Andrea Dovizioso wasn’t prepared to push over the limit as the Ducati rider sought to protect his MotoGP title challenge at Misano.

On a wet but slowly drying track, Dovizioso erred on the side of caution as he brought his factory Desmosedici GP17 home in third behind championship rival Marc Marquez and Danilo Petrucci.

Marquez is now level on points with Dovizioso, but the Italian rider said he would rather settle for 16 points than risk crashing by trying to challenge the front two.

“I realised from the first few laps that it was a very difficult race for me because I didn’t have the grip and I didn’t understand why. After the crash of Jorge [Lorenzo], Danilo and Marc make always the same pace so I was trying to understand if I have a chance to stay with them until the end,” he said.

“But I didn’t have any better point compared to them to try to fight with them. Like everybody saw, it was so easy to make a mistake and there was a lot of crashes in every category. Today, when I was riding in the race, I thought this is the day when it is more important to take 16 points than zero.

“I think you have to try like Marc, to take a lot of risks, but if it is good to do that – I didn’t feel that. I’m not so happy about the feeling I have with the bike and I lose some points in the championship, but in the conditions we found in the wet and the confirm of yesterday in the dry about our speed, I’m really happy.”

Dovizioso believes the title battle now concerns three riders – himself, Marquez and Maverick Vinales – with Valentino Rossi missing his home race through injury, while Dani Pedrosa could only finish in 14th place.

“Now it is very difficult for them. Still there is a chance and anything can happen, like today it was easy to make a mistake so 25 or 30 points is easy to gain, but for now the championship is for the first three riders,” he said.

“I think we have a chance to fight for the championship and for sure Marc is very strong and he is really fast in the next race at Aragon. Now we have three in the championship and it is completely open, we have the same points. I’m feeling really good in the dry so we will try until the end.”

Aragon is up next before three consecutive flyaway rounds in October as the title battle enters the final stretch, but Dovizioso says it is impossible to determine which of the remaining circuits will be better suited to his Ducati, Marquez’s Honda or Vinales’ Yamaha.

“We don’t answer about the tracks because we don’t know, not because we don’t want to say. For sure there are some tracks where I prefer, some tracks that he [Marquez] prefers, but it’s more important how the bike works with the tyre we have in that weekend.

“It’s impossible to know now, so I think it will be completely open. Marc has confirmed and Honda that they are really strong in the moment but also we confirm in some tracks and some conditions, when normally we are not fast in the past, now we are fast. I think it will be nice until the end.”

Dovizioso used the aerodynamic fairing in the race after reverting to the standard version in qualifying, and he explained the decision in the post-race press conference.

“We know very well the positive an negative things for the new fairing and for the grip we found in this track, I think it was good to use it,” he said. “I have no question about that and on the wet it was better.”

His team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, led the race until he came off at turn 6 on lap seven and Dovizioso feels the Spaniard was simply taking more risks.

“He crashed where most the of the riders crashed today. It was maybe the worst corner for the grip and he was riding very fast at that moment. He wasn’t riding crazy, just he took more risk than us. It is his style, to start very fast at the beginning of the race, but sometimes it doesn’t work.”


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