Marquez snatches late victory in San Marino
By: Michael Tozer
Published: 10 September 2017 Image credit: Getty Images
Marc Marquez has stolen victory from Danilo Petrucci on the final lap of a wet San Marino Grand Prix
By winning at the wet Misano circuit, Marquez won his fourth race of the year and drew level with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso in the Championship race.
Marquez was joined on the podium by the Italian duo of Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso - which led the parochial Misano crowd to boo Marquez when approaching the stage.
The weather played a major factor on the day - as conditions were torrential in the early stages, making for a chaotic start when Jorge Lorenzo surged from fifth on the grid into the lead on the opening lap.
The wet track caused problems for a lot of riders in the early stages, with Marquez almost losing control of his bike while chasing down Lorenzo's lead, allowing Danilo Petrucci to gain ground and put pressure on Marquez.
Within three laps, Lorenzo's lead was over three seconds and it looked as though the Ducati rider would ride away into the distance...but disaster struck only two laps later when he crashed out from the lead, allowing wet-weather master Petrucci to move to the front, after starting the race in eighth.
Another riser in the early stages was Australian rider Jack Miller - who started in 14th, but scythed through the field to rise to fifth after five laps, looking to gain ground on Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso in front.
As the laps ticked on, the battle between Petrucci and Marquez continued, with Dovizioso closely behind - as Maverick Vinales fell off the pace in the wet conditions, falling almost 10 seconds off the pace at the halfway point of the race.
Then the conditions began to dry - as did the front two of Petrucci and Marquez, with less than half a second splitting them for the remainder of the race, while Dovizioso slowly dropped away from their pace.
With five laps remaining, that gap was down to less than one-hundredth of a second and Marquez was in hot pursuit - while the Misano crowd attempted to will their hometown hero on to victory.
On the penultimate lap, Marquez was only 0.035s behind and we were set for a blockbuster finish - as Petrucci was hunting for his maiden MotoGP race win and Marquez looking to move into the lead in the championship race.
Marquez pulled out all the guns on the final lap, setting the fastest lap of the race - and passing Petrucci on the first turn on the lap and leaving him in his wake, crossing the chequered flag over one second ahead of his Ducati rival.
Andrea Dovizioso finished in a safe third place, enough to guarantee a joint-lead in the championship racewhile Vinales finished fourth and kept himself in the title hunt.
Michele Mirro (Ducati) finished in fourth, while Aussie Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) proved why he is a wet-weather expert by finishing in sixth, equalling his best finish of the year.
Octo Pramac's Scott Redding was seventh, with Alex Rinz of Suzuki in eighth - and Jonas Folget (Monster Yamaha) and Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM) rounding out the top ten