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Qatar MotoGP Results

An exciting and close-fought opening round to the 2018 MotoGP championship series occurred in Qatar earlier today. In the end, the top two riders from last year fought until the final corner with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso coming out on top with a narrow victory over Marc Marquez (Honda).

Much of the race was dominated by Johann Zarco (Yamaha) who blasted away from pole position to lead the entire race until the final five laps. Zarco, apparently suffering from degraded tires, quickly faded from there and ultimately finished in 8th position.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) took the final podium position behind Dovizioso and Marquez. Filling out the top five positions were Cal Crutchlow (Honda) in 4th, and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) in 5th.

Other noteworthy results from Race 1 included a relatively poor performance by Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who crashed out after circulating for several laps mid-pack. Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales had an extremely poor start before becoming the fastest rider on the track for much of the race … eventually finishing 6th. Suzuki’s Alex Rins was also very quick before crashing out of the lead group mid-race.

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

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Artem says:

    Very welll.
    I suppose you do not even know, that Ferdinand Porsche worked for “Tatra” Checkoslovacian firm.
    He got experience from there

  2. Trpldog says:

    I had to laugh at my wife when we were looking at the grid lineup before the race. She asked, “Why do they have the umbrella girls holding umbrellas at night?” – ha ha
    Good call.

  3. Mick says:

    Is it just me? Or has there been a lot more tire issues with the Michelin tires?

    There was a lot of talk about the four strokes possibly having a lot of tire issue back when the went retro back in the early 2000s. But it never really seemed to be too much of an issue until recently.

    Maybe the same software that lets them screw it on and let the computer launch through and out of the corner also does the Marquis de Sade action on the front tire. The same front that just carbon braked like crazy coming in to the same corner.

    I wonder if some of the feel issues are harmonics caused by the consistency of the cornering load created by the system. I wonder if they have tried to dial it out with something so crude as program in a random misfire while cornering. The system could still modulate the proper amount of power while attempting to avoid a chassis harmonic.

    Most of this would explain the inconsistencies that Yamaha has been experiencing. Or the chattering that Ducati was having trouble with a while back.

  4. Trpldog says:

    Why the new commentators? A noticable difference, especially coverage coming from the pit lane. Not quite the same.

    • Pacer says:

      Yeah, I liked Dylan Gray.

    • joe b says:

      Not happy with the new announcers, a couple of babbling idiots, without anything interesting to say while the racing is happening. Who hired those two? Non stop blubber of useless dribble, while the video is showing fascinating racing. Lets hope they drop these two and get some professionals, not these wankers.

  5. Fivespeed302 says:

    Anyone watch Moto2 and see Márquez’s nearly melted rear brake? The kid still kept it together and finished when most would have quit. I bet we’ll see him challenging his brother before too long.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I did see that. Amazing he was able to stay in the podium hunt.

      Having watched both Marquez brothers come up through Moto3 and Moto2, I am not sure that Marquez the Younger has the same raw talent as the Elder. Alex is a very talented rider indeed and will find his way into the GP paddock, but I don’t think we will see the same magic from him.

    • Tommy D says:

      Yes and I had that happen to my 2000 996S first ride of the spring 2014. I let off the gas and felt the rear brake drag on the highway. It quickly got worse with the heat making it grab harder. I pulled off the highway at the next exit and looked down at the rear wheel when I got stopped to see the pads burst into flames. I was in the city and there against the curb was a 1/2 water bottle someone must have tossed out their car window. I opened it and poured it over the flames. LUCKY. Just like Marquez LOL

  6. Sean says:

    Anyone know what the attendance was?

    • VLJ says:

      Eight members of Qatar’s Royal Family, their swarthy bodyguards, a whole bunch of friends and family of the riders and crews, a coterie of imported slave workers, that one Indian dude who looks like Rossi, plus a baker’s dozen of absolutely hammered British ex-pats who mistakenly thought they were stumbling into a soccer stadium.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t think it has been published yet, but Losail’s race day figure is typically between 10 and 12,000. Something like 17K cumulative for the three day event.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Indy had 91,000 fans +/- the first year and why don’t we have it on race calendar?

