MotoGP: Bagnaia, Ducati and Michelin shine under Qatar's floodlights!
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MotoGP: Bagnaia, Ducati and Michelin shine under Qatar's floodlights!


Sunday's Qatar Airways Qatar Grand Prix of Qatar – opening round of the 2024 MotoGPTM World Championship – saw defending champ Francesco Bagnaia (Lenovo Ducati Team) take an emphatic victory, after Prima Pramac Racing's Jorge Martin had qualified on pole position and won the previous day's sprint race. Not only did the latest MICHELIN Power range contribute actively to these two riders' successes, but it also kept spectators entertained by helping to establish new track- and race-lap records, in addition to providing consistent, competitive performance all the way to the flag. Read on to discover the key facts of the Qatar weekend...

  • Bagnaia got away to a tremendous start from fifth on the grid and eased into the lead on the first of the evening's 21 laps, one less than scheduled due to an incident involving Raul Fernandez (TrackHouse Racing) moments before the original start was about to be given. The Lenovo Ducati Team rider used the consistency of his Michelin tires to post lap times that were frequently better than last year's fastest race lap (1m52.978s) to finish 1.3 seconds clear of Brad Binder (2nd, Red Bull KTM Factory Team).
  • Binder pocketed second place in both races. A solid start for Sunday's showpiece enabled him to put pole-winner Martin under pressure during the first third of the grand prix.
  • Martin was third past the flag on Sunday after picking up his tenth consecutive sprint-race the previous day. He also set a new lap record for Losail with a 1m50.789s that beat Luca Marini's benchmark from 2023 by a second.
  • Marc Marquez concluded his first grand prix for his new team Gresini Racing MotoGPTM in fourth place.
  • No fewer than 10 riders bettered last season's fastest race lap (Enea Bastianini/Lenovo Ducati Team, 1m52.978s). This year's best time was clocked by rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull Gas Gas Tech 3, 1m52.657s) who ended up ninth.
  • Practically all the riders chose the medium Michelin front and rear, the only exception being Nakagami (Honda LCR) who opted for the front soft.
  • A new track-lap record for Losail was set in the  Practice session that had to be postponed until Saturday due to wet weather. Fourteen riders succeeded in lapping faster than the previous reference.
  • Michelin's Power rain tires were employed for the first time in Qatar during Friday's Free Practice 2 when the riders were able to sample their outstanding grip in the wet. 
  • Bagnaia left Qatar at the top of the provisional championship standings on 31 points, ahead of Binder (29) and Martin (28)
  • Next race: Grande Premio de Portugal (March 22-24).