Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) claimed his second consecutive win of the season in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, making him the first Ducati rider to take back-to-back wins for the Borgo Panigale factory since two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner achieved the feat in 2010. Reigning champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) left a spate of crashes in practice behind to take second, with his teammate – polesitter Dani Pedrosa – completing the rostrum.
There was drama off the line as Pedrosa got a good start from pole, but a wheelie from Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) saw the Spaniard almost clash with fellow front row starter Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) – with Petrucci then making contact Marquez. The Italian dropped back, with Marquez pulling clear as Lorenzo attacked for the lead and took over at the front.
Championship leader Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) found himself heading through the run off area at Turn 1 off the start and dropping back, with the Spaniard then facing a fight back from outside the points after a tough weekend – and teammate Valentino Rossi unable to make big progress from P13 on the grid, either.
Lorenzo led Marquez and Pedrosa, with Dovizioso on the hunt in fourth and Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) a big winner off the line to move up into fifth. Next it was Marquez who struck for the lead, with Pedrosa needing no invitation to follow him through. Lorenzo then lost out to his teammate Dovizioso as he began to struggle after the lightning start, with Folger and Petrucci the next to get through.
Pedrosa then chose his moment to attack for P1, able to keep it as Dovizioso struck on Marquez – but the top three couldn’t quite yet begin to pull away from Folger in fourth, or Petrucci just behind. After a handful of laps playing high-speed chess, Dovizioso then went around the outside of Pedrosa to take the lead, pulling a small gap before Marquez (pictured) followed the Italian through.
A three-way fight then broke out between Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Lorenzo for P6, with the squabble providing some spectacular wheel-to-wheel action and the Frenchman initially coming out on top. The drama wasn’t over, however, with some running out of rubber and some making big gains as the final laps approached – with Lorenzo on a charge back through and Folger one to lose out.
As Dovizioso arrived at the final lap clear in the lead, crossing the line first for the second straight week for his fourth career win.
Marquez kept it calm to take second and get back on the podium after a tough Italian GP, with Pedrosa crossing the line in third to join his teammate on the bounce back from the Italian GP.
Lorenzo sliced back through to take fourth at the flag, ahead of Zarco getting the better of Folger in a last-minute duel between the Tech 3 machines. Bautista, after a late run off, came home in P7.
Rossi came home in eighth, Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) took P9, and Maverick Vinales made it to the flag in 10th – taking a big hit on his points lead.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing), Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and home hero Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top 15. EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller crashed out of top 10 contention, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) also failing to see the flag after retiring with a problem.
The MotoGP championship continues at Assen in The Netherlands in two weeks’ time.