After claiming the season’s opener in Qatar, Andrea Dovizioso concluded the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship with victory in Valencia. The Italian was unfaze...
In a repeat to the start of last season’s campaign, Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) won the opening round of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship at Losail, Qatar. The night-time race kept fans enthralled from start to finish and the Italian’s margin at the flag was a mere 23-thousandths of a second over defending champion Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team). Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was third.
La première course de la saison a tenu toutes ses promesses. La victoire s’est dessinée dans l’ultime tour où cinq prétendants étaient roue dans roue pour la première marche du podium.
The 2019 season’s opener lived up every bit to its promise and the outcome was only settled on the last lap, with five riders completing the distance in close formation.
Dovizioso pounced from second on the grid to emerge in front after Turn 1, chased by Márquez and Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR). The latter managed to appear in first place several times in the course of the evening but failed to make his advantage stick for a whole lap at a time.
At the race’s halfway point, Dovizioso – who had chosen medium MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear – was back in command, ahead of a pack comprising Márquez, Rins and Crutchlow, but he failed to pull out any real gap.
Two laps from home, Márquez, who had gone for the same tyre choice, found a way past but the Ducati star recovered first place at the start of the final lap which, as in 2018, produced a thrilling showdown between the two men. And this time again, it played out in Dovizioso’s favour.
Crutchlow managed to pass Rins on the last lap to celebrate his first outing since last year’s Rally Australia with the first podium of his career and the status of best-placed independent team rider.
Rins ended up fourth, closely tailed by Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) who had fought his way back from 14
Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) was sixth, ahead of pole-winner Maverik Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) who got away to a poor start. That relegated him to seventh place after Lap 1 and he never looked like being able to catch the leading group after that.
The best-placed rookie Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), Takaaki Nakegami (LCR Honda) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) rounded out the top 10.
French 19-year old Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) qualified fifth on the grid for his maiden MotoGP
Four of the six possible Michelin tyre combinations were used, although the majority opted for medium-compound MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear. No riders chose for the hard option.
Next round: Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, Argentina (Match 29-31).