MotoGP: Fast Freddie on how Marquez can beat Dovizioso

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Freddie Spencer thoroughly enjoyed Sunday evening’s Qatar Grand Prix, the three-time World Champion revelling in another MotoGP clash of the titans as Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez again took the fight down to the wire.

Spencer jettisoned his record of youngest ever premier class title winner when Marquez took MotoGP by storm in 2013, but reckons beating the might of Ducati and Dovizioso is going to be difficult this year.

“The season is set up for another great battle between Marquez and Dovizioso,” Spencer told MCN on Monday night. “It is very interesting. Marc is unbelievably talented and aggressive, but Dovi has tuned his mindset and is very methodical with his approach. He is utilising the Ducati’s strengths as best he can. It comes down to Marc hanging on and Dovi seeming comfortable at the pace they are running - a continuation of the battles they had last season.

“You always expect a last corner pass from Marquez. This time he judged it better than he did in Austria and Japan last year by not going quite so far past Dovi. However, Dovi made it look so easy. He got it stopped, cut back under Marc and used the Ducati’s strengths of acceleration and top speed. He made the victory look pretty comfortable.”

Having successfully overcome the attitude and aptitude of Kenny Roberts in many a straight fight in the 1980s, what advice does Spencer give Marquez for 2018?

“Just as he did last year, Marquez has to take advantage on the weekends when the Ducati isn’t as strong and when Dovi doesn’t feel comfortable. Either way, it is going to be tough for Marquez.”

‘Fast Freddie’ was also impressed by the performance of number 46 as Valentino Rossi overcame some Doha demons to finish on the podium from eighth on the grid.

“It was a great performance from Valentino Rossi. They didn’t seem to suffer some of the issues it looked like they were going to, such as bad tyre degradation. Under the circumstances, third was a good position for Rossi and Yamaha.”

Spencer spent his own weekend at the Daytona 200. He is now back home in London before leaving for France on Friday ahead of the Sunday Ride Classic at Paul Ricard. In April, he will join the British Eurosport commentary team for the first time this season at the World Superbike round in Aragon.

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Greg Haines

By Greg Haines

Superbike reporter and Eurosport commentator