Andrea Dovizioso was denied a place on the podium in the San Marino MotoGP after a dramatic battle with Alvaro Bautista culminated in a photo finish.

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Dovi gave his all in a thrilling final lap battle with the Gresini Honda ace, but in the end the verdict went to Bautista by just three thousandths of a second as the pair flashed across the line at Misano virtually side by side.

Dovizioso, challenging for his sixth podium finish of the season on the satellite YZR-M1 in front of 45,000 fans, latched on to the rear of Bautista's RC213V on the final lap and looked as though he had timed his move to perfection as he seized third at the final corner.

However, the Italian drifted wide on the exit and Bautista had just enough power to get to the chequered flag first, with the official gap between the pair just 0.003s.

"It is a pity to finish so close to the podium in my home race because I really wanted to make the top three for the first time in Misano," said Dovizioso.

"It was a difficult race right from the start because I had a problem with the front and could not brake hard and enter the corners like during the practice.

"That meant I had to change my lines and I was not as fast as I expected and I could not catch Valentino and I could not push," he added.

"I just had to ride smooth and at the end my feeling improved a bit because I could at least fight for the podium.

"It is a pity I couldn't take third from Alvaro but I ran wide exiting the final corner."

Dovizioso, who remains in fourth place in the world championship standings, is already focused on making amends at Aragon at the end of September.

"I did my best and the good thing is that despite a difficult race I was still battling for the podium right to the very end," he said.

"We still scored some very important points for the championship and hopefully with a better feeling with the bike I can be back on the podium at the Motorland Aragon."



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