Andrea Dovizioso anticipated a last-ditch move from Marc Marquez as the pair went into the final corner of the Austrian Grand Prix side-by-side, but the Ducati rider was still left angry by his Honda rivals attempt to pass him even though he crossed the finish line first to secure his third race of the season.
Marquez arrived in Salzburg having won back-to-back races either side of the summer break with victories in Germany and the Czech Republic, and he looked in ominous form after taking pole position on Saturday in his attempt to score a first hat-trick of the season.
However, a race-long battle with the Ducatis of Dovisizioso and Jorge Lorenzo ensued, and the reigning champion had to make do with second after the former passed him late in the race and held off his last-corner challenge.
Dovizioso was not happy with how Marquez tried to force his way through on the inside of Turn 10 though as he gestured towards him, with the Spaniard’s Honda sliding out of control as he ran wide allowing Dovizioso back through to take the win and add to his earlier successes at Mugello and Barcelona.
“To win in the last corner is always different and especially with Marc, because he is really good in the battle,” Dovizioso said. “But I had a strange feeling in the last corner, I was more angry than happy because he tried to overtake me in that way.
“I did this [gesture] instinctively, because that is not a corner to try to overtake a rider.
“But I know very well, and everybody know very well Marc, and I manage in the best way the last corner.”
Marquez defended his move and admitted that in the moment he forgot about his championship hopes, with the five-time world champion admitting he wouldn’t be able to sleep on Sunday night without knowing if he could’ve won the race, even if it jeopardised his championship lead.
“On the last lap I was thinking about everything; the championship, I forgot a little bit,” Marquez said. “I was pushing 100 per cent. I decided to go all-in because I knew victory was very important – but even a second place is important. Last year we struggled a lot here and this year we were much closer to the Ducatis.
“I arrived on the limit and I tried [to overtake] on the last corner, because if not, I cannot go to sleep [tonight], I have to try.”
Marquez recovered to finish second ahead of Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, with Lorenzo coming home in fourth after fading from the battle at the front early on. Frenchman Johann Zarco managed to finish fifth on his Tech 3 Yamaha ahead of the two factory bikes of Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi, meaning that Dovisizioso moves up to second in the championship table 16 points behind Marquez and eight ahead of third-placed Vinales, with Rossi a further nine points behind.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow struggled with his tyre selection and could only manage 15th, dropping him down to ninth in the championship standings as Lorenzo moves up to seventh behind Pedrosa and Zarco.