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Qatar MotoGP Results

A close-fought battle in Qatar this evening resulted in a final corner double-pass by Marc Marquez (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) … with Dovizioso taking a narrow win (by 0.023 of a second) at the line over Marquez – very similar to last year’s result. Finishing third was a very impressive Cal Crutchlow (Honda) who was coming back from a serious injury that limited his ability to ride and train prior to the series opener.

Interestingly, the fastest lap recorded in the entire race belonged to rookie Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) who was forced to start from pit lane after stalling his bike on the grid before the warm-up lap. Quartararo worked his way up to finish 16th. Joan Mir (Suzuki) finished highest among the rookies in 8th place (just 5 seconds off the winning time), after running as high as fourth.

Suzuki’s Alex Rins finished fourth, but his bike handled superbly through the infield – allowing him to pass Marquez and Dovizioso multiple times. Nevertheless, he was frequently out-powered, and re-passed, by the Honda and Ducati machines on the long Losail front straight, eventually missing the podium by 1/10th of a second.

Follow this link to full race results. For additional details and points, visit the official MotoGP site.


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42 Comments

  1. hh says:

    I will leave it to others to evaluate if it is a good thing or not that Qatar made it seem that in order to win, you have to have the bike that fits a strategy of wait until the end for the sprint, much like a bicycle race. Makes for what looks like close racing, but only one race so far this year and Dovi’s record still says long shot. We shall see.

    • fred says:

      Agreed. Having one or two races a year like that is okay, but I’d prefer more races and fewer processionals. I suppose if they have to be processions, why not keep them in a bunch? As to bicycle races, I gave up on them several years ago.

  2. WJF says:

    Hooray for Suzuki…finaly

  3. Bill says:

    Funny stuff. A new season. New riders. Riders on different bikes… Yet, after only one race the armchair analysts have already determined how the season will end. It’s racing and anything can happen. That’s why they run the races. No uninformed predictions here. I’ll just watch and enjoy the racing.

    • VLJ says:

      It’s not uninformed predictions. It’s the acknowledgement of well established, oft-repeated, highly predictable data.

      “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

      Yamaha is down twenty kph on the straights. Says so, right there on the radar gun. The M1 doesn’t accelerate as hard as the Ducati out of a corner. Its riders have to make up in the corners what they lose on corner exits and down the straights.

      Simple facts, supported by multiple seasons of quantifiable data, leading to predictable results.

      Unless Marc and Dovi DNF more frequently this year than they have in the past, this current Yamaha will not be able to track them down over the course of a full season. Perhaps the Suzuki could pull it off, as it seems to have taken another large step forward, but the Yamaha can’t. Too many glaring deficiencies, magnified by too many bogey tracks. The KTM and Aprilia have no chance.

      Unless crashes, injuries, and mechanical DNFs take an unexpected toll, your 2019 champion is going to be Marc, Jorge, Dovi, or Petrucci, and what sane person is going to bet against it again coming down to Marc vs Dovi?

      • Curly says:

        You have said that 20kph thing a couple of times now
        “Yamaha is down twenty kph on the straights. Says so, right there on the radar gun.”
        Where did that come? A single lap? I pulled down the rider lap analysis from MotoGP and it has Rossi’s best top speed during the race as 347.0kph on lap 13 and Dovi’s fastest of 346.3 on lap 9. Rossi did have a couple of clunkers in there but most were in the 340 range like the leaders.

        • mickey says:

          Not quite 20 KPH but pretty significant when you are racing someone down a straightaway

          From MotoGP.com

          Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) proved that top speed isn’t the most important factor when it comes to setting the quickest qualifying lap time around the Losail International Circuit.

          The Spaniard clocked in at 329.3 km/h in Q2, 17.1 km/h slower than the fastest man through the speed traps Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), 16.7 km/h slower than Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and 12.7 down on Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) – the latter two riders joining Viñales on the front row.

          • John A. Kuzmenko says:

            The difference is probably by himself versus in the draft of other riders down the front straight.

        • VLJ says:

          Curly, throughout practice and qualifying the announcers kept mentioning the 19 kph (not twenty) trap-speed differential between the Ducatis and Yamahas.

          Anyway, here is Yamaha’s problem, in a nutshell, straight from Maverick, post-race…

          “What happened is I could not overtake, that is the problem. When I was alone, I could do 1:55 laps but as soon as I arrive to other riders, I couldn’t overtake so I lose many, many seconds. I was struggling with the rear grip.

          “I couldn’t find a good rhythm; a good rear contact and I couldn’t overtake. It was so difficult to overtake, even with the lack of top speed on the main straight, but it is what it is.”

          How many times did you see a Yamaha blow by anyone on the main straight, which is where the vast majority of the passes on Sunday took place.

          Never, basically.

          Conversely, how many times did you see Dovi and Marc gobble up Rins and Rossi on the main straight?