        • mickey says:

          I was at Indy for the MotoGP 2 years ago and I think there were 62 000 people were there. although the venue is so large it looked empty. Except for the grandstands on front straight

          • Hot Dog says:

            OK, that makes the 5,000 people at Qatar this year seem justifiable. Dah?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The sheikh pays a great deal to host the race.

          • mickey says:

            according to from 2016

            Figures released this week show that the average weekend attendance for the 16 MotoGP events this year was a staggering 115,237 – with an overall total of 1,843,797 fans packing the grands prix venues.

            The final round of the championship, the Valencia Grand Prix in Spain, attracted the biggest weekend crowd of the series, a massive 211,468 fans (top pic).

            The biggest race day crowd was also in Spain, at Jerez, with 124,933 packing every vantage point for the Spanish Grand Prix. 206,936 attended the weekend as a whole.

            The largest non-Spanish event was the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring (middle pic) with a race day crowd of 93,408 and an overall weekend attendance of 207,745. Further unprecedented levels of support were also seen at Mugello, Catalunya, Donington Park and Brno.

            Indeed, it was the Czech Republic Grand Prix in July which recorded the highest spectator increase, with a rise of 22,766 fans on race day alone and a weekend total of 104,719 – almost 30,000 more than the previous season.

            Weekend increases of more than 20% were recorded at the Italian and British GPs, whilst the Japanese and Malaysian GPs noted significantly improved attendances.

            By contrast, the lowest attendance was at the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix (lower pic) – which saw just 395 spectators on Friday, 1,743 on Saturday and 2,951 on race day, giving a weekend total of 5,089.

          • PatrickD says:

            Whilst the motoGP calandar can be accused of a spanish bias, the fact is thatthe spanish love their bike racing in a way that no-one else does. Not only in the sheer numbers of spectators, but their knowledge and love of the racers in the 2 supporting classes.
            Whilst you could argue the chicken-and-egg about it, the raceday experience in Spain (and Italy) is something to experience.

  7. VLJ says:

    The most telling comment of the weekend came from Dovi during the post-race press conference, in his response to a question about what he thought about Zarco leading the race for all but the final five laps…

    “We (the other riders in the leading pack) let him lead. We were saving our tires.”

    I was fairly shocked by how casually he admitted that Zarco leading nearly the entire race was but a mirage, that #5 was only in front because the other guys were happy to let him be there.

    This comment will have to mess a bit with Zarco’s confidence. Had it come from Lorenzo, fine, it could be chalked up as someone trying to play mind games, but Dovi is probably the straightest shooter in the paddock. When he tells the worldwide media that Zarco was only in front because the main race-day threats were basically sandbagging, yep, that’s precisely what was happening out there.

    • Bob K says:

      I was surprised by that comment as well. I thought Zarco was doing real well and he looked comfortable leading. He seemed smooth and controlled, not squirmy so I figured his tires were going to last. So I was kind of surprised his tires were dropping off so much when it was Rossi who was the one who was hard on and off the gas and brakes all those laps, trying to keep up with the leaders. I figured Rossi’s tires would be the one to go, especially given the tire he chose compared to everyone else.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I doubt Zarco is surprised by the comment or the result. Throughout the Qatar test and during the free practices, his race pace was in the 1’56’s making the tires last during simulations. He knew the top guys were running mid 55’s during there simulations.

      I suspect he went into the race knowing that he was going to have to run those speeds to be a contender. Even with the knowledge that the tires wouldn’t last, going for broke was probably the best option. His finishing position would not have been better had he run at speeds to preserve his tires, so he basically had nothing to lose.

      It also showcases that he has the speed and skill to run with the cream of the crop, something he no doubt wants to demonstrate to everyone as often as possible. Contract season is coming up, and I don’t think he wants to be stuck with a KTM.

