2017 Spielberg MotoGP Race Result: 28 Laps Of Holding Your Breath

The hills were alive with the sound of relieved sighs as the sun shone down on the riders lining up for the headline act of the day. And what a performance it was. Ducati came to the Ring as the favourites but stumbled on a stubborn world champion that took the fight literally to the flag.

But Spielberg was to remain Italian territory, Andrea Dovizioso playing Marc Marquez at his own game and coming out on top of the rough and tumble. Dani Pedrosa recovered from a third row start to become the privileged spectator of that fight, the Honda veteran settling for the final podium spot.

Poleman Marquez got a decent start but his drive to turn two put front row starter Jorge Lorenzo in prime position on the soft rear tyre. With Marquez taking his time heating up his hard rear option, the Spaniard lost a second to Lorenzo in one lap but only just kept the other factory Ducati at bay.

Third-row starters Valentino Rossi and Pedrosa got past Maverick Viñales after the first few turns, the Spaniard fighting back soon after but making a mistake on lap three and going wide, falling behind the two of them and also behind Johann Zarco. At the front of that mini-group, Rossi was on the charge and catching up with the front row men.

Marquez got up to speed by lap five, closing the gap to his leading compatriot to two tenths of a second, Dovizioso, Rossi and Zarco close behind, Pedrosa slightly further back, Viñales eight tenths behind his fellow Spaniard.

Dovizioso took advantage of a mistake from Marquez to sneak ahead on lap eight as times and positions started settling while the Ducati duo tried to conserve their tyres at the front. That allowed Pedrosa to join the lead group. Viñales was also chipping away at the gap, while the closest group behind them was led by Loris Baz three seconds down the road.

Marquez got back past Dovizioso on lap ten after the Italian returned the favour with a slight mistake of his own taking him wide over the kerbs. The world championship leader then went on to get right on the tail of the other Ducati, whose actual tail was starting to twitch on the degrading soft tyres. The Honda struck after Lorenzo went wide into turn three on lap eleven, the two Spaniards almost touching and Dovizioso profiting to join the party. The Italian going wide in turn four helped Marquez finally get back into the lead.

Behind them, Pedrosa was past Zarco and Rossi on lap thirteen, after the Frenchman fought off the Italian, Rossi losing momentum and going wide, which also put him behind his teammate.

Back at the front, the world champion tried to find some extra tenths on the Ducatis, Dovizioso the only one able to keep up with him halfway through the race, Lorenzo already one second back on his teammate and under fire from Pedrosa. The veteran Honda rider made his move on Lorenzo stick with eleven laps to go, just as Dovizioso made his on Marquez after the Spaniard got a bit too hot in mischievous turn three.

The Ducati held onto the lead for two laps, Marquez sneaking under Dovizioso in turn seven on lap twenty. Behind them, Pedrosa was lapping slightly faster than the lead duo and getting the gap down to seven tenths. Dovizioso was still not letting the world champion get away, glued to the Honda’s rear tyre, the two exchanging positions once again with seven laps to go. Several fairing rubbing moments after, Pedrosa was right back into the fight for the win. The small Spaniard held back to watch the kerfuffle unfold in front of him and started struggling soon after.

Behind the Honda-Ducati top four, Zarco was one second back with ten laps to go and leading the factory Yamahas, neither Viñales nor Rossi making an impression on the satellite rider with a soft tyre combination, the factory bikes being both on the hard rear.

The calm before the storm set in, Marquez as close as can be to the Ducati but getting out of shape in turn one with three laps to go and losing four tenths of a second. Never one to back down, the Spaniard pulled back the advantage by the end of the lap.

Dovizioso was setting a solid pace and closing every door, forcing Marquez to try something on the final lap, but the ambitious sideways lunge in the final turn proved literally oh-so-close but not close enough. The Italian was back in front by the time they made it to the line and found time to scold the daring youngster with a waved arm.

After Pedrosa arrived in a solitary third, Lorenzo crossed the line for fourth position, with Zarco successfully holding off Viñales and Rossi to grab fifth ahead of his factory colleagues. Five seconds down the road, Alvaro Bautista made it past Baz halfway through the race to take eighth spot ahead of the French rider, the top ten completed by an excellent ride from KTM’s test rider and wildcard Mika Kallio.

Being more or less forced into a hard tyre combination, Cal Crutchlow lost ground at the start and had a pretty anonymous race into fifteenth position. Although one point was better than Danilo Petrucci’s day, whose terrible start saw him drop down to tenth and a bad day got worse, the Italian retiring on lap seven due to an issue with the oil pump. Jonas Folger and Pol Espargaro were also early retirees with various brake problems.

