MOTOGP TIM SAN MARINO and RIMINI RIVIERA GRAND PRIX – Dovizioso scores excellent fourth place taking the flag just five-and-a-half seconds down on winner Rossi. Crutchlow finishes ninth

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Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) produced another fine performance today at Misano in the TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix to finish fourth at the flag. The Italian rider, who started from row 2 of the grid after qualifying sixth yesterday, was fifth at the end of the opening lap behind fellow Ducati man Andrea Iannone and was then passed by Pedrosa on lap 4. Both riders moved ahead of the Pramac man on lap 8, and after Marquez’s crash, they found themselves in a battle for third. Constantly setting quick lap times, Dovizioso remained right on Pedrosa’s tail until the final lap, but he was unable to pass the Honda rider and had to settle for fourth ahead of Iannone, who was fifth at the flag.

Team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who started from row 5 with thirteenth-quickest time, finished the San Marino GP in ninth place after a good scrap with Bautista, Aleix Espargaro and Hernandez.

Dovizioso’s final gap from the winner Valentino Rossi was 5.510 seconds.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th
“I am so happy, I did a really great race! This weekend was actually quite a difficult one and I didn’t believe I could do such a race. I’d like to thank all the team because we are working so hard to try and make up the gap to the leaders, and slowly but surely we are succeeding. A gap of five seconds at the flag is like a dream, I didn’t think it was possible today. We’re not yet close enough to fight with the front runners and we still have to grit our teeth for the entire race. I tried to grab third place from Pedrosa until the very end but today I was really over the limit in certain parts, so fourth was OK!”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 9th
“Rather a disappointing result considering I felt we could have competed a bit better with some of the riders in front of us this weekend. I never had a good feeling at the start of the race with a full fuel tank and couldn’t stop the bike so well. Once the fuel load went down, we started to get a bit faster, but I made a lot of mistakes in the race, maybe ten seconds worth. Around lap 20 I felt I had a problem with the tyre so I had to slow down for two laps and check and then once I got going again I was doing my fastest laps in the race. Pity, hopefully we can have a better race weekend at Aragon.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“We are very satisfied with Dovizioso’s race! Today at Misano we managed to reduce the gap from the winner to five and a half seconds, and that is a very important result for us. Even Iannone finished the race in fifth place with a reasonable gap and both riders did a great race. Days like today fill us with more motivation and optimism, and we will continue to work hard all together to cut the gap to the frontrunners.”