      • superlight says:

        Somehow Rossi was able to stay with the leaders all race long on a Yamaha…

        • PatrickD says:

          But never challenge the front.
          Zarco tried to make a break that he could live off, but it never lasted. A valiant effort.

          • VLJ says:

            Rossi never challenged the front?


            He was on Zarco’s rear wheel the entire race. On at least one occasion he made a pass to take the lead before immediately being passed right back on the undercut.

            The guy was within a tenth of a second of the leader for twenty laps, and only finished seven-tenths of a second off at the stripe.

            Not sure which race you were watching, but I’d say he challenged the front the entire race.

          • mickey says:

            Rossi took over 2nd place on lap three I think and held onto it until lap 10 approx.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          That isn’t surprising either. It is a Yamaha friendly track.

  8. Tunde says:

    Entertaining race !
    I’d be worried though if I were Ducati. MM93 was right there on a duke track. His superior ability innthr wet and mixed conditions and his domination at certain tracks stands him in good stead for the WC.
    As evidence, I submit how the HRC riders performed on a non HRC track ; CC-4th and DP26-6th.

    • superlight says:

      Why should Ducati be worried at this point in the season? Dovi is doing exactly what’s needed, riding a cerebral race (Zarco should take note). No one is questioning the Marquez threat – he was last year’s champ you know. What I can’t understand is why Marc keeps doing the same thing with Dovi in the last corner – it has proven not to work.

      • mickey says:

        what would you have him do differently?

        • superlight says:

          That’s for Marc to figure out. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. Maybe he just wants to put on a show for the fans.

          • mickey says:

            Well he can’t go around him on the outside, going under and hope it pushes him wide and makes him let off the gas is about the only play he has. With his skill and experience, if there was another play in the book I’m sure he would try it.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Dovi made no mistakes during those last few laps. It’s the only move that Marquez had left. All he can an do is hope to throw Dovisioso’s line off a bit or maybe close the door on Dovi’s optimal line and get better drive. Hail Marys almost never work, but every now and then, you score. If it’s all you have left, you throw it. It doesn’t matter what results have been in the past.

        • superlight says:

          Fine. Let Marquez keep doing his “hail Mary” to Dovi on the last lap, last corner. The result will be the same. Dovi is not intimidated by that move, obviously.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Haha, clearly. More than not being intimidated, Dovi knows when that is all he left for Marquez… he is waiting for it. And Marquez knows it, too. And yes, he’ll keep throwing the Hail Mary if that is all that is left.

          • mickey says:

            Marquez knew it was coming, Dovi knew it was coming… WE ALL knew it was coming.

      • 5229 says:

        Why should Ducati be worried? Because in years past they had a noticeable power advantage down the straights. Watch the end of the race and you will See Marc’s bike actually pulling on the Ducati to the finish line.That would have not happed last year. What this means is Marquez has more power to play with this year. Last year he finished in Qatar 4th place,6 seconds behind the leader. This year 2nd place and only .02 seconds away from victory. This will be interesting to watch as the season progresses.

        • While I agree with you that the Honda is missing less acceleration this year, Marc’s bike only started pulling the Duc after a good long while in the slipstream. Watch the Duc pull out in front of the 93 right out of the turn. On this night, in these conditions, with whatever the bike setup was, the Duc was still (barely) faster accelerating on the last straight.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Marquez was in the slipstream. The whole race demonstrated that neither the Honda or any other bike on the grid is capable of reeling in the Ducati on the straight.

          You are definitely right about the improvement to the Honda though. It performed well during the Losail race, much better than in the past. That is an ominous sign for the others. But at the same time, it is just the first race too.

          • mickey says:

            too, what can look like acceleration at the end of a long straight can in fact be a fraction of a second later braking.

    • Pacer says:

      The only thing Ducati needs to worry about is Marquez. He is the outlier here.

      • Dave says:

        I think they’re all just worried about Michelin. They were kind of the X-factor last year. Some weeks there were teams that just couldn’t get them to work when other’s could.

  9. Drider says:

    I left cable TV and moved to ROKU in 2010 and haven’t seen MotoGP since then. How do you guys watch it?

