Italy’s Dovizioso beats the heat

Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso sealed back-to-back MotoGP wins by cruising to victory under searing temperatures at the Catalan GP yesterday.

Dovizioso, who won just his third MotoGP race on home soil at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, led home Honda’s Spanish duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in a time of 44min 41 secs.

Victory also sees the Ducati rider close to within seven points of championship leader Maverick Vinales, as the Yamaha rider completed a disappointing weekend by finishing 10th.

With on track temperatures rising to more than 50°C, the race was unusually settled at the front for a long spell as all the riders aimed to protect their tyres.

“It was a strange weekend for everybody to manage the track, the grip, the temperature, it was very difficult,” Dovizioso said.

“It was a strange race, we couldn’t push any lap because the rear tyre drops a lot, but I had the speed so I was able to manage and stay on the front without pushing.”

The Ducati rider had been happy to sit in between the Honda riders as Pedrosa led from pole position.

However, Dovizioso made his move with nine laps to go and quickly eased into a comfortable lead, with Marquez also leaving his teammate behind in the battle for second.

Marquez leapfrogs Valentino Rossi into third in the championship standings, 21 points further back on Dovizioso, as Rossi could also only manage eighth.

Pedrosa moves up to fourth in the world championship on the back of a fourth podium finish in the last five races.

Rossi made the most of a difficult weekend as he had qualified 13th and is still recovering from the aftereffects of being hospitalised by chest and stomach injuries suffered in a motocross training accident last month.

The nine-time world champion across all categories managed to gain two points on teammate Vinales to sit 28 points back overall.

Meanwhile, Alex Marquez produced a flawless performance to win the Catalan Moto2 Grand Prix from pole position yesterday to jump back into contention for the world championship.

Marquez, the brother of threetime MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, was clearly inspired by a home crowd, as his only previous Moto2 win came earlier this season at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Italy’s Mattia Pasini and Swiss rider Thomas Luthi completed the podium.

However, championship leader Franco Morbidelli could only manage sixth to see his lead to just seven points over Luthi.

Marquez remains third overall, but is now just 20 points behind the Italian.

Spain’s Joan Mir produced a stunning final lap to win for the fourth time in seven races this season and extend his lead in the Moto3 world championship yesterday.

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