MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso wins in Japan to cut Marc Marquez lead
Italian Andrea Dovizioso snatched a dramatic last-gasp win at the Japanese MotoGP in Motegi to cut Marc Marquez's championship lead to 11 points.
With rain falling on a saturated track, Ducati rider Dovizioso and Honda's Marquez battled on the final lap.
Dovizioso pulled away on the final straight to win by 0.249 seconds for his fifth victory of the season.
There are three races remaining in the series, the next of which is in Australia next weekend.
Dovizioso made a blistering start from ninth on the grid as he and Spaniard Marquez reeled in the early leader, Italian Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci.
Dovizioso twice roared past Marquez and twice the Spaniard defiantly recaptured the lead with some audacious overtaking, the triple world champion entering the penultimate lap ahead.
But Dovizioso wrestled the advantage once more, and though Marquez almost went ahead again on the final bend, the Italian's extra speed on the final drag proved decisive.
"I knew the Ducati was faster on the back straight, even in the braking point," Marquez said. "At this circuit I knew he would be very, very strong."
Petrucci finished third, ahead of Suzuki riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins, with former champion Jorge Lorenzo's Ducati sixth and Aleix Espargaro seventh on his Aprilia.
Italian seven-time champion Valentino Rossi, continuing his return from a double leg fracture, spun his Yamaha into the gravel early in the race.
Japan GP results:
1. Andrea Dovizioso (It/Ducati) 47 minutes 14.236 seconds
2. Marc Marquez (Sp/Honda) 47:14.485
3. Danilo Petrucci (It/Ducati) 47:24.793
4. Andrea Iannone (It/Suzuki) 47:33.081
5. Alex Rins (Sp/Suzuki) 47:37.218
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Sp/Ducati) 47:38.700
7. Aleix Espargaro (Sp/Aprilia) 47:42.246
8. Johann Zarco (Fr/Yamaha) 47:43.711
9. Maverick Vinales (Sp/Yamaha) 47:50.811
10. Loris Baz (Fr/Ducati) 48:02.742
Standings after race 15 of 18
1. Marc Marquez (Sp/Honda) 244 points
2. Andrea Dovizioso (It/Ducati) 233
3. Maverick Vinales (Sp/Yamaha) 203
4. Dani Pedrosa (Sp/Honda) 170
5. Valentino Rossi (It/Yamaha) 168
6. Johann Zarco (Fr/Yamaha) 125
7. Jorge Lorenzo (Sp/Ducati) 116
8. Danilo Petrucci (It/Ducati) 111
9. Cal Crutchlow (GB/Honda) 92
10. Jonas Folger (Ger/Yamaha) 84