    • JVB says:

      I just jumped to Roku, and watched the race. You need to add a streaming service to get BeIn Sports. I selected Sling TV, and added the sports package. Apple TV did not carry BeIn sports.

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      I watched it with Sling TV. There is a fee, but if you ask around, you might get lucky like I did and have a family member that’s already subscribed. They have BeIn Sports, and there’s a record option. Just select the race and hit record. Watch at your leisure. It helps if you have a tablet. It also has AMA Superbike if you search for it.

    • subscription. Costs a few bucks but the footage is worth it.

  10. Brinskee says:

    Due to recently having had a baby boy, I haven’t bought the season pass yet (not much time for anything really) but it sounds like a great race. There’s something about that Qatar track that doesn’t really predict the season, it’s a funny one what with the night racing and sand and all.

    By the way, if you want incredibly close access to the riders, that’s the venue to hit. No one is there and it’s pretty much wide open access with the VIP package.

    Back to the racing – who’s the new commentator and how do they measure up against the mighty Nick Harris? Did battle commence and were there any master classes on display?

    And finally, due to said baby, I’m without a bike right now, but the wife is giving in and letting get back into the game. Anyone have any experience with buying slightly wrecked bikes from insurance auctions and fixing them up? I’m thinking it would be a fun side project and would allow me to stretch my bike allowance dollars farther. Anything to watch out for? Pitfalls? Advice?

    • superlight says:

      I would think a salvage title would be a pitfall for a wrecked bike; no resale except for a track bike.

      • mickey says:

        doesn’t take much to total a bike these days. You can find some great bargains and find a good rider if you don’t mind some cosmetic damage. Fix the stuff for running and legality, don’t worry about scrapes, dings and dents.

    • Vrooom says:

      Locate a bike you’d like, and then look for used parts availability. A lot of bikes that insurance totals are just plastic damage, which when bought new can account for thousands of dollars. Ebay is a good source. Avoid front end collisions, if you have to replace the forks, wheel, steering head bearings, etc. it will get expensive. Something that’s low sided or even had a low speed side impact collision will be your best bet. As superlight said, you’ll have a salvage title, so expect a big dent in resale value.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’ve bought and repaired several salvage bikes in the past. You likely won’t get a screaming deal on the ones that don’t need much work… A lot of people will be bidding on them in my experience. It is also tough to really tell what you are getting, which may be a gamble you wouldn’t want to make as a new parent if money is tight.

      As a parent, I would advise against this route, not because of money, but because of time demands. I was always shorter on time than money. Just my opinion.

      Nick Harris will be missed. His enthusiasm was intoxicating. That said, the commentators did a good job.

      • brinskee says:

        That’s the one thing that really puzzles me… I have no time to do anything right now, how will I magically invoke the hours required to fix up a salvage machine? I seem to think I’ll get more time to myself as he gets older, but I’m now questioning this assumption. Good advice, thanks. I still may go this route, but at least I’ll go into totally aware.

        Nick Harris was one of a kind. Hard to replace that kind of charisma and excitement. I’ll miss him for sure.

        • gsbeliever says:

          You’re a dad, congrats! Instead on worrying about resuming “pre-parent” hobbies, time to start thinking about what kind of motorcycles the little guy and you will be riding in just a few short years.
          Maximize the time and activities with your kid early and he’ll be more inclined to do the same with you as he gets older.
          As for finding a bike, I’ve had great success utilizing “wanted” ads. That way you’re not competing with anyone else.

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      I’ve seen some insane deals on “flood damage” bikes on these auction sites. After I sell my current project bike, I’ll definitely be shopping for a flooded bike. How much damage can water do to a parked bike? Not much from what I’ve seen.

      • Random says:

        Just be sure to avoid bikes the owner tried to start with some water mixed in the gas.

      • gsbeliever says:

        Take it from somebody that lived through a major flood—you don’t want any part of a flooded vehicle, especially one that was completely immersed.
        The flood mud permeates everything.

