2019 Moto GP Season kicks of with a Qatari Desert Dice

Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez cross the line inches from each other to finish 1st and 2nd respectively, whilst Cal Crutchlow started his [and LCR’s] season with a fantastically unexpected 3rd place.

Andrea Dovizioso (c) Ducati

The race started normally despite newcomer Fabio Quartararo stalling on the formation lap and having to start from the pitlane, Fabio Quartararo would then to go on to set some of the fastest laps of the race, but presumably using all of his tyres in the process. Dovizioso and Miller had the best of the getaways from the grid and surged to the front, with Miller taking 2nd place a few laps later despite having his foam seat insert come loose and having to throw it clear of the bike. Unfortunately, regardless of Jack Millers great start and early pace the Pramac machine developed further mechanical issues and he later retired. This then enabled Álex Rins to attack on the Suzuki and he battled with Márquez and Dovi for the podium spots and even leading for a fair few laps looking very strong.

Meanwhile Crutchlow was picking riders off one by one during the race battling with Danilo Petrucci on the second of the factory Ducati’s, and Suzuki’s other rider, Joán Mir, this allowed him to capitalize upon Álex Rins’ mistake into Turn 1, suspected to be the results of tyre degradation from pushing the Suzuki too hard to compensate for their slight lack of performance. The mid portion of the race was a slow burning build up to an incredibly close finish and intense battle on the final few, forewarded by a mistake Dovi made, Márquez passed and they traded places from then on, all the way up until to the final corner on the final lap with a gap of only 0.023s. Outside of the front runners, Lorenzo had a difficult race given his injuries and body conditioning, that said, despite struggling in 17th-18th position during most of the race, had a turn of pace in the last 3rd of the race to finish in 13th position, managing to pip Andrea Iannone on the Aprilia right at the line. Takaaki Nakagami also had his best career finish of 9th place on the 2nd LCR Honda.

To mark a standout performer in the race, you can’t look much further than Andrea Dovizioso, pretty much lead from start to finish and looked completely dominant and in control of the situation at all times, but, aside from Dovi, one has to give credit to Cal Crutchlow, managing to finish the race within only 3 tenths of a second from the factory Honda of Marc Márquez and riding a very cool calm and collected race to finish on the rostrum. Álex Rins who finished just off the podium in 4th place deserves a mention, hauling the Suzuki to as close to a podium as he could have realistically gotten it.

1 25 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 166.6 42’36.902
2 20 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.6 +0.023
3 16 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 166.6 +0.320
4 13 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 166.6 +0.457
5 11 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 166.6 +0.600
6 10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 166.4 +2.320
7 9 12 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 166.4 +2.481
8 8 36 Joan MIR SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 166.3 +5.088
9 7 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 166.1 +7.406
10 6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 166.0 +9.636
11 5 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 166.0 +9.647
12 4 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 165.8 +12.774
13 3 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.7 +14.307
14 2 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 165.7 +14.349
15 1 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 165.6 +15.093
16 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 165.6 +15.905
17 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 165.5 +16.377
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 165.1 +22.972
19 53 Tito RABAT SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 165.1 +23.039
20 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 163.8 +43.242
Not Classified
38 Bradley SMITH GBR Aprilia Factory Racing Aprilia 164.0 2 Laps
43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 165.5 10 Laps
63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 152.5 13 Laps

The next round of MotoGP is at Argentina on the 31st of March.

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