The opening clash of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship at Losail, Qatar, was won by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). The Italian was joined on the podium by defending champ Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
Dovizioso started from fifth on the grid on medium and soft MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear but fell back three places during the opening lap, leaving polesitter Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to set the early pace. The Italian soon started to fight his way back, however, to appear in third position by Lap 11, behind Zarco and Marquez.
Dovizioso then squeezed past Marquez (hard/soft MICHELIN Power Slicks) and started to home in on the Frenchman who had failed to pull out a clear gap.
Five laps from home (Lap 18), the 2017 runner-up found a way past the Spaniard before a string of quick laps sewed up his first victory the year and the ninth of his career. He also claimed the fastest race lap (1m55.242s) on Lap 19 of the 22-lap grand prix.
Marquez was second over the line, just 0.027s adrift, while Rossi (medium/soft MICHELIN Power Slick Mediums) benefitted from a strong finish to secure third spot.
Cal Crutchlow (4
The 2017 Qatar winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) fought back well to harvest sixth at the flag, chased by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) who celebrated his 200
Zarco (medium/soft MICHELIN Power Slicks) was fastest in qualifying (with a record pole-winning lap of 1m53.680s) and led for the first 17 laps but had to settle for eighth place at the finish, followed by Andrea Iannone (9
Next round: Termas de Rio Honda, Argentina (April 6-8)
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