MotoGP: Dovizioso reignites title with epic Motegi battle

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Andrea Dovizioso has reignited his hopes of winning the 2017 MotoGP championship after an incredible last lap battle with Marc Marquez at the Japanese Grand Prix, hunting down the Spaniard to make an incredible move that stuck to the flag – and leaving himself only eleven points adrift of Marquez with three races remaining this season.

Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci were early race leaders, but before long the two championship contenders had scythed their way through despite horrible conditions – and set up one of the most epic last lap battles of recent years.

Petrucci came home in fourth, ahead of an impressive home charge from Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins on the Suzukis, with Lorenzo eventually finishing sixth after dropping back following contact between him and Johann Zarco. Aleix Espargaró was seventh, with Zarco, Viñales and Baz rounding out the top ten.

Sam Lowes was the best of the Brits after taking his best-yet premier class finish in 13th, with Scott Redding and Bradley Smith outside the points in 16th and 17th and with Cal Crutchlow a double crasher.

Valentino Rossi was another faller in the race, ending a disappointing weekend for the nine-time world champion but lucky to escape uninjured.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer