Once again UNIBAT gain the podium at the MotoGP in Japan, this time thanks to Andrea Dovizioso.
Andrea Dovizioso put in a fine performance today in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, finishing runner-up in the fifteenth round of the 2016 world championship. The Ducati Team rider, who started from the second row, powered away well at the stat but lost a few positions at the first corner and crossed the line at the end of lap 1 in fifth place. Andrea then passed Aleix Espargarò on lap 6 and began to chip away at Lorenzo, who crashed on lap 20. At that point Dovizioso was able to control the recovery by Viñales and he finished his race with a well-deserved second place.
Hector Barbera, who was making his debut on the Demosedici GP of the Ducati Team, had not such a good race. The rider from Valencia, who started from row 3, lost several positions at the start and then began his recovery by passing Petrucci and catching Pol Espargarò. In an attempt to pass his fellow Spanish rider, Hector made a mistake and crashed, managing to restart however despite a damaged bike, and he crossed the finish-line in seventeenth place. Barbera will again replace the still convalescent Andrea Iannone in the Australian Grand Prix next week at Phillip Island.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd
“Today’s race was really very difficult. I started quite well but was boxed in by Valentino at the first corner and lost several positions and above all contact with the leading trio. I remained calm however and began to get closer to Lorenzo lap after lap: I didn’t want to take too many risks, but I had almost caught him when he made a small error and crashed out. I am very pleased with the feeling I had with the bike and with how I managed the situation: I couldn’t take too many risks because it was very easy to crash, but I was able to be constant throughout the race and with a good pace, and get an important result for both me and Ducati. This weekend we worked well, and confirmed that we have a good base on which to continue to work to improve several aspects of the bike.”
Hector Barbera (Ducati Team #8) – 17th
“For me it was a fantastic opportunity to ride the 2016 Desmosedici GP and race for a factory squad like the Ducati Team and so I want to thank both Ducati and Avintia Racing for giving me this opportunity. For me it was all new: in fact, I didn’t know either the bike or the guys in the team, but after every session the situation improved a lot. Unfortunately in the race I was not able to get a good start, especially because the clutch is very different to the one I normally use, and I immediately lost two positions. I took a bit of time to pass Petrucci and then I caught Pol Espargarò, who I tried to overtake several times, until I tried with even more decision and unfortunately I crashed. I feel bad about it because I think that today I could have finished in fifth or sixth place. In any case I picked the bike up to finish the race, but in the crash the two wings had broken off and I was no longer able to ride it well. However it was a great experience and I am very happy that I have been given another chance next week at Phillip Island.”
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow completed a fine weekend’s work by coming home in fifth place at Sunday’s Grand Prix of Japan at the Twin Ring in Motegi. On the day that fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez clinched the world championship, Crutchlow overcame a slight error in the middle of the race to produce another solid showing which reinforces his position as the Best Independent Team rider of the standing (7th overall with 116 points).
Having started from fifth place on the grid, the Briton was always looking to try and come on strong in the second half of the race. His plans were disrupted when he went off track near the halfway point, but he managed to keep his bike upright and return to the race. The incident ruined his hopes of challenging for a podium spot but the Brit was quite satisfied with the final result. Now Cal and his squad will move to Australia for the sixteenth round of the calendar at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (5th – +15.049)
“Today was a good finishing position for me and the team, but I made a mistake in the middle of the race. I ran the hard front tyre, which I believe was the correct choice, but it was really difficult to go fast at the start of the race. So I waited and looked to do a good job towards the end, which was always going to be the plan.
“I believe I could have done that, but I ran off the track which complicated things for me. I lost eight or nine seconds on that lap. It was my own fault, but I managed to stay on the bike as I went through the gravel, which was the main thing. We still managed to finish in a strong position, but evidently we are a bit disappointed as we could have battled for the podium today.
“The Team did a great job, though, and another top-five result is important for the second half of the season.”