Austria MotoGP: Lorenzo beats Marquez in thrilling duel

David Gruz

Starting from pole, Marquez gave up the lead to Andrea Dovizioso at the start and when he fought back at Turn 3, his move compromised both riders, allowing Lorenzo to move to the front.

However Marquez passed his future Honda teammate at Turn 3 next time around, and started to slowly inch away from the factory Ducati duo.

Marquez's lead was up to eight tenths of a second when Dovizioso started to put pressure on Lorenzo for second.

But the Italian could only shadow Lorenzo for several laps, which allowed the Spaniard to eventually close the gap back on Marquez.

He first narrowly escaped running wide at Turn 3 without giving up second place, and then moved past Marquez at the first corner next time around.

Marquez immediately fought back, but Lorenzo pulled off another move on the same lap at Turn 9.

There was no counter-attack this time but Marquez refused to drop behind, and was all over Lorenzo as the final five laps began.

Marquez's first opportunity arose when Lorenzo ran wide at Turn 3, but Lorenzo recovered with a forceful move at Turn 9.

On the penultimate lap, Marquez made another overtake at the same turn and, while Lorenzo couldn't respond on that lap, he breezed past Marquez on the main straight.

Marquez tried to repeat his move on the last lap, but Lorenzo had better run on the outside line and kept his position, eventually crossing the line 0.130s ahead of the championship leader.

Dovizioso started to lose ground around the some moment Lorenzo took the lead for the first time, and in the end had to settle for third, 1.5s behind.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow spent the entire race as best of the rest with the third Ducati GP18 of Danilo Petrucci completing the top five.

Valentino Rossi completed a solid recovery from 14th on the grid on the lead Yamaha, running eighth after the early stages and passing Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati) to salvage sixth.

Dani Pedrosa (Honda) was right behind Rossi in seventh, while Rins, despite running as high as third on the opening lap, only finished eighth.

Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati) completed the top 10 as Rabat dropped as low as 11th, even though he was seventh for most of the race.

The second factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales did not spend a single lap in the top 10 as he dropped down to 16th after the start and took only 12th ahead of Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), who went off-track at Turn 3.

KTM's Bradley Smith was 14th as Takaaki Nakagami took the final pointscoring position on the second LCR Honda.

Avintia Ducati's Xavier Simeon was the sole rider to crash out of the race.

With his third win of the season, Lorenzo is third in the standings, while Marquez's points lead is up to 59 points over Rossi.

Race results

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Time Gap Interval
1 99  Jorge Lorenzo  Ducati 28 39'40.688    
2 93  Marc Marquez  Honda 28 39'40.818 0.130 0.130
3 4  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 28 39'42.344 1.656 1.526
4 35  Cal Crutchlow  Honda 28 39'50.122 9.434 7.778
5 9  Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 28 39'53.857 13.169 3.735
6 46  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 28 39'54.714 14.026 0.857
7 26  Dani Pedrosa  Honda 28 39'54.844 14.156 0.130
8 42  Alex Rins  Suzuki 28 39'57.332 16.644 2.488
9 5  Johann Zarco  Yamaha 28 40'01.448 20.760 4.116
10 19  Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 28 40'01.532 20.844 0.084
11 53  Tito Rabat  Ducati 28 40'01.802 21.114 0.270
12 25  Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 28 40'03.627 22.939 1.825
13 29  Andrea Iannone  Suzuki 28 40'07.211 26.523 3.584
14 38  Bradley Smith  KTM 28 40'09.856 29.168 2.645
15 30  Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 28 40'10.760 30.072 0.904
16 55  Hafizh Syahrin  Yamaha 28 40'11.031 30.343 0.271
17 41  Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 28 40'12.463 31.775 1.432
18 43  Jack Miller  Ducati 28 40'15.063 34.375 2.600
19 21  Franco Morbidelli  Honda 28 40'20.859 40.171 5.796
20 45  Scott Redding  Aprilia 28 40'33.708 53.020 12.849
21 17  Karel Abraham  Ducati 28 40'33.949 53.261 0.241
22 12  Thomas Luthi  Honda 28 40'35.043 54.355 1.094
  10  Xavier Simeon  Ducati 10 14'29.160 18 Laps 18 Laps