Andrea Dovizioso produced a near-flawless performance at Misano to win the San Marino GP on Sunday.
The Ducati rider romped to his third win of the season after sything through the field from fourth on the grid in the opening laps to take the lead from Jorge Lorenzo.
Jack Miller, who started on the front row, crashed out from fourth early on, leaving Dovizioso, Lorenzo and riders’ championship leader Marc Marquez with a gap to the rest of the field.
Dovizioso showed blistering pace to create a decent cushion, leaving Marquez to battle with Lorenzo for second for most of the race. With 14 laps to go, Marquez was finally able to dive down the inside of Lorenzo, starting a fascinating battle between the duo. Twice Marquez passed him, but twice the Ducati rider came back.
Lorenzo then found some superlative pace and appeared to be chasing down Dovizioso, but came off the track on Turn 8 with just two laps to go after losing grip on the front. He fished his bike out the sand and remounted to limp to 17th.
But all this action left a flying Dovizioso to pull off into the distance, where he stayed to cross the line in splendid isolation.
Cal Crutchlow earned his first podium since his victory in Argentina on his Honda, while Alex Rins held off Maverick Vinales for fourth.
Further down the classification, it was not what the Doctor ordered for Valentino Rossi, who settled for seventh on his Yamaha that was benign all week.
In the riders’ standings, with six races to go, Marquez has a commanding 67 point lead. Dovizioso’s win sees him leapfrog Lorenzo and Rossi to move into second place.
1 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 42’05.426
2 Marc Marquez Honda 2.822
3 Cal Crutchlow Honda 7.269
4 Alex Rins Suzuki 14.687
5 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 16.016
6 Dani Pedrosa Honda 17.408
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 19.086
8 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 21.804
9 Alvaro Bautista Ducati 23.919
10 Johann Zarco Yamaha 27.559
11 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 30.698
12 Franco Morbidelli Honda 32.941
13 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 33.461
14 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 35.686
15 Michele Pirro Ducati 35.812
16 Bradley Smith KTM 46.500
17 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 46.614
18 Jack Miller Ducati 50.593
19 Hafizh Syahrin Yamaha 55.168
20 Karel Abraham Ducati 1’02.255
21 Scott Redding Aprilia 1’09.475
22 Thomas Luthi Honda 1’12.608
23 Christophe Ponsson Ducati 1 Lap
Ret Stefan Bradl Honda 10 Laps
Ret Pol Espargaro KTM 10 Laps
Ret Xavier Simeon Ducati 25 Laps