Dovizioso's late error helped him beat Marquez
Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso says his error late in the season-opening Qatar race helped him emerge victorious in his duel with Marc Marquez.
Dovizioso was setting the pace out front for most of the race, fending off repeated attacks from first Suzuki's Alex Rins and then Marquez.
But he looked to have handed the reigning champion an advantage when he ran wide at the Turn 4 right-hander on the penultimate lap, giving the lead Marquez.
This, however, allowed the Italian to duck in behind Marquez until the start-finish straight, where he re-passed the Honda rider, going on to fend off a last-corner lunge from the reigning champion to win the race.
“When I did a mistake on the chicane, I saw him [Marquez] struggling with the rear grip,” Dovizioso told BT Sport after the finish.
“[It] gave me extra motivation, because I understood something in some corners where I was able to be faster than him and prepare the answer.
“I knew Marc [would] try to overtake me, but if I exit very fast, it’s difficult for him to try to overtake me. If he want to overtake me he has to take a big risk and go a bit long.”
Marquez said his last-corner move was “like a replay from last year”, when he likewise ran out wide and couldn't beat Dovizioso on the run down to the chequered flag.
He came marginally closer to victory in the 2019 edition, losing by 0.023s as opposed to 0.027s the year before.
Speaking to BT Sport, Marquez likewise suggested that falling behind allowed Dovizioso to understand that his rival was “struggling”.
“I finished the rear tyre because maybe I pushed too much,” he said.
“My plan was attacking before the last lap. On that lap when he did a mistake, I overtake so quick, but I knew I was on the limit.
“When I overtook him, he checked I was struggling, but it’s like this.”
Dovizioso, who led 18 of the 22 laps, was setting a conservative pace out front until the final quarter of the event.
The Italian had made such a strategy work in the past, but said it was not premeditated this time.
“I didn’t have a clear strategy,” he said. “I wanted to save the tyre, because we needed it. I feel we did everything better. We saved a lot the tyre.
“I answered every time to Rins because his speed was amazing in the middle of the corners, but fortunately our engine helped me in the straight. In the end I started to push, remained just Marc.”
Podium: Race winner Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images
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