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Lorenzo edges Marquez to win Austrian GP

August 13, 2018

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SPIELBERG: Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez competes during the Austrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.—AFP
SPIELBERG: Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez competes during the Austrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.—AFP

SPIELBERG: Jorge Lorenzo struck the final blow in a dog fight with fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez, overtaking at the start of the final lap on Sunday to win the Austrian MotoGP.

Ducati’s Lorenzo and Marquez, on a Honda, traded first place over the closing laps before Lorenzo powered past on the home straight and then held off Marquez on the next corner to pull away to win.

Lorenzo, who will be moving to Honda next season, said he made an effort to conserve his tyres in the early part of the race.

“Ten laps to the end, I decided to attack,” Lorenzo said immediately after the race. “I was stronger in some areas, like uphill, he was stronger on the second corner. When I passed him, I gave everything and pushed to the limit. One of my best victories.”

Marquez could afford to savour the battle because his closest rival in the standings, Italian veteran Valentino Rossi, started from 14th on the grid and could only climb to sixth.

The Red Bull Ring remains the only circuit in the championship where Marquez has not won, with Ducati taking all three races since MotoGP returned to the track in 2016.

“This race I enjoyed,” Marquez said. “There was a moment when I thought I could lose the two Ducatis, but they came back. I gave everything, everything. I would try to defend my position but he did it to me on the straight. Great show.”

Marquez now leads the standings by 59 points as he closes in on a fifth top-class world title.

Lorenzo jumped to third overall, one point ahead of Andrea Dovizioso who finished third on the other Ducati. The Italian, who won last week in Brno, could not quite keep up with the pace of the two leaders.

“I was third and I couldn’t ride in the way I wanted,” Dovizioso said. “Three riders using three different tyres and I used a little too much tyre. I don’t know maybe it was the wrong tyre. But anyway, another Ducati won.”

In Moto2, Italian Francesco Bagnaia overtook Portuguese Miguel Oliveira on the final corner to regain first place in the standings.

In Moto3, Italian teenager Marco Bezzecchi won to extend his lead over injury-stricken Jorge Martin at the top of the riders’ standings.

Silverstone hosts the next round of the championship with the British Grand Prix scheduled to take place on Aug 26.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018