  11. Delmartian says:

    In my fantasy MotoGP world, everyone would use the same tires, and they wouldn’t ever wear out. As much as I love watching, for the past 14 years and having attended 4 Laguna Seca races, I’m beginning to tire(!) of it all coming down to who did the best job of preserving their tires during the first 3/4’s of the race. Yes, I know this is a pure fantasy, will never happen, and tire wear does add some intrigue to the race… but I dream of watching racers compete at the ultimate level on the merits of their super-human riding talent and machines, and not it always seeming to come down to whose tires are going to give out first. IMHO. (Okay, I admit, as a huge Rossi fan it appeared that he was affected by tire wear more than the other front-runners).

    • XR650Lover says:

      Welcome to your fantasy world, they do use the same tires. The overall equation includes tires, fuel consumption as well as straight up rider and bike performance.

      • Delmartian says:

        By same I mean S-M-H front/rear tire choice the same for every rider, but most importantly, in my fantasy MotoGP world, “they wouldn’t ever wear out.” Look at Zarco; he was fabulous, led the entire race until 5 laps to go, but then his failing tires punted him all the way back to mid-pack. That’s not entertaining.

        • superlight says:

          Actually I did think it was entertaining. Zarco is fast, no doubt, but he must learn to set his pace for the entire race, not just the first portion. The more seasoned riders know this – even Marquez paces himself during the races. Being on pole does not give a rider a free pass to race victory.

        • Dave says:

          Zarco was fabulous, for a while. Unfortunately, it turned out that he mismanaged his tires and the others did that better. I think this part of the game is exciting.

          Had he chosen the next hardest compound, maybe he’d have been there late, maybe he would have fallen too far back early?

        • PatrickD says:

          the tyre/tire wars are alot cleaner than they used to be. When Michelin would manufacture bespoke tyres for some top running riders the night before a race. They were pulling the strings and essentially dictating who would run at the front and who wouldn’t.
          Last years emergance of the bike with the most power also being the one that could run soft tyres over race distamce (Ducati) made for a fascinating championship and much head scratching for fans interested in the sport’s layers.

    • superlight says:

      OK, tell me which racing series, two wheel or four, isn’t affected by tire wear – they all are. The way to keep you happy would be to shorten motoGP races from, say, 25 laps to 15 or so.

    • Dave says:

      You should watch cycling, where the guy who wins preserved and used his motor the best possible way.

      • superlight says:

        I have watching cycling and the way they preserve their physical energy is similar to riders/drivers preserving tires in motorsports.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I get what you are saying, but I personally am a fan of the “intrigue” that tire life (and selection) adds to the equation. It is as intriguing to me as the differences that different bikes and different riders bring to the show.

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      Sounds like you need to watch the Superpole. Everyone is on qualifying tires and they give it 100%.

  12. bmbktmracer says:

    What a great race. MM made a heroic effort on that last lap to close a pretty decent gap and actually give himself a shot at overtaking Dovi. Crutchlow and Petrucci were really impressive. And Rossi…somehow the guys always finds himself in the lead group no matter his qualifying position. But Dovi was the MAN, coming from 8th to pass all the best guys and then to withstand an all-out assault to win. Awesome!!! I’ll be curious to hear what Vinales had to say, as he spent half the race in like 13th place, and then the second half of the race was the fastest guy on track. Bodes well for him looking ahead.

  13. Jeremy in TX says:

    Great race that hints of good things to come.

    Bummer to see Rins go down. He was having a solid run.

    And that Ducati is looking like a solid piece of machinery. I think the greatest advantage the power edge gives Dovi is that he doesn’t have to make too many gutsy passes. He basically just needs to stick close to his target and then like him up on the straight. Saves tires and minimises odds of crashing.

  14. HS1... says:

    In MotoGP, passing someone good enough to be leading the last lap isn’t suppose to be easy. The aerodynamics aren’t like NASCAR where the fastest driver often slingshots someone a tad slower to the victory.

