Dovi scythes smoothly to the front for Sepang Victory

Marc Marquez leads by 21-points heading to Valencia Finale


It was a must win in many ways for Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso as the paddock arrived at Sepang International Circuit, and the Italian kept calm under intense pressure to secure his sixth win of the season – and take the Championship fight down to the wire.

Andrea Dovizioso took his time in chasing down his teammate and it took a big slide from Lorenzo for the Italian to sweep past the Spanish #99
Andrea Dovizioso took his time in chasing down his teammate and it took a big slide from Lorenzo for the Italian to sweep past the Spanish #99

Slicing through the rain to catch and pass teammate Jorge Lorenzo, Dovizioso was seven tenths clear of the Majorcan at the flag in a 1-2 for Ducati – and key rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) crossed the line in fourth.

Andrea Dovizioso celebrated a brilliant tactical victory with a fine stand-up mono across the line at Sepang
Andrea Dovizioso celebrated a brilliant tactical victory with a fine stand-up mono across the line at Sepang

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completed the podium after a stunning start, wrapping up the title of top Independent Team rider.


Sepang MotoGP 2017
Sepang MotoGP 2017

It was Marquez who took an incredible initial holeshot from the third row, but the reigning Champion headed wide along with Lorenzo – allowing Zarco to slice through into the lead.

Sepang MotoGP 2017
Sepang MotoGP 2017

Once there, the Frenchman lit it up to escape into the distance, and Lorenzo moved through to chase the Tech 3 rider down. Marquez slotted into third, with Dovizioso initially the man to lose out – but the Italian soon began to move through.

Sepang MotoGP 2017
Sepang MotoGP 2017

Zarco’s lead began to diminish, Dovizioso passed Marquez, and then both Ducatis were able to pass the Frenchman. It seemed Marquez would have the pace to take third from Zarco, but the reigning Champion couldn’t make up the ground.

Sepang MotoGP 2017 - Jorge Lorenzo
Sepang MotoGP 2017 – Jorge Lorenzo

At the front, Lorenzo was holding firm as the two red machines streaked away – but the number 99 then suffered a moment at Turn 15 with a foot off the footpeg. ‘DesmoDovi’ saw his chance to strike, then facing down some nervous laps as the end of the race neared. Lorenzo brought it back to seven tenths over the line, with Zarco back on the rostrum in third.

Sepang MotoGP 2017 - Team Ducati celebrate a strong 1-2
Sepang MotoGP 2017 – Team Ducati celebrate a strong 1-2

Marquez was eight seconds further back in fourth, with polesitter and teammate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completing the top five after a more promising showing in the wet for the former winner at the venue in similar conditions.

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez early in the race at Sepang
Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez early in the race at Sepang

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) put in a superstar performance in the wet as he was forced to start from the back after a technical problem with his number one bike, and moved up to take sixth over the line – a gain of over 15 places.

Danilo Petrucci came from behind to fight his way through the pack and made it three Ducati machines in the top six
Danilo Petrucci came from behind to fight his way through the pack and made it three Ducati machines in the top six

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was close to his compatriot by the end of the race to take seventh and only four tenths back, ahead of a more lonely finish for EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller into P8.

Jack Miller was in the thick of the action early on but as the race wore on was in a somewhat lonely eighth place between Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. That is the Australian's eighth top-ten finish so far this season and a strong ride at Valencia could see him move up to tenth in the championhip standings.
Jack Miller was in the thick of the action early on but as the race wore on was in a somewhat lonely eighth place between Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. That is the Australian’s eighth top-ten finish so far this season and a strong ride at Valencia could see him move up to tenth in the championhip standings.

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had a tough race for ninth, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory) giving KTM another consecutive top ten finish after another impressive race.

Both Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith performed strongly for KTM at Sepang. Smith was running strongly in sixth in the early laps of the race but eventually drifted back to 12th as the early pace took a toll on his soft rear tyre. Espargaro finished tenth
Both Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith performed strongly for KTM at Sepang. Smith was running strongly in sixth in the early laps of the race but eventually drifted back to 12th as the early pace took a toll on his soft rear tyre. Espargaro finished tenth

Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) took P11, with the points scorers completed by Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda.)

Cal Crutchlow in front of Michael Van Der Mark
Cal Crutchlow in front of Michael Van Der Mark

It’s now truly everything or nothing for the two title challengers, and the Championship comes back to Europe for the final showdown at Valencia. Marquez leads by 21 points, so it’s a long shot for ‘DesmoDovi’…but never, ever say never.

Andrea Dovizioso hunted down teammate Jorge Lorenzo to take a brilliant victory at Sepang and a 1-2 for Ducati
Andrea Dovizioso hunted down teammate Jorge Lorenzo to take a brilliant victory at Sepang and a 1-2 for Ducati

Sepang MotoGP 2017 Race Results

  1. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 25 Ducati Team Ducati 44’51.497
  2. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 20 Ducati Team Ducati 0.743
  3. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 16 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 9.738
  4. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 13 Repsol Honda Team Honda 17.763
  5. PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 11 Repsol Honda Team Honda 29.144
  6. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 10 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 30.380
  7. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 9 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 30.769
  8. MILLER Jack 43 AUS 8 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 35.238
  9. VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 7 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 38.053
  10. ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 39.847
  11. BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 5 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 42.559
  12. SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 4 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 44.602
  13. REDDING Scott 45 GBR 3 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 48.696
  14. BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 2 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 50.058
  15. CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 1 LCR Honda Honda 50.705
  16. VAN DER MARK Michael 60 NDL 0 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 56.397
  17. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 0 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 58.391
  18. RABAT Tito 53 SPA 0 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’25.571
  19. LOWES Sam 22 GBR 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 11 laps
  20. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 0 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 12 laps
  21. BAZ Loris 76 FRA 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 15 laps
  22. RINS Alex 42 SPA 0 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki MotoGP
Sepang MotoGP 2017 Race Results DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 25 Ducati Team Ducati 44'51.497 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 20 Ducati Team Ducati 0.743 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 16 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 9.738
Sepang MotoGP 2017 Race Results
DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 25 Ducati Team Ducati 44’51.497
LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 20 Ducati Team Ducati 0.743
ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 16 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 9.738

MotoGP World Championship Points Standings

  1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 282
  2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 261
  3. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 226
  4. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 197
  5. Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 185
  6. Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 154
  7. Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA 137
  8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 121
  9. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 104
  10. Jonas FOLGER Yamaha GER 84
  11. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 75
  12. Jack MILLER Honda AUS 73
  13. Scott REDDING Ducati GBR 64
  14. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 62
  15. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 60
  16. Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 55
  17. Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 46
  18. Loris BAZ Ducati FRA 45
  19. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 30
  20. Tito RABAT Honda SPA 29
  21. Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 27
  22. Bradley SMITH KTM GBR 24
  23. Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 18
  24. Mika KALLIO KTM FIN 11
  25. Sam LOWES Aprilia GBR 5
Sepang MotoGP 2017
Sepang MotoGP 2017