Simoncelli and Dovizioso Battle at Phillip Island

October 18, 2011
Scott Mathews
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There are few people worthy of getting an audience with Mathews but he makes himself available on occasion to the racers of the Grand Prix paddock. If they’re lucky, he might even mention their name. He’s Scott Mathews, and he’s bringing you the inside scoop on MotoGP.

San Carlo Hondas Marco Simoncelli  #58  posted a strong ride in second after holding off Andrea Dovizioso in the rain.
For the past four rounds Marco Simoncelli has finished inside the top-four and appears to have cured his inconsistency.

Consistency Delights Marco Simoncelli 

Marco Simoncelli believes his inconsistent form is behind him after he secured a career best MotoGP result in yesterday’s Australian round at a cool and windy Phillip Island. The San Carlo Gresini Honda rider took second with a last lap pass on fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso in tricky conditions.

A gusting wind dominated the 27-lap race and then a short but heavy rain shower that fell on the final section on the track with three laps to go worked against Simoncelli. He was almost 3.5 seconds clear of Dovizioso when the rain started but a brilliant last lap overtake at Turn 4 secured him only his second premier class podium by just over 0.2 seconds.

Simoncelli is currently experiencing his best run of form in MotoGP and in the last six races he’s only finished outside of the top four on one occasion when he encountered tire issues at Indianapolis. Prior to that the former 250GP world champion had been fast but erratic and he was involved in controversial incidents with Dani Pedrosa in Le Mans and Jorge Lorenzo in Assen.

But Simoncelli is now looking to continue his run of consistent results this weekend in Sepang and he said: “I’m happy because in the last part of the championship I am more consistent than in the first part and it is many races in a row now that I get good result. Also in Japan without the ride through maybe I can fight for second position with Jorge. So I’m happy and I hope to continue in this way and also improve in the last two races.”

Simoncelli was also thrilled to win his final lap duel with Dovizioso and added: “I pushed five laps from the end to make a good gap between me and Dovizioso and I was quite sure of my second position. But with three laps to go it started to rain and Dovizioso caught and passed me and after that

Andrea Dovizioso - 2011 Phillip Island MotoGP
Andrea Dovizioso is one step closer to securing third place in the championship this year after grabbing his sixth podium.

we made a good battle. I tried to stay with him and attack him on the last lap and I succeeded. I’m really happy because I thought I can’t lose the battle in the last lap and I didn’t.”

Dovizioso Holds Third in the Championship 

Andrea Dovizioso strengthened his bid to secure third place in the 2011 MotoGP world championship with his sixth podium of the season at Phillip Island. The Italian lost out in an exciting battle with compatriot Marco Simoncelli for second position in the 27-lap encounter but with Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa finishing in a distant fourth, he holds third place in the overall rankings from the Spaniard by four points.

His rostrum was his first since the Brno race in mid-August and Dovizioso said: “The target was to arrive in front of Dani and also to come back on the podium, so we have to be happy about that. For the last two laps I thought I can fight for the second position and I tried to beat Marco, but he braked really good in Turn 4. And in the last two corners I tried to push 100%, but I didn’t have enough grip to try to overtake. But third place is good and the most important thing was to arrive in front of Dani. We still have the possibility to fight for third position in the championship now. We know it will be really hard and really difficult because Dani’s fast, especially at the last two tracks, but also we’re fast, so we have the possibility to fight.”

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