          Nearly every lap, until they finally just decided to go ahead and stay ahead.

          Moreover, how many times over the past couple of seasons have we seen Rossi and even Zarco lead races, or at least be well up front among the leaders for the majority of the race, only to fade at the end as Marc and Dovi check out on everyone.

          Marc, and especially Dovi, have so much extra speed and acceleration in hand over the Yamahas that they can save their tires and calmly bide their time, until they decide to pull the pin. Meanwhile, the Yamahas have to throw everything they have at Dovi and Marc in order to hang with them, leaving themselves nothing with which to pick up the pace at the end, when the other two finally go all in. By that point the Yamaha’s tires are shot, so there’s nothing that can be done in the corners, and they’re always sitting ducks on the straights.

          We’ve seen this movie play out countless times, and always the same explanations are given afterwards.

          It’s real. It’s irrefutable. The Yamahas, and the Suzukis, as well, are working at a decided deficit, compared to their two main rivals.

  4. Todd says:

    Put Marc on the Yamaha and it is a championship bike.

  5. DucDynasty says:

    This, Gentlemen, is a good start to the season! Great racing and lots to contemplate going forward.
    Rookies, veterans….the promise of the new season. I love it!

  6. joe b says:

    Looks like everyone but Ducati is protesting the wing on the swingarm of Dovi’s bike. let see, how this is handled.

  7. CB says:

    With Lorenzo at Honda… that ship is going to work or sail in 2 years… IN that same time, the same will happen for Zarco. There might be a safety net. But to be honest, KTM is where the Duc was years ago and without a Marques or Stoner to beat the beast into submission, it won’t be ridden. So either they’ll get it right soon or move to that all proven aluminum perimeter frame that Ducati didn’t want to build for years!

  8. Bart says:

    Great race! Cheers to Andrea!

    And now the great rear tire cooling winglet protest, boo!

  9. Hot Dog says:

    … And the silence is defecating in the Yamaha camp.

    • EGS says:

      Defecating instead of deafening – I see what you did here! For ‘old man’ Rossi to get up to 5th was an accomplishment. Seems like Yamaha has yet to find their way back to podium contention.

  10. Provologna says:

    Man, it takes nerves of steel and endless grit to take even .02 from MM, but Dovi was up to it today. Great race, and refreshing to see new faces.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Ah, it felt good to watch a fresh season kick off. What are some of the riders thinking, I wonder?..

    Zarco: (sounds of uncontrollable weeping)

    Marquez: “I love my job!”

    Lorenzo: “You can’t talk to a three-time premier class world champion like that!”

    Dovi: “Please let this be my year.”

    Vinales: “No! Please! Not this again!”

    Rossi: “Still relevant, you pissants!”

    Rins: “Almost there… Almost there!”

    Fabio: “And the crowd goes wild as the rookie sensation braces for his first premier class start, ready to show the world that Fabio Quat… @#&$*!!!”

    Syahrin: “Meh, I wasn’t that impressive on the Yamaha either. I don’t really belong here.”

    Miller: “I hope that physically losing my seat and tossing it to the rookies doesn’t prove to be metaphorical.”

    Iannone: “I wonder what kind of openings will be available in WSBK next year?”

  12. bmbktmracer says:

    Biggest surprises to me were Rossi and Crutchlow. Those guys were on it. I was holding my breath for Crutchlow, as he’s been known to toss it away when running with the big dogs. Really happy to see Marquez healthy as I just love watching that guy ride. Very impressive performance by Dovizioso, as he managed the entire field from start to finish. I really felt bad for Jack Miller. You’d think at that level a guys’ seat wouldn’t fall off… Fabulous race!

  13. VLJ says:

    During the pre-race press conference Amy Dargan passed along a social media question to Maverick, which was (paraphrasing), “What secret would you want to learn from another rider?”

    Without hesitation, Maverick turned to Valentino and answered, “I’d like to know how he always does it on Sunday.”

    Prescient, as always. Once again, Valentino qualified behind Maverick and a whole host of others, only to rip right through them come Sunday. Maverick started on pole, and finished seventh. Valentino started fourteenth and finished a very close fifth, and absolutely no one is surprised. Nor should they be, because for all of the talk these past few years about how Valentino is through, he’s done, he’s too old, his teammate is faster, etc., the one fact that no one ever seems to mention is that from 2014 to the present #46 has finished ahead of his teammate and been the top Yamaha rider nearly every season. He was barely edged by Lorenzo in 2015, after leading the championship the entire year, until the Sepang Incident forced him to start the final race in Valencia from the last spot on the grid. In 2017 a rash of injuries prevented him from maintaining a season-long challenge, and he ended up finishing a scant twenty-two points behind Maverick. Otherwise, he’s bested his supposedly faster teammates every year.

