Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the 2018 MotoGP season after outduelling Honda rider Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring.
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.
But Marquez passed his future Honda team-mate at Turn 3 next time around, and started to slowly inch away from the factory Ducati duo.
Marquez’s lead was up to 0.8s when Dovizioso started to put pressure on Lorenzo for second.
But he could only shadow Lorenzo for several laps, which allowed the Spaniard to eventually close the gap back to Marquez.
When he got there, Lorenzo then ran wide at Turn 3 and narrowly escaped without giving up second place, but then moved past Marquez at the first corner with six laps to go.
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 recovered with a forceful move at Turn 9.
On the penultimate lap, Marquez then made another overtake at the same corner and, while Lorenzo could not respond on that lap, he breezed past Marquez on the main straight.
Marquez tried to repeat his move on the final tour, 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 had started to lose ground around the some moment Lorenzo took the lead for the first time, and in the end he finished 1.5s behind in third.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow spent the entire race as best of the rest, with Danilo Petrucci completing the top five on the third Ducati GP18.
Valentino Rossi completed a solid recovery from 14th on the grid on the lead Yamaha, running eighth after the early stages and then passing Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat to salvage sixth.
Dani Pedrosa was right behind Rossi in seventh, while Rins, despite running as high as third on the opening lap, finished eighth.
Tech3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati) completed the top 10 as Rabat dropped to 11th despite running 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 but eventually rose up to 12th ahead of Andrea Iannone (Suzuki).
KTM’s Bradley Smith was 14th, ehile Takaaki Nakagami took the final points-paying position on the second LCR Honda.
After his third win of the season, Lorenzo is third in the standings, while Marquez’s points lead is up to 59 points over Rossi.
Results – 28 laps
|4||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||9.434s|
|5||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Ducati||13.169s|
|9||Johann Zarco||Tech3 Yamaha||20.760s|
|10||Alvaro Bautista||Aspar Ducati||20.844s|
|11||Tito Rabat||Avintia Ducati||21.114s|
|15||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||30.072s|
|16||Hafizh Syahrin||Tech3 Yamaha||30.343s|
|18||Jack Miller||Pramac Ducati||34.375s|
|19||Franco Morbidelli||MVDS Honda||40.171s|
|21||Karel Abraham||Aspar Ducati||53.261s|
|22||Thomas Luthi||MVDS Honda||54.355s|
|–||Xavier Simeon||Avintia Ducati||Crash|