Marquez denies Quartararo at Misano in thrilling last lap duel

The San Marino MotoGP at Misano is decided in a thrilling last lap duel between Marc Marquez and the impressive Fabio Quartararo

Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda MotoGP

Marc Marquez has moved another step closer to a sixth MotoGP World Championship title after  coming out top of a titanic race-long duel with Fabio Quartararo that was only decided on the final lap.

A typically savvy ride by the now 77-time race winner, Repsol Honda’s Marquez stalked long-time leader Quartararo for the entire race before diving for the lead at the start of the final lap.

The Frenchman – who had led from lap three of 27 – attempted to fight back and successfully caught Marquez unawares by scything back through at turn four, only for the Spaniard to comfortably out-brake him into the long left-hander at Turn 8.

With only one obvious overtaking spot remaining at Turn 11 to Turn 14, Quartararo lined him up but got too close to the rear of the Honda and was forced to sit his Petronas SRT Yamaha up, allowing Marquez to scamper away for victory.

Another intelligent performance by Marquez, though the way he shadowed Quartararo made his attack on the final lap seem inevitable, it does not distract from the exceptional performance by the young rookie, who made no errors as he soaked up pressure from the multiple champion.

Whilst he was visibly upset not to have held on after such an inch-perfect performance, the result is another credit to what is becoming one of the most impressive rookie seasons in MotoGP history.

Moreover, Quartararo’s efforts would shame the factory Yamahas finishing some distance behind him, though it was an otherwise strong performance by the M1 contingent with pole sitter Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Forgettable weekend for Ducati as Crutchlow crashes out

On a sobering weekend for Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso was top representative in sixth position, but the lacklustre result means he is a full 93 points adrift of Marquez in what is at best a slim chance of a fight for the title now.

Though he couldn’t quite sustain his superb front row efforts, Pol Espargaro delivered another strong result for KTM in seventh in what was arguably the most convincing weekend yet in MotoGP for the Austrian firm, while Joan Mir – in his first race since Brno - saved face for Suzuki after Silverstone winner Alex Rins crashed out.

Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci ended their weekends to forget in an anonymous ninth and tenth, while Johann Zarco just missed out his first KTM top ten in 11th.

Aleix Espargaro picked up points for Aprilia in 12th, ahead of Tito Rabat, Jorge Lorenzo and Hafizh Syharin, the latter scoring his first second points’ finish on the bounce.

Elsewhere, Cal Crutchlow crashed out, compounding a dismal day for LCR Honda after Takaaki Nakagami after he did the same thing early, while Pecco Bagnaia was another fall from a points’ paying position.