MotoGP Qatar: Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso took victory in a first MotoGP race of the 2018
- MotoGP 2018, Qatar Grand Prix witnessed Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) claimed the victory of a first MotoGP race of the 2018 season.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was 2nd place behinde Andrea Dovizioso by 0.027s, it seemed like the battles at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and Austrian Grand Prix in 2017 again.
3rd place was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) with 42m 35.451s.
Polesitter Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3), who led the race until lap 18, but after Dovizioso and Marquez passed him, his pace has been slow down gradually, finally he finished 8th place.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) were behide Valentino Rossi, both rideres were 4th and 5th place, respectively.
“In the last four laps when I was at the front, I tried to create a gap but I couldn’t,” Andrea Dovizioso explained, “because the tyre was finished. So, this confirms that everyone was on the limit – it was very soft, softer than last year so everybody had to do the same. But I’m really happy because it confirms the work we did last winter and the test we did here. We arrived here with a really good bike, better than last year, but in the next two rounds it will be difficult for our bike so let’s see, because we are faster and we have to improve to fight for the championship.”
“I’m very happy with how we finished the weekend in second place and with 20 points,” explains the reigning Champion Marc Marquez. “It’s one of the most difficult circuits for me and for Honda and we were able to be there, and we were able to start the season as we finished – it’s like déjà vu! Like the last corner in the Red Bull Ring and Motegi, and again I tried, again I lost! But today Dovi deserved the victory because he was faster than us and this second is like a victory for us.
I needed to make the move to sleep tonight. I was able to brake late, but Dovi braked very, very late also and I tried to be close enough, to brake, to stop the bike, but I struggled and he stopped better than me. I tried to be tight but he was faster, and he overtook me before the finish line. Anyway, for the show it was a great race!”
Valentino Rossi said, “I didn’t want to overtake Zarco, but after you overtake there is slipstream and air, and this is difficult to control so I went wide and at the moment Marquez overtook, who was followed by Dovi. I tried to overtake, but at that moment all the wolves behind were attacking – they were trying to take a leg or my arm! Without that mistake I might have had the pace to fight for the win with these guys, but I don’t know if I am able to win.”
He added,“I am happy because when Dovi went in front I knew they were going to change the rhythm, and that moment was the key moment for me to fight for the podium. I knew I had to overtake Zarco, and I had to give the maximum to go with them. I knew that through some points of the track I was fast, so to arrive at the end on the podium is a great way to start.”
Grand Prix of Qatar Race Results
- Andrea Dovizioso / Ducati Team / 42m 34.654s
- Marc Marquez / Repsol Honda / 42m 34.681s
- Valentino Rossi / Movistar Yamaha / 42m 35.451s
- Cal Crutchlow / LCR Honda / 42m 37.535s
- Danilo Petrucci / Pramac Ducati / 42m 38.475s
- Maverick Viñales / Movistar Yamaha / 42m 38.542s
- Dani Pedrosa / Repsol Honda / 42m 39.275s
- Johann Zarco / Monster Yamaha Tech3 / 42m 41.766s
- Andrea Iannone / Suzuki Ecsta / 42m 47.611s
- Jack Miller / Pramac Ducati / 42m 49.248s
- Tito Rabat / Reale Avintia / 42m 49.835s
- Franco Morbidelli / EG 0,0 Marc VDS / 42m 50.928s
- Alvaro Bautista / Angel Nieto Team / 42m 54.442s
- Hafizh Syahrin / Monster Yamaha Tech3 / 42m 54.953s
- Karel Abraham / Angel Nieto Team / 42m 57.941s
- Thomas Luthi / EG 0,0 Marc VDS / 42m 58.843s
- Takaaki Nakagami / LCR Honda / 42m 59.208s
- Bradley Smith / Red Bull KTM Factory / 43m 6.358s
- Aleix Espargaro / Factory Aprilia Gresini / 43m 9.366s
- Scott Redding / Factory Aprilia Gresini / 43m 12.295s
- Xavier Simeon / Reale Avintia / 43m 21.360s
- source : MotoGP