MotoGP Qatar: Maverick Vinales Wins Season Opener at Losail International Circuit
- Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) took the first MotoGP victory of the 2021 season at Losail International Circuit in Qatar on March 29, 2021.
Maverick Vinales overtook Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Team), who started on pole, to move into the lead with eight laps left before securing his ninth win in the premier class.
Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) and Francesco Bagnaia, both riders passed reigning world champion Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) at the last corner in the final lap, finished 2nd 3rd, respectively.
Joan Mir moved up to 2nd from 10th, but he made a mistake in the final lap, eventually he was 4th.
The 2nd position start, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Yamaha) was 5th in his first race as a factory Yamaha rider.
Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha) was a strong fourth in qualifying, but he couldn't take his 200th MotoGP podium on his SRT debut, finished 12th.
Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) was 8th on his factory Honda debut.
Maverick Vinales said, “Well I was quite comfortable behind Fabio as I could see the Ducati's were not going away. Fabio was closing the gap and I was trying to save as much tyre as possible, especially the rear tyre. And with the slipstream off Fabio we were closing the gap, so I didn't take too many risks, only when I saw that I could have the chance to push and overtake Fabio, Johann and Pecco was when I pushed.
These six or seven laps I pushed and I think we managed quite well to make fast laps, and even when we overtake we were very fast. And after that I just tried to manage the tyre.
Honestly we worked really well this weekend and in the FP4 with the used tyre and we understand when the tyre is used how to get grip with it.
It is something I didn't expect because as you know after Moto2 the grip level was very down, but today I had good grip. It is a good sign, a really good sign for us because it means we improve that condition where we struggled a lot.
For the next race I have some ideas where to improve because at some points I was sliding with the rear on the entry of the corner so we need to improve that area.
Basically I had a really good feeling with the front tyre. What I did a lot in the beginning of the race was ride with the front tyre, so I don't burn the rear tyre on gas. Yes I did it when I needed to overtake but then I was riding really smooth. So much more than during the weekend.
This gives me the opportunity with ten laps to go to push and increase the speed.
Overall I'm really happy and I get back the feeling with the front which was many races that I had without this feeling, but I felt fantastic on the bike.”
Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar Race Results
- Maverick Viñales / Monster Yamaha / 42m 28.663s
- Johann Zarco / Pramac Ducati / +1.092s
- Francesco Bagnaia / Ducati Team / +1.129s
- Joan Mir / Suzuki Ecstar / +1.222s
- Fabio Quartararo / Monster Yamaha / +3.030s
- Alex Rins / Suzuki Ecstar / +3.357s
- Aleix Espargaro / Aprilia Gresini / +5.934s
- Pol Espargaro / Repsol Honda / +5.990s
- Jack Miller / Ducati Team / +7.058s
- Enea Bastianini / Avintia Ducati / +9.288s
- Stefan Bradl / Repsol Honda / +10.299s
- Valentino Rossi / Petronas Yamaha / +10.742s
- Miguel Oliveira / Red Bull KTM / +11.457s
- Brad Binder / Red Bull KTM / +14.100s
- Jorge Martin / Pramac Ducati / +16.422s
- Luca Marini / Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati / +20.916s
- Iker Lecuona / KTM Tech3 / +21.026s
- Franco Morbidelli / Petronas Yamaha / +23.892s
- Lorenzo Savadori / Aprilia Gresini / +46.346s
- source : MotoGP