Dovizioso: Marquez did "something special" in Motegi race
Andrea Dovizioso says 2018 MotoGP champion Marc Marquez did "something special" during the Japanese Grand Prix, and also praised the Spaniard's campaign as a whole.
As in many races this year, the fight for the win at Motegi came down to a duel between Dovizioso and Marquez.
Dovizioso led the most of the race from pole but never managed to pull away from Marquez, and the Honda rider made a move for first place with four laps remaining.
The Ducati rider then kept Marquez under pressure, but couldn't complete an overtake and ended up crashing on the penultimate lap at Turn 10.
Dovizioso explained that the cause of the crash was him trying to get as good a corner exit as possible to line up a passing move.
"I tried to win the race, but the positive thing was, I wasn't over the limit when I crashed," he said.
"I just make a small mistake because I wanted to prepare to the exit in a better way than the lap before because I was accelerating really good, but I couldn't exit close to Marc and try to overtake him in the brake.
"I did one lap and a half like this and I wanted to do this immediately, and I did a small mistake.
"I have a lot of [lean] angle when I prepare the corner and it was too early. I ask too much to the front tyre.
"The race was like we expected because the practice, I saw really good pace from Marc, like in every interview I try to explain.
"Also today I think he did something special, he tried to stay with me until the last seven laps, so we can just congratulate him."
Dovizioso was ready to admit that Marquez and Honda were class of the field this year, but said the fact he could match the champion in the second half of the season was reason to be optimistic for 2019.
He said: "They did another special year. They won, this is normal because they did something better than everybody, he has more than 100 points to everybody.
"In this moment we are strong like him but at the end he won the title. We arrive from the middle to the end of the season in very similar pace, this is very positive to be strong like Marc.
"It is positive for next year but unfortunately today we couldn't finish in the way we want.
"I am so happy with the level we are now, to finish the season like this and to be really ready next year for, more ready than this year."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
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