Jorge Lorenzo has described his Austrian MotoGP triumph as “one of my best victories” of his 17-year grand prix career after coming out on top in an epic last lap showdown with Marc Marquez in Austria.

The 31-year old pointed to two key points that allowed him to reel Marquez in before beating him in a memorable late-race duel.

Firstly, his decision to run Michelin’s soft rear tyre was the right one. Then his studying of the circuit’s third sector led to he and his Ducati GP18 thriving through turns six, seven and eight, turns with which he struggled for the prior days.

“[It] Was a great decision to use the soft rear tyre, but I needed to manage a lot in the first ten laps,” explained Lorenzo after his third win in six races. “I needed to manage a lot not to overheat the tyre because it was very hot. It was very, very soft in some parts of the tyre.

Austria MotoGP - Rider Ratings

“But was also key the big improvement I made in the sector three, because yesterday I was losing almost two tenths there compared to Marc and Dovi. Then I made a big improvement in one afternoon. Trying to watch some videos, trying to understand which position of my body I need to change to be faster in that sector. It really, really worked.

“During the race I was improving and improving in that sector and I was catching Marc in that sector where we were losing a lot last year. Also this management of the tyre at the beginning, not so much because Marc was pushing so hard with the hard rear tyre, so probably was saving three percent, five percent - not so much but enough to keep the life of the tyre very well and wait for my moment.

“When Marc was start to lose a little bit of braking, stopping and especially acceleration I was starting catching him little by little, so we went from 1.2s of disadvantage to zero. The problem as always when you overtook Marc, Marc is with you till the end. He push so much, so I knew I had to fight till the end with him. Was like that. Was a fight of two ambitious riders to the last corner.”

Had he been surprised by Marquez’s early race strategy designed to stretch the field apart? “Normally Marc is not a rider who push so much at the beginning, but sometimes he can use this strategy,” said Lorenzo. “Today was one of these races. I knew already looking at his pace and his lap time during the weekend that he was very strong.

“He was able to be in 24.2, 24.3 for so many laps. Luckily after the Moto2 race the grip of the tarmac was a little bit worse, so he couldn’t be in 24.2 for so long, or maybe two tenths slower.

“This permit me to stay there just see him in the front one second, 1.2, for some laps when I was not really comfortable but saving some energy and tyres. Was probably the perfect distance between him to arrive at the end of the race with the good energy and the good tyres to attack.”

Speaking to Marquez in parc fermé after their titanic scrap, Lorenzo exclaimed ‘El primer deulo!’- ‘the first fight!’ – in the direction of his 2019 team-mate, indicating the three-time premier class champion’s belief this showdown will be the first of many in the coming years.

Asked how this ranks alongside the 46 premier class victories he had achieved before Sunday, Lorenzo said, “It’s one of my best victories, but my best victory I don’t know the best one, because luckily I got very beautiful ones in the past, not only in MotoGP but also in other categories. For sure, when you beat Marc it’s special. When you win with Ducati it’s special.

“This victory is going to be one of the special ones, apart from the first in Mugello, especially because I had to fight to the end with a monster like Marc, fight like Marc till the last lap braking very hard and take profit of my strong points. So it’s always very difficult.”