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Fourth place for Andrea Dovizioso in the Michelin Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Hector Barbera crashes out three laps from the end

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Andrea Dovizioso scored a strong fourth place finish in the Michelin Australian Grand Prix, held today in dry conditions at a wind-swept Phillip Island circuit. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider, who started from row 3, crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in seventh place and made his way up to fourth by lap 7. Dovizioso was then involved in a great scrap with Aleix Espargarò, who crashed on lap 23, and Maverick Viñales, but he was unable to pass the young Spanish rider and had to settle for a fourth place finish in this sixteenth round of the championship.

Team-mate Hector Barbera, who was having his second race with the Ducati Team, was once again targeted by misfortune. The Spanish rider, who started from row 4, crossed the line on lap 1 in fourteenth place and then put in a good recovery which took him up to eleventh. Unfortunately Hector, who was in a group of seven riders fighting for seventh place, crashed out at Turn 6 three laps from the end and had to retire.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th
“I am satisfied with my race today, even though when you are fighting for the podium with just a few laps remaining, it is disappointing not to be able to reach it. However, if I think that last year here I did one of my worst races, managing to finish the race at Phillip Island with a fourth place is something really positive for me. I am pleased with the way we worked throughout the weekend, but especially with the way we are constantly improving the bike. I managed my race well, making the best use of the strong points of the Desmosedici GP in the parts of the circuit which were most favourable to us, and I was able to stay among the battle for the podium right until the end. Over the last one and a half laps, I decided to back down because I was taking too many risks in catching Viñales, but a fourth place at this circuit is a really good result for me.”

Hector Barbera (Ducati Team #8) – DNF
“It was a difficult race, because I was only able to lap in the dry in this morning’s warm-up and so for me all the race settings were completely new. After the start I made a recovery that took me into the group with Redding and Petrucci fighting for seventh place, but three laps from the end I made a mistake trying to pass Miller: I went too long, finished on the grass and crashed. It was really a pity, because today I tried to do my best, but it wasn’t sufficient. Again I’d like to thank Ducati, my team Avintia Racing, and everyone who gave me this chance. I didn’t have much luck but now I must look ahead and try and do better in the next two races.”