    • superlight says:

      motoGP is just like NASCAR when it comes to slingshotting down the straights. Aero works for motorcycles just like it does for cars. Didn’t you see the overhead shot of Dovi passing both Zarco and Marquez down the main straight?

  15. Scott says:

    I wonder if MM is ever going to figure out how to make that move on Dovi stick? He’s what, 0 for 3 now?

    • 5229 says:

      Easy answer to that question. Notice when Dovi beats Marc it’s by the skin of his teeth like today’s race. But,when Marc beats Dovi it’s by a substantial margin. Hence why Marquez is a 4-time MotoGP world champion and Dovi has none. Dovi is riding great for sure,make no mistake about it.To survive that kind of pressure from #93 is quite remarkable.

      • superlight says:

        Given that Dovi came from 5th starting place and was relegated to about 8th at the start, his moving forward, step-by-step, all the while saving his tires to the end was very strategic. He doesn’t have the physical gifts Marc has (no one else does either), but he sure does use his mental abilities to the fullest.
        You’d think that by now Marc would have learned to try some other last-gasp move in the final corner. Doing the same (unsuccessful) thing over and over sure isn’t working for him.
        OBTW, that Ducati motoGP V4 is one powerful motor! Straightway speed is all about the grunt coming onto the straight, maximum engine HP and aero.

        • VLJ says:

          It’s not that Marc’s strategy is flawed. He’s doing every last thing he can to stay with Dovi, and the kamikaze pass that has no chance of sticking is the only option available to him in those final corners, given that Dovi’s Ducati is always going to kill Marc’s Honda on the exits and down every straight.

          No blame to Marc there. There’s nothing else he can do.

          • superlight says:

            Marc needs to try another strategy to pass Dovi – the kamikaze charge into the last corner hasn’t worked the three times in the last year he’s tried it. And it won’t work the next time either.
            How about giving Dovi some of the credit he’s earned this last year. His approach to racing is very different from Marc’s, but it seems to be working now that his bike is more to his liking.

          • VLJ says:

            What other type of last-corner attack would you suggest? Marc may just be the best rider in the world, he has a vast store of experience, he knows and has used every trick under the sun, and he’s already doing everything possible just to stay within striking distance of Dovi, who clearly has his measure at certain tracks.

            If there was anything else for Marc to try, don’t you think he would surely give it a go?

            As for giving Dovi credit, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Marc simply has nothing for him in these circumstances. Dovi and that Ducati are so strong sometimes that all Marc is left with as a a final-corner-overtaking option is the Hail Mary inside stuff-pass that he keeps trying. Dovi being Dovi, he knows this is the only option he’s given Marc, and he knows exactly what will happen once Marc makes the attempt. He lets Marc go by, then he simply cuts back beneath him and powers ahead to the victory.

            Marc’s only other option there is to do nothing and hope Dovi crashes or runs wide. Marc knows Dovi isn’t going to do that, not in the final corner, so Marc opts for the only option available. He knows it probably won’t work, but it’s his only remaining move.

            Give Dovi credit for checkmating him. Don’t criticize Mark for moving his king into checkmate position when it’s the only move left on the board.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think he’ll need about ten more horsepower to make it stick.

  16. superlight says:

    Ducati (again) had the best straightaway speed. Is it the desmo system, aero design or what?

    • viktor92 says:

      The desmo system should be responsible for a great part of the advantage. It shouldn’t push 16 springs to open the valves.

      • titu says:

        Isn’t pneumatic valves the standard these days?
        Desmo should have no advantage over them…

        • Dave says:

          ^This^. I wonder how they do it. They’re running barely enough fuel to make the race distances so there shouldn’t be much opportunity to make more power than Honda or Yamaha, and they no longer have the concessions for fuel load or engine development.

          • superlight says:

            For Ducati, I believe it’s called superior engineering execution. Obviously Honda isn’t the only manufacturer who knows engines.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          With desmodromic actuation, the opening and closing of the valve can follow exactly the profile of the camshaft.

