The closing stages of Sunday's European MotoGP at Valencia saw a frightening near-miss between Alex Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso.

The pair were battling over eighth place when the Ducati rider overtook on the main straight.

But as they hit the brakes for Turn 1, Repsol Honda rookie Marquez was caught out by the slipstream and almost ran into the back of Dovizioso, before losing the front of his RCV and missing the Italian by millimetres as he fell.

There had been a damp patch of asphalt at the corner throughout the day, but Marquez made clear that was not to blame.

"No, with these bikes when you arrive at the end of the main straight at 330 km/h, more or less, and you have someone in front you need to take care of the slipstream," he said.

"We saw many rookie riders in the past like my brother do this. In the first year you have somebody in front so it is difficult to stop the bike, and so easy with the slipstream, to touch the other one from the back.

"I braked at the same point as him, but he was in front of me so it was impossible. There were two options, to both crash or only me.

"It was wet on the inside in that corner, but honestly I was just more deep with more brake and I locked the front.

"It was the second zero in a row and we lost points in Aragon and also here so I am disappointed about that."

Marquez's fall means he starts the final two rounds with a nine-point deficit to KTM's Brad Binder in the Rookie of the Year battle.

Meanwhile, Marquez's 2018 Moto2 team-mate Joan Mir heads into the second Valencia weekend on the verge of winning the MotoGP title for Suzuki.

"[Mir] made a really good step [in his second MotoGP season], also Suzuki and we see the championship standings. It is clear that the Suzuki bike is so complete," Marquez said.

"He was smart to take that opportunity in this strange year of championship with only 11 races and also with the injury of Marc. Today he did what a champion needs to do which is to put everything on the table and say 'I want to win this championship'.

"For me it's a really good example to keep going and motivated for the future as we can see everything is possible."

 

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