Following his breathtaking win, Dovizioso becomes Marquez’s closest challenger in the championship, 16 points behind the world champion. Viñales drops to third, 24 points down on the leader, while teammate Rossi follows him with a 33-point disadvantage on Marquez. Pedrosa is still fifth, only two points behind Rossi.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 39'43.323
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda +0.176
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +2.661
4 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati +6.663
5 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha +7.262
6 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +7.447
7 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +8.995
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati +14.515
9 76 Loris BAZ Ducati +19.620
10 36 Mika KALLIO KTM +19.766
11 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki +20.101
12 45 Scott REDDING Ducati +25.523
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +26.700
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +27.321
15 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +28.096
16 42 Alex RINS Suzuki +32.912
17 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +34.112
18 38 Bradley SMITH KTM +36.423
19 53 Tito RABAT Honda +42.404
20 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia +52.492
    Not Classified    
  43 Jack MILLER Honda 9 Laps
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 22 Laps
  94 Jonas FOLGER Yamaha 25 Laps
  44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 26 Laps


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After all the worries pre race with the dangers of the lack of run off etc, thankfully it stayed dry and we were treated to an absolutely corking race! Dovi is in a real purple patch of his career. That win at Malaysia last year has truly given him the belief that he can win races now, and to beat someone has hard as Marquez in a last lap battle is a tremedous effort.

Marquez won't be too disappointed though, Honda made big strides here compared to 12 months ago and more points put over the Yamahas who really didn't have anything here. Well done to Loris Baz in 9th place, very impressive all weekend. I really hope he stays in MotoGP, he's done very little wrong.

But final note to Mika Kallio. I've been a huge supporter of him for a very long time, and I couldn't be more proud of him today. Some people very unfairly wrote him off after a difficult time at Pramac, and he just needed another chance to show he could still cut it at the top level, and that was a really strong effort. It certainly gives KTM food for thought regards to Bradley Smith. Mika nearly beat him at Sachensring and today he's finished 17 seconds behind.

MotoGP, easily the series in the World right now, long may it continue!

Great race, great fights. Slightly disappointed in Lorenzo, perhaps now that he is getting closer to figuring out how the Ducati works it's time to focus on strategy. Going out of the gates as hard as possible worked for him well on the Yamaha but not the Ducati, it seems.

And Zarco once again proving he needs to be on that factory Yamaha as soon as possible.

the fox is finally outfoxed today. and it's dovi who did it to him, of all people. astonishing. pedrosa could've been in the mix, but didn't seem to have that kinda pace today. lorenzo faded out early again. zarco defeats both factory yamaha riders, with the help of both of them making mistakes. especially rossi, although he didn't seem to have the pace to challenge anyway. iannone is taking that suzuki to the finish line at least. and is that mika kallio in 10th? wow. aprilia looks like a no show. overall a great race day.

What a race. Couldn't be more happy for Dovi. Inch perfect then entire way. That really was master class.
And the wave at the end.....priceless

Dovi's awareness was re-marc-able on that last lap. The much touted head to head between Vinales and Marquez has not materialised. As early as Friday after watching every session the entire weekend I figured it would come down to an epic dogfight between Marc and Dovi barring misfortune. Glad it did. The bikes were 100% equal although vastly different in their respective strengths and weaknesses over the weekend, likewise the two riders (seemingly no weaknesses, just playing to their own strengths). For at least the last 20 laps my heart rate must have been locked at 120bpm. Brilliant performance by both of them. One of the most memorable races  of the 4 stroke era without a doubt. Nothing needs to be said about Marc that has not already been. Dovi on the otherhand is clearly the most unrecognised alien ever. Back in 250 his Honda was not quite up to the Derbi of Jorge. When he got the GP ride, Dani was clearly the focus and Dovi had to ride what he got. Then lumbered with Casey and Dani to deal with he still acquitted himself extremely well. At Tech 3 Yamah, again brilliant. Ducati, well thats why he's DesmoDovi. Understandably, given investment costs in Lorenzo, bike development is focused 99% to#99's side of the garage. Yet adaptable Dovi has a go at using what Jorge is using and beats out Marc with the same tires and aero as Jorge. Fair play to Jorge. He is chipping away at it and moving up. Great to see Dani homing in as title challenger. Great race by him. Zarco beating out the factory boys. Don't we just love underdogs? I wonder how long it will be before Vinales spits a dummy as he did in the junior class years back. He figured he would cakewalk 2017 and just maybe its starting to sink in that Marquez is too much dog for him. Dovi wil take a lot of confidence to Silverstone. Dry, wet, mixed, with the ability to make the bike work to his advantage with or without the aero. Great ride, great race. Hope the guys start the bulldozer's tonight and start making the A1 ring safe for 2018. Big shout out to -36 Kallio and KTM. Pol must feel gutted. He may have been fighting for 7th or so in hindsight.


