MONTMELO, Spain — Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso tightened the MotoGP championship race after winning the Catalonia Grand Prix from a seventh-placed start on Sunday.

Dovizioso added the victory in Spain to his first place in Italy to give Ducati its first back-to-back winner since Casey Stoner in 2010. It was Dovizioso’s fourth career win since his debut in 2008.

Points leader Maverick Vinales failed to make up ground from a ninth-placed start, bringing his Yamaha across the finish line in 10th — almost 25 seconds after Dovizioso.

Vinales now leads Dovizioso by seven points after seven of 18 races.

Even so, Dovizioso played down his hopes of a sustained challenge for the title.

“I didn’t expect to be competitive here and I won,” Dovizioso said. “I know very well the positives and negatives of the bike and want to get the most from the bike every race. But I’m realistic. I don’t think we can fight for the championship. We are still missing something.”

Defending champion Marc Marquez finished second at Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, more than three seconds behind, followed by Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who started from pole position.

Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo faded from his second-placed start to finish fourth, while Valentino Rossi was eighth.

In Moto2, Alex Marquez, Marc Marquez’s younger brother, won the race from pole position, ahead of Mattia Pasini and Thomas Luthi.

Leader Franco Morbidelli finished sixth, seeing his advantage over Luthi cut to seven points.

Joan Mir increased his lead of Moto3 after overtaking Romano Fenati and pole-starter Jorge Martin on the final lap. Mir leads Fenati by 45 points.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.