Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso moved into second place in the 2018 MotoGP world championship after a dominant win at the San Marino Grand Prix, with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow returning to the podium for the first time since his win in Argentina five months ago.
Starting from the second row, Dovizioso moved into the lead on lap six of 27 and was never again headed. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo led the first five laps and enjoyed a good battle with championship leader Marc Marquez for second place until crashing with two laps to go. He finished out of the points, in 17th, handing Marquez second, 2.8 seconds behind the leader, with Crutchlow taking a lonely third, seven seconds behind the winner and a similar distance ahead of fourth placed Alex Rins on his Suzuki.
“I wanted this win so badly, because here at Misano Ducati and I have always struggled in recent years. In the test in August however we realized that we had made an important step forward and we could be competitive in the race. We worked really well during the weekend, in very different conditions, but both Jorge and Marc are very strong here so to win I had to do a perfect race. I started off in the right frame of mind, fully focussed on the race strategy, and when I took the lead, I pulled out a small advantage and then managed the situation until the finish. I’m really pleased, because winning here at Misano was very important for Ducati but also for me. Years ago it seemed like an impossible dream, but now we’ve done it and it fills me with so much satisfaction.”
LCR Honda rider Crutchlow added: “The team did a fantastic job this weekend, this is a very important round for them, I was disappointed not to race at mine two weeks ago, so we put everything into this one. We tried our best, sure we got lucky with the crash of Lorenzo at the end, but as I said, I don’t really care because we did a good job. I’m proud of my team and we now go to Aragon in good shape”.
“I lost one second (behind Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins) and that just stopped me being there with Marc and Jorge, but that’s the way it goes. I wasn’t willing to push at the start of the race as much as I could and I got passed by Rins. But overall we have to be very pleased for the team and we head into the rest of the year in good shape.”
It was a tough day for Yamaha riders, with Maverick Vinales coming home fifth and Valentino Rossi a distant seventh at his home race. It was also a difficult meeting for the British riders, with Bradley Smith and Scott Redding both finishing outside of the points.
In the support classes, British racers Sam Lowes, Danny Kent and John McPhee all failed to finish, while Italian riders Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Pecco Bagnaia won the Moto3 and Moto2 races respectively to ensure a clean sweep of wins for Italian riders.