Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) did what he had to at Sepang - he won. That takes the title down to Valencia, but the challenger put more focus initially on the "perfect" weekend both he and Ducati put together.
"It’s nice to be able to say we couldn’t have done more," smiled the Italian. "We had a perfect weekend, to be on top in practice in both conditions…we improved in the dry from practice to practice, and in the wet we knew our bike worked very well."
It wasn't as simple as it looked from outside, however, with the rider from Forli explaining his strategy - patience: "The grip was so low in the race, maybe because there was so much rubber down. At the beginning I took some time to get smooth again because I wasn’t as comfortable as practice. Nobody was pushing me from behind so I took some time to understand my positives and negatives and I was able to catch Jorge. He was very fast today and I had to concentrate to catch him."
That he did, although he did try and keep an eye on title rival Marquez. "I couldn’t really see the screen," he explained, saying he was focused on the bike and especially the front. "I saw Marc was fourth, but I didn’t know how close he was to Zarco. But then I saw later on Lorenzo’s pitboard that the rider behind him was Zarco."
The fourth place wasn't enough for Marquez to take the title though, and it goes down to the wire - although the reigning Champion arrives 21 points ahead. Dovizioso knows that's a long shot, and knows there is only one thing he can do.
"We did everything perfectly and it wasn’t easy," reiterated the Borgo Panigale factory man. "To show everyone with our work we can really be competitive, at this difficult track, in the dry and the wet…but at Valencia it's a lot of points and I think Marc will be competitive from the beginning. All we can do there is the same, try to be competitive and win the race."
That's what it will take, even if Marquez fails to finish. But after the season they've had so far, the Ducati rider remains positive - and knows anything can happen. Then fielding questions throughout the Press Conference about how he feels and how he imagines Marquez is feeling, the race winner remained pragmatic as always.
"This year, nobody expected us to be there there so we have to keep thinking positive," he affirmed. "We can’t make a strategy, we just have to try to win. But this year everything can happen during the weekend, you never know with the weather…but we were relaxed before this weekend and we go to Valencia the same. The points are the reality and you can't change the reality. Even with what Marquez did this weekend, with a difficult weekend, he didn’t fall - so for me to gain 21 points, something has to happen. But the pressure for sure is quite heavy, but then Marc already did it in the past. If Marc wins the Championship, it means he was the best.”
Now one race remains, and it's another must win - but anything can happen in MotoGP™.