Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso had a nightmare qualifying but fought well to end up inside the Top 5 in Americas GP MotoGP as he reveals of a near-crash moment.

Dovizioso was only 13th on Saturday but he turned it around on Sunday in the race when he made a perfect start via holeshot to jump to sixth abode his Ducati after the opening lap at Circuit of The Americas. He suffered afterwards though to stay on with the lead group.

The Italian battled with Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli, who also had a good start. After laps of trying, he found a way past to eventually to catch up Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller – what became the fight for third after Honda’s Marc Marquez’s crash.

He couldn’t pass the Australian though as he settled for fourth but managed to take the lead of the championship with Marquez dropping down the order. Post-race, Dovizioso revealed of a near-crash moment at Turn 10 due to a wet patch.

“I’m happy because to start P13 was a big problem,” said Dovizioso. “But I managed to do perfect start. I did the exact strategy that I had in my mind and it’s nice to feel that. I put myself in a perfect position.

“But unfortunately, I didn’t have the speed at the beginning to stay with the first group and that is the bad part. I lost confidence and I almost crashed at Turn 10 but I realised that there was a wet patch in the middle of the track.

“I think it came out from under the asphalt, where they made the new asphalt. After I realised that, I changed the line and my bike worked a bit better. I was so slow in the fast corners, that’s why I didn’t keep that speed.

“That’s why I didn’t have the ability to get the podium unfortunately. But we have to be happy about the fourth. Marc and Cal lost a lot of points and that for the championship is really important. I’m happy to be going to Jerez like this.

“I’m first in the championship but we are very close, it’s more about the feeling I have with the bike. I think apart from the 13th position on the grid, we show a better speed from last year, and I think in Jerez we can be competitive.

“The negative part is there are more competitive riders compared to last year. Apart from Marc, Rins and Valentino are really strong and they can really fight for the championship.” Miller said he was wary of Dovizioso’s pace but managed to hold well.

Meanwhile with Danilo Petrucci finishing sixth, it helped Ducati to take lead in the teams’ as well as the manufacturers’ standings with Honda dropping chunk points as only LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami managed to finish in 10th.