Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso: I knew I had to do something ‘crazy’ to win Austrian GP
Andrea Dovizioso says that he knew prior to the Austrian Grand Prix that something ‘crazy’ would be needed to beat run-away championship leader Marc Marquez.
The Ducati pilot and Marquez were a clear step ahead of the field, the duo pulling away to the tune of six seconds ahead of third-placed Fabio Quartararo by the end of the 26-lap contest.
This came despite the pair running wide as Marquez out-braked himself heading into Turn 3 for the first time, forcing the pair down to fourth and fifth as a result.
The two then battled throughout the closing stages of the race, the lead changing between them several times as they were never separated by more than a few bike lengths across the thrilling encounter.
Dovizioso then struck the killer blow on the Honda as Marquez began to struggle with the right-side of his Michelin rear tyre, allowing him to dive down the inside at the final turn and take his second victory of the season.
“We didn’t have the same pace as Marc, we did in the practice sessions but he’s normally able to pull out something in the races so even before the race I knew I needed to do something crazy to fight, and we did it,” said Dovizioso.
“I was able to put in good times when to tried to create a gap, and after that he dropped on the right side (of the tyre) which was the reason why I was able to fight until the last corner.
“He was better in the braking zones and slower corners, but he didn’t have the same traction with the right hand side of the tyre as me in the last laps.
“I was able to recover the gap and then in the last corner I did something crazy, for most of the race I didn’t have the braking to out-brake Marc, but in that moment I was thinking what I could do.
“I had a perfect second-to-last corner with a great entry and exit, and I thought in the worst case I would go wide and finish second.
“I braked in a really good way and was able to hold on in the corner, so I’m really happy to win like this and it’s a great result for me.”
Dovizioso admitted he was surprised that his softer rear tyre held on in the way it did, feeling he would run out of grip towards the end as his tyre started to drop mid-way through the race.
“In the middle of the race my tyre was right on the limit and I thought I wouldn’t be able to stay with him as the tyre would be finished, but his drop at the end was larger than mine so we made the correct choice.”