Venue: Phillip Island
Andrea Dovizioso’s stunning victory in the Japanese Grand Prix injected new life into the MotoGP World Championship and shortened the Italian’s odds for the Australian race at Phillip Island.
The Ducati rider narrowed the championship lead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez to 11 points with three races remaining with a last-lap pass against the Spaniard which went totally against the Italian’s normal low-risk approach towards racing.
As a result of their no-holds-barred duel in the rain at Motegi, the duo are closely matched ahead of an Australian round where one mistake could prove decisive.
Having looked at our odds for the Australian MotoGP, Marquez is favourite at 6/5 and Dovizioso is 15/4 to take the win.
Movistar Yamaha pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales certainly need a good result after a poor showing for the manufacturer in Japan and both are rated 6/1 for victory in Australia.
Jorge Lorenzo, a winner in Australia in 2013, knows how to win at Phillip Island and Ducati’s improved performances this season make his price of 15/2 for the win worth looking at.
Cal Crutchlow, the 2016 winner in Australia, has had an indifferent season and that is reflected in his odds of 28/1 for a repeat victory this time around.
How the Japanese Grand Prix finished:
1 Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), 2 Marc Marquez (Honda) 3 Danilo Petrucci (Ducati), 4 Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), 5 Alex Rins (Suzuki), 6 Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati), 7 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), 8 Johann Zarco (Yamaha), 9 Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), 10 Loris Baz (Ducati), 11 Pol Espargaro (KTM), 12 Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha), 13 Sam Lowes (Aprilia), 14 Hector Barbera (Ducati), 15 Tito Rabat (Honda), 16 Scott Redding (Ducati), 17 Bradley Smith (KTM), 18 Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda), DNF Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), Dani Pedrosa (Honda), Karel Abraham (Ducati), Cal Crutchlow (Honda), Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Kohta Nozane (Yamaha).
Dovizioso injected new life into the title race with a stunning victory over Marquez in rain-lashed Japan.
The Italian cut the gap to his Spanish rival to 11 points with a dramatic victory as the factory Ducati rider won a tight battle against his Honda rival at Motegi.
Marquez led going in to the closing stages but Dovizioso timed his final pass to perfection, taking over on the last lap and holding out despite Marquez’s attempt to regain the lead in the final corner.
With three races to go, Dovizioso has breathed new life into his title challenge by ending Marquez’s run of victories at two.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) completed the podium as Suzuki pair Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins made the most of the wet track conditions to take fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Dovizioso’s team-mate Lorenzo.
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro was seventh ahead of Johann Zarco (Yamaha).
It was a bad day for the Monster Yamaha team as Vinales suffered a bad blow to his title hopes as he only came in ninth and team-mate Rossi, still recovering from a broken leg, crashed out early on.
Past Australian Grand Prix results:
2016 Cal Crutchlow (Honda)
2015 Marc Marquez (Honda)
2014 Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
2013 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
2012 Casey Stoner (Honda)
2011 Casey Stoner (Honda)