Marquez again showing why he needs to be warned about dangerous riding. Dovi, fortunately, knew what Mayhem would do at the final corner so he let MM hoist himself by his own petard. Marquez seemed to be channeling Spencer in Sweden and that's a bullshit way to race, imo. Using the other guys as a berm shows disrespect to the other racers who have,,,(MM listen UP) JUST AT MUCH RIGHT TO BE THERE AS YOU DO; it's bullshit to act as if they are in YOUR way. Dovi rode a brilliant race today and I stood and cheered when he won, as much because Marc Mayhem lost as anything.



+1 Insightful.

That last corner wasn't a pass attempt, it was an attempt by MM93 to push AD04 off the circuit. He immediately looks over the *opposite* shoulder expecting Dovi to be out on the wrong side of the curbs where he was trying to push him. He had no chance of making the corner on that line, he was just trying to intersect Dovi's line.

I was just thinking this morning that MM93 seems to have gotten over the recklessness that caused so many incidents and injuries in lower class races (and practices!), then this #$%&.

I'm dissapoined in the announcers and all their "bold move" nonsense.

Maybe you just don't like fun riding and close racing. Watch Formula E or something.

I just don't like racers ramming other racers from behind......yeah, that's it!

Finished 18th. Not a particular fan of the guy in 7th but you just keep on assumin'...

if you had told me ten years ago that someday i would see dani smiling and laughing while wearing a bow tie in a press conference..

glad to see him happy.

I agree Marquez should get an official warning for dangerous riding in de last corner. Very spectacular but similar to a sliding with a stretched leg in soccer

He was in the championship a few years ago, wasn't he? A very, very good rider. But it was a while ago now and he lost interest, so...

Colonial Piglet, those comments about growing a pair were only because he dared criticise he-who-must-not-be-criticised.........

As for the Dovi and Marc stuff, that's racing.  Nobody fell off or was injured.  Nobody made conspiracy allegations after the race.  Nothing to see here.  Everyone who's getting fired up should take a chill-pill and move on.

Fantastic race!  More, please........

Great ride from Andrea Dovizioso. Ducati's red Baron with the Fokker tri-plane aero. Fugly louvres but they work! Well done

Marc Mayhem tries to strike again. Dovi sits up and allows the torpedo to pass, He knew it was coming, them just one restrained hand jesture, he knew he was on camera. If it was me I would be talking to MM, later off camera. Probably with a lot more hand gestures and a raised voice. Mere mortal Marc has collided with anyone who is anybody in Grand prix m/c racing. Yes MM93 is very fast. That don't excuse bonehead moves! the powers that be should take some action. Make Marquez start from the back of the grid, for all the difference that would make. Marc's dad is always handy, MM93 needs a kick or two from his father. the I hope Marc wakes up to himself & realises MM93 might get hurt in one of these risky & unnessesary collisions. MM93 can make a clean pass at times. He is leading the chip, Why do it? does he think its impossible for him to get injured or that he is too important to be penalised ?

on Harada on final lap of the final race of 1998 (surprised that he had the nerve to run #1 the next season), or Viñales doing the same to Kallio at Valencia 2014 on the first lap - no contact between Marc and Dovi, and no one went down.

Where is Ralf Waldmann laughing (since he held "Mad Max" off for the win) in the post race interview about being banged into several times on the last lap by Biaggi (Catalunya 1997 IIRC), when you need him?

... I don't know what's going on here.

That was absolutely a legitimate attempt by Marc, he did absolutely nothing wrong. Dovi left the door open and Marc tried to beat on of his closest rivals this year. What did he do wrong?

I'm so glad we have people like Marc, desperate to win despite having already achieved so much in his fantastic career. Whoever is criticising him should probably go find a nice orderly traffic jam to watch instead of MotoGP.

Great race and absolute kudos to Marc for trying to win this race. Awesome.

(PS, Dovi played it real smart, excellent victory)

I'm beginning to see this more clearly now. It could easily have ended in a brazen victory by MM and Dovi left unseated at the edge of the track. It's what could have happened were it not for Dovi's thinking and strategy. Per his post-race comments, he heard Marquez open the gas early so left the door open because he knew a ramming (pass) attempt was coming, then powered under the out of shape MM to take the victory.

I wondered at first why Dovi was so angry, but he knew MM was planning to use him as a berm.

Kudos to Andrea Dovizioso for a hard-fought, intelligent victory, and kudos (to a lesser extent) to Marc Marquez for his abilities on a motorcycle. That kid reminds me of a cat always landing on its feet.

I thought Marc's move on the last corner most closely resembled Rossi's pass on Gibbernau at Jerez, braking way too late and with no option but be way off line for a slow corner exit.  With both moves there was the option for the leading rider to let the passing rider sail through and duck inside for the better run out of the corner.  Dovi did exactly what I'll bet Gibernau wished he did, and thus won the race.  The better racer won on the day, in both cases.

Awesome race and congrats to Dovi.