Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Dovizioso wins season opener as injured Lorenzo 13th in Honda debut.
Marc Márquez engaged in another thrilling last-lap duel with Ducati rival Andrea Dovizioso at the 2019 MotoGP season opener in Qatar, however had to make do with second. Here is all you need to know:
– Márquez came into the race seeking to defend his crown and win a sixth title as fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo made his Repsol Honda debut alongside him.
– Márquez started third on the grid behind Dovizioso and pole sitter Maverick Viñales as Lorenzo went down at Turn 2 during his final run in the Q1 session.
– After his Saturday crashes on a slippery Losail track, Lorenzo said: “It is not only the wrist but back problem. Also the foot and fingers – I’m in pain everywhere.”
– A huge pack of 10 riders formed up front early on Sunday as Dovizioso claimed the lead with Spaniard Alex Rins making his move before Márquez upped the ante.
– Márquez passed his adversary at the penultimate Turn 4/5 double right-hander to lead, but Dovizioso retook the lead on Turn 1 at the start of the final lap.
– The Spaniard tried his best to slip past for the win, however Italian Dovizioso held his nerve to fend him off in a straight drag race down the final straight.
– Márquez, 26, revealed: “I tried to be there, tried to push and tried until the end but I’m very happy with second. I was struggling a lot with the front tyre. I was not able to push like I wanted in the brake points.”
– Briton Cal Crutchlow dug in for third with Lorenzo back in 13th. Red Bull KTM Factory duo Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco finished 12th and 15th respectively.
– Red Bull KTM Tech3 pair Miguel Oliveira of Portugal and Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin ended the first race of the year way down the order in 17th and 20th.
Qatar GP result:
1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 42m 36.902s
2. Marc Márquez (SPA) Repsol Honda 42m 36.925s
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 42m 37.222s
4. Alex Rins (SPA) Suzuki Ecstar 42m 37.359s
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Monster Yamaha 42m 37.502s
2019 MotoGP rider standings:
1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 25 points
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda 20
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 16
4. Alex Rins (SPA) Suzuki Ecstar 13
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Monster Yamaha 11