    Still, as Vale said after today’s race, Losail is a good track for Yamaha, so he doesn’t place much stock in the positive results of this race. It remains painfully clear that on the straights the Yamaha and Suzuki aren’t in the same league as the Honda and Ducati, with the Yamaha being a full twenty kilometers per hour slower than the Ducati at the end of the straight.

    This won’t do. It’s too easy for Dovi to sit back and conserve his tires in the twistier bits of the track, knowing he can blow right by everyone down every straight, placing no strain on his tires. With that same scene playing out on seemingly every lap today, it had to make Alex Rins sick to his stomach. There is no way Valentino and Maverick don’t already have that familiar sinking feeling they’ve had the last two seasons, knowing they are once again arriving to a gun fight armed only with a pair of tire-shredding stilettos.

    Yep, it looks like 2019 is going to be another edition of the Marc vs Dovi Show. Jorge will get healthy and have his moments, to be sure, and Rins and Crutchlow will garner their share of podiums, as will the factory Yamaha riders. Other than for the possibility of injuries and DNFs, however, do any of you really see any way that this won’t end up being yet another Marc vs Dovi season-long showdown?

  14. mickey says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, they are racing again, and it was superb. Both Rins and Crutchlow deserved that 3 rd place on the podium, too bad one of them had to miss out.

    Great and competitve racing once again.

    Eh, and how about Rossi’s comeback. Not bad for an old man.

    Guess Lorenzos high side yesterday hurt more than we thought.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Every year, as the nurses help him out of his walking chair an onto his bike, and blow some accumulated dust off him; I keep worrying this may be the season it becomes uncomfortable to watch an old great, obviously clinging on for too long against better advice…… But….. Rossi really is superhuman.

      • mickey says:

        Bet Zarco was doing the ” what in the world did I do?” as he was circling around out of sight of the top 10 on the KTM, and to think he probably could have had Danny’s ride. Last year he was on front row at this race I believe.

        Quatararo was impressive as were Mir and another rookie whose name escapes me.

      • HS1... says:

        The superhuman scored 11 points, while the mortal guys who keep finishing one-two in the championship scored 20 and 25 points. These trajectories will lead to pretty different elevations in the points, if they continue as they have in recent years.

        • mickey says:

          yea but the mortals aren’t 40 years old. Lets see how fast Marquez is 15 years from now. (You’ll have to see, I probably will be worm bait by then)

          • Anonymous says:

            Quartararo wasn’t even born when Rossi won his first race.

          • Repsol1 says:

            Won’t need to wait 15 years. Mortal Marquez has a better than 50% chance of surpassing the immortal one’s premiers class title count within the next 5 years.

          • mickey says:

            Repsol1, you miss the point.MM may have more championships than VR in 5 years, but will MM still be riding and still be as competitive as VR is now, in 15 years when MM is 40?

          • Repsol1 says:

            No, I am not missing the point. If something can be accomplished in less time, that gives more time to accomplish additional goals. Why drag out retirement to 65 if early success allows for a greater more diverse horizon.

          • Repsol1 says:

            No, I didn’t miss your point. I simply don’t subscribe to it.

            The less time it takes to accomplish a goal, the sooner one can set out on accomplishing other goals.

            Why retire at 65 if early success allows one a greater more diverse horizon.

        • VLJ says:

          The mortals also have twenty kph on the superhuman at the end of every straight, plus their bikes accelerate much harder out of slower corners.

          The Yamaha simply isn’t competitive. Far too often it burns up its tires in the corners, trying to make up for its enormous deficit in acceleration, and on the straights. There are too many tracks on the calendar on which the Yamaha can’t hang for the full race distance with the Honda and Ducati.

          • Pablo says:

            “The Yamaha simply isn’t competitive” They started on pole and Rossi finished .6 behind the winner after starting from 14th, so yes the bike is VERY competitive and they are all on the same tyres so it simply comes down to managing their tyres like all teams have too.

          • VLJ says:

            Losail is a Yamaha track. Historically, Yamaha usually wins there. Over the course of an entire season, including Austin, the Sachsenring, Austria, etc., no, the Yamaha is no longer competitive. There are too many bogey tracks where the M1’s acceleration and top-speed deficits combine with its penchant for burning up tires to render it a non-threat to Marc’s Honda and Dovi’s Ducati, both of which are far less track layout/conditions-sensitive than the current Yamaha.

          • Dave says:

            Yamaha has some work to do but they are competitive. They went 3rd and 4th and 6th (5th was a suzuki) in the championship last year without even earning a race win. That’s enviable consistency.

            Those numbers say that only Dovi’s Ducati and Marquez’ Honda are competitive, and every other example of those two brands are not, which I freely admit is an over simplification.

          • VLJ says:

            Maverick did win one race last year, at Phillip Island, and yes, the factory Yamahas were consistent…consistently just off the pace of the leaders.

            As always in recent years, they were the Best of the Rest.

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