MotoGP | Dovizioso triumphs after a thrilling duel with Marquez at QatarGP

by M.C. – photo: @MotoGp | The MotoGP grand opening this year in QatarGP didn’t disappoint. This year’s competition has started in a remarkably similar way to last years’ ending: an Italo-Spanish fight between Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). In this occasion, luck was on the side of the Ducati’s pilot, who ended up winning by just 27 milliseconds. It was however, not an easy win for the Italian who had to steadily climb up positions after a poor start. During the first part of the race it was the French pilot Zarco (Yamaha) who was at the lead.

As laps went by Dovizioso and Marquez as well as Il Dottore, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), took up positions at the head of the race, staging an electrifying battle. Close overtakes and turns with just a few centimetres to spare… it all felt as a sort of déjà vu of last year in Austria and Japan, with Dovi and Marquez rivalling each other’s supremacy. At the end, it all ended exactly as in those two races back in 2017: a frantic battle between the Ducati and Honda bikes which the world’s sub-champion managed to win in the last lap by a mere 27 milliseconds.

Marquez was however not dishearten by his second position. Qatar is not one of his best circuits and being so close to victory was actually good news for the defending champion.

Rossi came third and Lorenzo’s brakes failed

Meanwhile Rossi got bronze at just 77 hundredths of a second, but he didn’t stand a chance for anything more than that. The British, Cal Crutchlow (LRC Honda CASTROL) and the Italian Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), came fourth and fifth respectively.

What about the rest of the favourites? After a disastrous start from the 15th position, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was not able to replicate last year’s triumph but he climbed back to sixth at the end. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) on the other hand, only managed to finish seventh despite a good start and Zarco got eight after having to deal with some problems at the end. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) performed a dramatic escape when he had to jump off his bike at 180km/h after his brakes failed mid-race.

Results QatarGP:
  1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) 42’34.65’’
  2. Marc Márquez (Esp/Repsol Honda) +0.027’’
  3. Valentino Rossi (Ita/Movistar Yamaha) +0.797’’
  4. Cal Crutchlow (Gbr/LRC Honda Castrol) +2.882’’
  5. Danilo Petrucci (Ita/Alma Pramac Racing) +3.821’’
Pilot’s standings MotoGP:
  1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) 25 points
  2. Marc Márquez (Esp/Repsol Honda) 20 points
  3. Valentino Rossi (Ita/Movistar Yamaha) 16 points
  4. Cal Crutchlow (Gbr/LRC Honda Castrol) 13 points
  5. Danilo Petrucci (Ita/Alma Pramac Racing) 11 points


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