Dovizioso goes back to back in Barcelona
By: Michael Tozer
Published: 12 June 2017 Image credit: Getty Images
Andrea Dovizioso has won his second race in as many weeks by taking victory at the Catalan Grand Prix.By winning in Barcelona, Dovizioso became the first Ducati rider since Casey Stoner in 2010 to win two races in a row - and now trails championship leader Maverick Vinales by only seven points in the riders' championship.
Divizioso was joined on the podium by the Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, much to the delight of the Spanish crowd in attendance.
There was some drama to start the race, as Pedrosa got the holeshot from pole position, while a wheelie fom Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) nearly saw him crash into Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac) - who then made minor contact with Marc Marquez alongside him.
After the chaos, it was Lorenzo who made a surge - and the Ducati rider pushed past Pedrosa to take the lead halfway through the opening lap, while Marquez also jumped up a position by passing his team-mate and moved into second.
Andrea Dovizioso and Jonas Folger also got off to impressive starts, as the pair who rose from 7th and 8th respectively to join the leading pack of five riders - with Folger the fastest man on track, breaking the circuit record on the third lap.
On Lap 5, Marquez made his move on Lorenzo and struck for the lead - while Pedrosa also took advantage of this move and quickly passed the Ducati to move into second.
It quickly went from bad to worse for Lorenzo, as he dropped from first to sixth within a lap when Dovizioso, Folger and Danilo Petrucci all moved ahead of the "Spartan".
Pedrosa was next to strike for the lead two laps later, as he surged ahead of his team-mate to take control of the race - and Dovizioso quickly followed suit by passing Marquez to rise into second.
A clear front four were emerging, with Pedrosa leading from Dovizioso, Marquez and Folger at the halfway point of the race - and only one second separating the foursome.
With eight laps remaining - Dovizioso made his move, using the straight-line speed of his Ducati to shoot past Pedrosa and take the lead, one that he would not concede for the rest of the race.
As the laps ticked on, the gap started to grow - and within four laps, the margin was over a second and the other riders were left in the Ducati's wake.
Marquez mounted an attack in the late stages and tried to narrow the gap when he passed Pedrosa to go back into second - but eased off when the margin grew to over two seconds with three laps remaining.
As the chequered flag dropped, it was Dovizioso who was celebrating - crossing the line 3.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and enjoying his second race win in as many weeks.
The Honda garage had reason to celebrate as it completed the podium, with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa finishing in second and third respectively.
A late push from Jorge Lorenzo saw him finish fourth, after dropping as low as eighth in the middle stages of the race.
Johann Zarco was next to finish, as he passed his Monster Yamaha team-mate Jonas Folger on the final lap to secure fifth and sixth position for their team, closely followed by Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Team) in seventh.
It was a lonely ride for Valentino Rossi in eighth, as he could never manage to keep pace with the leaders - and finished three seconds ahead of Hector Barbera (Avintia) in ninth.
Maverick Vinales rounded out the top ten - and now leads the riders' championship by only seven points, with Dovizioso in hot pursuit in second.
Australian rider Jack Miller did not finish after a crash on Lap 14.