Andrea Dovizioso feels his charge to the podium at the Aragon MotoGP was kickstarted by profiting from the opening-lap clash between Alex Rins and Franco Morbidelli as he accepts his title fight is effectively over and focuses on defending second place in the standings.

The Ducati rider surged from 10th place on the grid to take the runner-up spot behind runaway winner Marc Marquez to see the MotoGP riders’ championship gap swell to 98 points with five rounds to go.

Having felt confident with his own pace to match the front-runners before the race, Dovizioso concedes he was handed a huge opportunity when Rins collided with Morbidelli at Turn 12 on the first lap to not only gain early positions but it also compromised the Suzuki rider’s race as the Spaniard was given a Long Lap penalty for the incident.

“After a good start I was blocked so I couldn’t gain any positions, but in the end Rins and Morbidelli did a mistake so it gave me a big open door and from there I think I managed the race in a perfect way,” Dovizioso said.

“I didn’t push at the maximum and I didn’t use too much of the rear tyre and that gave me the possibility to be consistent until the last lap. The competitors lap by lap dropped so I am so happy about that.

“In MotoGP to gain a lot of positions is very, very difficult so I am pretty happy as it was important for us to get back on the podium after the past two races because in Silverstone we had a chance to fight for the victory but I couldn’t and the second race in Misano was very bad and we struggled from the test.

“I’m pretty happy, also the championship against Marc is worse as he has gained but to third it is better so I am happy.”

Despite still being in the MotoGP title hunt mathematically, Dovizioso says he’s concentrating on keeping second place in the standings due to the vast deficit to Marquez who can seal the 2019 riders’ world title at the next round in Thailand if he outscores his Italian rival by two points.

Dovizioso’s first podium since his win in Austria sees him pull out 46-point advantage over Rins who is third in the current MotoGP standings, while Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci is one point further back in fourth place.

“I didn’t check the pace but I think Rins was very fast and I expected Rins in the race to be really strong,” he said.

“I think he will try until the end in Valencia so we have to stay focused and stay on the podium.”

Dovizioso’s Aragon MotoGP rostrum takes him to 99 career podium finishes which puts him level with Loris Capirossi for all-time podiums.

 

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