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Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso grabbed victory in the 2017 MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday after holding off Honda’s Marc Marquez in a fantastic battle.
The two men moved to the front of the pack midway through the race, and both led at certain stages of the contest. However, the Italian eventually did enough, taking his third win of a fascinating season.
Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was third, recovering from eighth on the grid, while Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi was a disappointing seventh.
The result actually sees Marquez extend his championship lead to 16 points, with Dovizioso moving up into second place ahead of Maverick Vinales, who was sixth at the Red Bull Ring.
It was Jorge Lorenzo who got off to the fastest start, moving ahead of Marquez into first place. Vinales, meanwhile, ran wide at Turn 1 and lost time on his rivals.
Things were extremely tight at the front of the field, though, as we can see courtesy of the MotoGP Twitter feed:
22 laps to go is a llooonnnngggg way when the top 6 are **this** close together!
#JL99 #MM93 #AD04 #VR46 #JZ5 #DP26
Dovizioso and Marquez were engaged in a gripping battle for second spot. The former was able to edge past the Spaniard, although he couldn’t maintain position, with the Honda man wrestling the spot back; that would prove to be the theme of the afternoon.
With both men going flat out, they moved up on to the back of Lorenzo up front, who was beginning to lose grip in the soft tyres. Marquez and Dovizioso were able to pass him as a result, although a blanket still could have been tossed over the front six.
As we can see here, courtesy of journalist Simon Patterson, the trio of leaders were three abreast at times:
Having moved to the front, for the first time in the race, Marquez and Dovizioso were able to put some daylight between themselves and the rest of the field.
Further back, the perils of a…