2017 Catalunya MotoGP Results
This short time frame didn’t affect Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. The 31-year-old Italian followed up his victory at Mugello—his first of 2017 MotoGP—with another win at Catalunya.
Though he qualified on the third row, the Desmosedici GP17 pilot was into third at the end of the opening lap, and moved into second after passing teammate Jorge Lorenzo and the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda). From there he chased down pole-sitter and Repsol Honda leader Dani Pedrosa.
Dovizioso displayed patience, and passed Pedrosa on lap 17 of 25 at the 2.94-mile Spanish circuit containing 13 corners. When the MotoGP was over, Dovizioso would finish 3.544 seconds ahead of Marquez. Pedrosa completed the podium in third, 6.774 seconds back.
This was Dovizioso’s fourth-career MotoGP win, and he became the first Ducati rider since Casey Stoner in 2010 to earn back-to-back races.
“I’m so happy but also a bit surprised by this win! I had a great feeling before the start because I knew that we could be very competitive, not because we were the fastest out there on the track, but because yesterday we worked well to prepare for the race,” Dovizioso says.
“It was a strategic race more than anything else and we were good at interpreting the limits of the track and the tires. The track was very difficult and all the riders had problems with grip, which dropped off a lot and so we concentrated on administering tire consumption and on consistency, and this decision paid off. In the race I was able to be very fast without pushing hard when I found myself behind Pedrosa and this helped me a lot in the last ten laps, when I passed him and then pulled out a small gap over the two Hondas. I can truly say that today we were on really great form!”
When 2017 Catalunya MotoGP began, Pedrosa got a clean start, followed by Lorenzo, who almost crashed into Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. The Italian Petrucci, who claimed a podium in Mugello, then contacted Marque and lost a few positions. Lorenzo was soon in front, followed by Pedrosa and a charging Marquez.
Points leader Maverick Vinales ran off the track at Turn 1, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pilot getting shuffled to the back of the grid.
Lorenzo’s time up front was short lived, and soon Marquez and Pedrosa passed him, dropping Lorenzo into third. Dovizioso began charging through the pack, first passing Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger for fourth, followed by Lorenzo for third. The three-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo was then passed by Folger and Petrucci.
Pedrosa now in the lead, the battle began between him, Dovizioso and Marquez. On lap 17, Dovizioso made his move on the “Baby Samurai,” and immediately began opening a gap. Marquez was next to pass Pedorsa to claim the runner-up position.
Lorenzo fought his way back to fourth, finishing ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco, Folger and Pull&Bear Aspar Team Duati’s Alvaro Bautista.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who suffered some chest injuries during an MX-training accident just ahead of Mugello, finished eighth after a P13 start. He was followed by Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera and Vinales.
The top 15 were filled by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow in 11th, who was followed by Loris Baz (Reale Avinitia Racing Ducati); Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati); Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati); and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Honda).
Rabat’s teammate Jack Miller crashed out while in the top 10 on lap 12, and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro suffered a DNF due to a technical issue.
After seven of 18 rounds, Vinales has the points lead with 111, seven ahead of Dovizioso and 23 ahead of Marquez. The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix at TT Circuit Assen.
Photo by Luciano Bianchetto
2017 Catalunya MotoGP Results