Just when Andrea Dovizioso's strategy looked to be paying off, the Italian fell from the front of a three-rider battle for eighth place in Sunday's British MotoGP.

Not for the first time this year Dovizioso, Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden and Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Bradley Smith spent much of the race locked together.

Dovizioso had dropped to the back of the group during the first half of the 20-lap grand prix, before passing Hayden on lap 14 and Smith on lap 17.

Unable to escape, Dovizioso was bracing himself for a late assault, believing it was better to defend than attack, but was caught out just two laps from the finish.

"I'm really disappointed about my crash. In my career I don't crash many times so it's a bad feeling, also because I had a good strategy," he said.

"Nicky and I had tried hard to stay with Smith for the whole race. I didn't have enough speed to make a gap, but all three of us had a big drop in the rear tyre. When you fight without much grip it is difficult, so I wanted to get in front.

"The crash was a mistake, but I really didn't do anything strange. We are always on the limit so one 1km/h more or a slightly different line and it is easy to lose the front, especially because it went very quick and in a place [Turn 12] I didn't expect. At that point you are on the throttle so there is not much weight on the front."

Having spent substantial time fighting with rookie Smith, who took over Dovizioso's former Yamaha ride, the Italian was able to make a comparison between the Desmosedici GP12 and YZR-M1.

"Smith was so fast on corner entry and turning, as he released the brake into the corner he could make a much higher speed than us. But me and Nicky could brake really hard [in a straight line] and recover.

Dovizioso also felt the latest engine spec offered some improvements: "Here you can see the movement on exit and pumping for every bike. Now we are able to spin and turn the bike a little bit, before we pick up the bike."

Hayden went on to claim eighth ahead of Smith and is now within eight points of Dovizioso, for eighth, in the championship standings.


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