Andrea Dovizioso at Valencia behind teammate Jorge Lorenzo
Dovizioso trails teammate Jorge Lorenzo at the season-ending round in Valencia. Both riders crashed out of the race.Courtesy of Ducati

Where did Andrea Dovizioso lose the 2017 MotoGP world title? Since memories of races are often short, the answer that most fans would likely offer would be Phillip Island in Australia, where the factory Ducati rider finished in a frustrating 13th position. With Marc Marquez winning that race and only two rounds left in the season, the championship gap that opened after Round 16 effectively eliminated Dovizioso from the title chase. Throughout the season, however, there were other moments that influenced the final result.

Here are the four races that significantly impeded the aspirations of Dovizioso and Ducati:

1. Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina: After a brilliant second place in the inaugural race in Qatar, Dovizioso was unintentionally knocked down by Aleix Espargaró two weeks later in Argentina on lap 15 when he was running seventh. It was Dovizioso's first of only two DNFs in 18 races; the second was in Valencia.

2. Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic: The riders started the race on rain tires knowing that they would soon change to bikes fitted with slicks. Marquez, shockingly, did so on the second lap. Ducati's slow reaction meant that Dovizioso swapped bikes two laps later than the rest. Márquez won the race; Dovizioso was sixth and lost 15 points. After this incident, Ducati decided that team coordinator Davide Tardozzi, not the riders' engineers, would choose future strategies.

Andrea Dovizioso at MotorLand Aragon
Andrea Dovizioso on the grid at MotorLand Aragon, shortly before the start of the 23-lap race. He qualified and finished seventh.Courtesy of Ducati

3. MotorLand Aragón, Spain: After two firsts in Austria and England and a third in San Marino, seventh in Aragon was a slap in the face to Dovizioso, especially considering that teammate Jorge Lorenzo finished on the podium and Márquez won. At a track where he had never performed well, Dovizioso pushed too much in the first part of the race and sank in the second half, leading to one of his worst finishes of the season—a failure clearly attributable to the rider.

4. Phillip Island, Australia: On a track where Ducati already anticipated major problems, Dovizioso was shipwrecked. He was 11th on the starting grid, and an error in his attempt at a comeback in the race made him lose faith. In the last moments of the race, he was in a fight for 11th place, but at the finish line he lost two positions, one of them at the hands of a "partner" brand, which led to tremendous frustration within Ducati. Márquez won the race and gained 25 points; Dovizioso got three. In this case, the problems have to be shared by the Desmosedici—a motorcycle allergic to the characteristics of Phillip Island—and Dovizioso, who never showed anything other than resignation.

These were the four moments during the season that cost Dovizioso and Ducati the title. Paradoxically, the Italian won the most epic battles, but his inability to minimize damage on unfavorable days ultimately led to Márquez and Honda—which did know how it was going to stay on top—to win the 2017 MotoGP championship.