MotoGP Qatar – Desert storm

MotoGP took Qatar by storm this season – literally! It was a weekend full of insane racing, unexpected cancelations, amazing racing and a good benchmark of the season to come. Read more below on todays race between experienced riders and young blood, coming in to stir up the competition!

Moto2 Qatar race

Lüthi was off to a great start with Morbidelli in close pursuit. They were going at it hard, with constant overtaking, helping other riders keep up the pace with the leaders.

Large crash at turn 10 in first lap took out Gadner, Sayahrin and Pasini.

Alex Marquez held a strong third place with Nakagami in close pursuit. Morbidelli started to pick up the pace, setting fastest time lap after lap, slowly pulling away from Lüthi.

Battle for third really got on the way with Nakagami, Marquez and Oliveira racing just inches from one another.

With 10 laps to go, Morbidelli had already proven he was in a class of his own, putting 2 tenths of a second on Lüthi with each passing lap.

shiftndrive Qatar Moto2 2017 Morbidelli

Oliveira has shown he will be insanely fast in the coming races, following Nakagami and catching Lüthi with only 5 laps to go.

The podium lineup didn’t change though, with Nakagami coming in third, Luthi second and Morbidelli taking the well-deserved debut victory!

MotoGP Qatar race

As the Moto2 race ended the sky opened up again, with light shower over the race track, putting in doubts about the latter MotoGP race.

After start of the race being delayed twice due to track conditions, they finally gave the green light on the third attempt.

As yesterday’s qualification session was cancelled due to rain the grid positions were set from Friday’s FP3. Vinales started first but quickly dropped down while Rossi and Lorenzo started from way back on the grid, 10th and 12th respectfully.

shiftndrive Qatar MotoGP 2017 starting grid

There was a bit of a clash between Rossi and Crutchlow, who later crashed twice but overall the race wasn’t as full of crashes as we were used to in the previous season.

The biggest surprise of the race was 2016 Moto2 champion, Johan Zarco, who not only led the race but also increased it to almost 2 seconds before overloading the front tire and crashing.

That allowed Andrea Dovizioso to jump into the lead with Marc Marquez, Vinales and Rossi in pursuit.

shiftndrive Qatar MotoGP 2017 rossi dovizioso vinales

Later in the race Marquez just couldn’t hold the pace and the Yamaha duo flew past him on the way to Dovizioso.

Spanish wonderboy Vinales managed to win the race after repeatedly battling for first and finally clearing the gap with just two laps remaining.

shiftndrive Qatar MotoGP 2017 Maverick Vinales

Rossi came in third which was almost as suprising as Aleix Espargero in 6th.

Jorge Lorenzo just seemed lost and after climbing up to 9th, he droped back down and finished in 12th position.

MotoGP Qatar results

1. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 38m 59.999s
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 39m 0.460s
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 39m 1.927s
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 39m 6.744s
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 39m 7.127s
6. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 39m 7.660s
7. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 39m 9.781s

8. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 39m 14.485s
9. Alex Rins ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 39m 14.787s
10. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 39m 15.068s
11. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 39m 20.515s
12. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 39m 21.254s
13. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 39m 28.827s
14. Karel Abraham CZE Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP15) 39m 29.122s
15. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 39m 29.469s
16. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 39m 33.600s
17. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 39m 39.703s
18. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 39m 47.130s
Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17) DNF
Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) DNF
Alvaro Bautista ESP Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP16) DNF
Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* DNF
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF

Moto2 Qatar results

1. Franco Morbidelli ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS (Kalex) 40m 18.480s
2. Thomas Luthi SWI CarXpert Interwetten (Kalex) 40m 21.161s
3. Takaaki Nakagami JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 40m 21.784s
4. Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 40m 22.064s
5. Alex Marquez SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS (Kalex) 40m 29.706s

6. Luca Marini ITA Forward Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 32.227s
7. Fabio Quartararo FRA Pons HP40 (Kalex) 40m 32.468s
8. Lorenzo Baldassarri ITA Forward Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 35.945s
9. Xavi Vierge SPA Tech 3 Racing (Tech 3) 40m 35.957s
10. Axel Pons SPA RW Racing GP (Kalex) 40m 36.247s
11. Dominique Aegerter SWI Kiefer Racing (Suter) 40m 36.282s
12. Francesco Bagnaia ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (Kalex) 40m 36.570s
13. Danny Kent GBR Kiefer Racing (Suter) 40m 37.803s
14. Jesko Raffin SWI Garage Plus Interwetten (Kalex) 40m 41.278s
15. Xavier Simeon BEL Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 (Kalex) 40m 42.489s
16. Marcel Schrotter GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Suter) 40m 42.557s
17. Simone Corsi ITA Speed Up Racing (Speed Up) 40m 46.673s
18. Yonny Hernandez COL AGR Team (Kalex) 40m 50.308s
19. Tetsuta Nagashima JPN Teluru SAG Team (Kalex) 40m 50.319s
20. Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 40m 52.526s
21. Isaac Viñales SPA BE-A-VIP SAG Team (Kalex) 40m 58.707s
22. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Suter) 40m 58.759s
23. Julian Simon SPA Garage Plus Interwetten (Kalex) 40m 58.926s
24. Mattia Pasini ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 0.981s
25. Ricard Cardus SPA Speed Up Racing (Speed Up) 41m 1.480s
26. Edgar Pons SPA Pons HP40 (Kalex) 41m 5.552s
27. Andrea Locatelli ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 5.966s
28. Khairul Idham Pawi MAL IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 41m 9.686s
29. Stefano Manzi ITA SKY Racing Team VR46 (Kalex) 41m 20.560s
Jorge Navarro SPA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) DNF
Hafizh Syahrin MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia (Kalex) DNF
Saeed Al Sulaiti QAT QMMF Racing (Speed Up) DNF
Remy Gardner AUS Tech 3 Racing (Tech 3) DNF

Anze Hribar

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