          Pneumatic springs may solve many of the problems inherent to metal coil springs at the rpms GP bikes operate at, but they are still springs. They also require some resistance to opening to insure that the cam profile is followed as closely as possible.

          • Dave says:

            My limited understanding of pneumatic valve actuation is that it can achieve timing, lift/close speeds and accuracy that cannot be achieved with a cam. A cam’s rounded “lobe” shape is a compromise to make the mechanism work.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            It is only the metal coil springs that are replaced with pneumatics. A cam is still used to open the valve while the air spring shuts it. The air spring allows for both cam profiles and rpms that would be impossible with a metal spring. Resonance is no longer an issue due to the low mass of the nitrogen, but all the other “spring” problems still exists, even if they are greatly mitigated.

          • Dave says:

            My mistake, after a quick read, I learned that pneumatic valve actuation as it pertains to MotoGP is nothing more than air return springs, as Bob K. points out below.

        • Bob K says:

          As Jeremy in TXstated.
          The opening and closing of the valves is more accurate and the valves are actually closed, not by a spring which has to rebound on it’s own terms, but by a follower that mechanically closes it. It’s not necessary to overcome extremely high spring rates, because there are no springs, so no HP is wasted on valvetrain actuation. Remove the plugs on a Desmo and you can easily turn the engine over by hand. Any other engine and you need a cheater bar because you have to fight against spring seat pressure at the minimum and and at maximum a fully compressed set of springs.
          And there is no valve float like there is with a steel or air spring. And because of that accuracy and no valve float, no excess air/fuel mix will be wasted through open valves that wasn’t engineered in for the purpose of scavenging.
          An air spring’s only advantage over steel springs is its ability to operate at extremely high rpms where mechanical springs would float to a point they would crash into the cam lobes when they do actually spring back.
          I rather like the Desmo design for reasons of less wasted HP, lower head height and better emissions and gas mileage. On the track, the Ducatis do real well with fuel economy to a point where they pretty much never need to change maps to make sure they can finish a race. They can stay at full power with the most ideal map the whole race provided the tires are also up to it.

          • Fivespeed302 says:

            I guess that explains why I was able to easily turn a Ninja 250 motor with the plugs still in, there’s not as many springs to overcome, and the ones that are there are really small.

    • Random says:

      Would you believe me if I said it’s longer con-rods? Yeah, you shouldn’t, but Kevin Cameron did some analysis published in a competing motorcycle site, go check it. Apparently the bigger engine is also the root of the problems in Ducati’s turning…

  17. viktor92 says:

    Lorenzo suffered a front brake problem, so the crash.

  18. xLaYN says:

    “Other noteworthy results from Race 1 included a relatively poor performance by Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo”

    The noteworthy result would have been to say that he displayed good performance and to be on track to dispute the title.

    Not sure if Natcork or only in the best behaving bike a.k.a. the Yamaha he can shine.

  19. RRocket says:

    Rossi…39..on podium.


    • ROXX says:

      Considering the Yamaha doesn’t have the straight line power of either the Ducati or the Honda, and also has a reputation for chewing up it’s tires faster, yes, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.
      He’s pretty damn amazing!

  20. mickey says:

    Heck of a good race for the first one. Indicates good things to come. Congrats to Dovi, masterful race. Zarco.. almost. Marquez..also almost lol. Rossi good job for the old man. Vinales… you need to ride like that during qualifying. Hated to see Rins go down, he was looking really good. Pedrosa ran some really good laps too but needs to stuff a wheel under someone now and then. Fight man, fight! Crutchlow looked good, Petrucci looked good. Going to be a heck of a year.

    Poor Lorenzo.

    • Random says:

      I would cheer for Pedrosa, he seems a good guy, but he stuffed wheels under people he would have at least two titles already…

    • VLJ says:

      Dani? Stuffing wheels under someone?


      -Nicky Hayden

      • mickey says:

        You could have said Ummm… Iannone too lol

        not talking sliding under someone, taking about passing underneath him like Marquez does lol

        Dani is just not that good at it

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