno MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso thrilled to hold off Marco Simoncelli

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Andrea Dovizioso survived intense pressure from bitter Italian rival Marco Simoncelli to keep his slender 2011 MotoGP world title hopes on track.

The Repsol Honda rider claimed his fifth podium with second place in the Brno clash, though team-mate Casey Stoner’s commanding win leaves him 55-points adrift in the championship chase.

Dovizioso made up four places on the opening lap and moved into third on lap three when team-mate Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the lead. He needed just two more laps to dispose of Jorge Lorenzo and he said: "I am really happy because I started from seventh place on the grid and it looked like it was going to be difficult to fight for the podium. Maybe there was some small chance but I made a great start and I tried to follow Casey, especially when Dani crashed. I saw Lorenzo struggling a lot and I knew he’d decided to use the soft front, so I understood immediately which problem he had.

"I passed him and thought I could try and catch Casey but I made a big mistake and almost ran off the track. Then I tried to control Simoncelli and the last five laps he couldn’t pass me. I had a feeling he was on the limit, so I pushed a bit more and he couldn’t stay with me.

It was nice to manage Marco and to have second for the championship is really important. I tried not to arrive on the last lap with Marco. I think it is difficult with all the riders to fight on the last lap, especially with Marco. I tried not to fight with him and I had the feeling to take some more risks and to be a few tenths faster."

For seven pages of coverage from the Brno MotoGP race, see the August 17 issue of Motor Cycle News.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt