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Dovi beats Marquez in near photo finish

Five riders battle for the win in Qatar
Sunday, March 10, 2019


Dovi beats Marquez across the line
Dovi beats Marquez across the line
Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) took an incredible victory at the VisitQatar Grand Prix after an epic desert duel between five riders in the latter stages ends with the Italian beating Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) by 0.023, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) beating Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to P3 - the top five split by just 0.6 seconds.

It was Dovizioso who got the launch off the line with the new ‘holeshot’ device working to full effect as both he and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) grabbed P1 and P2 into Turn 1, Marquez held position in P3 with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) not getting the start he would have been aiming for from pole – P1 to P6 on the opening lap, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and teammate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) getting themselves into the top five.

There was more drama on the second lap as Miller, running in P2, seemed to have an issue in the final sector. The Australian having to sit up on the racing line as he appeared to remove part of his seat before continuing, the Ducati dropping to P11 in strange fashion.

The race then settled into a rhythm, with Dovi controlling a steady pace at the front as tyre management started coming into play. Rins was the man on the move on Lap 4 as the Spaniard made a sharp start from P10 on the grid, the Suzuki man coming through to take the lead Lap 5. Dovi and Rins then exchanged P1 on numerous occasions for several laps, the Suzuki passing the Ducati in the middle of the lap before Dovi used the Ducati grunt to power back past on the start/finish straight – a lead group of nine following each other line astern as we looked set for an epic desert duel.

On Lap 12, with Dovi back at the front, the pace then turned up a notch as Dovi and Marquez started to create a gap back to third place Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati). However, the pace then slowed again, Dovizioso going from a 1:55.3 to a 1:56.1 to bring the top eight back to just over a second.

With seven to go, the top eight were covered 1.2 seconds as Rossi started to make up ground, picking off his teammate and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) to go up to P6. With three laps to go the fight for the win became a five-way scrap, with Petrucci, Viñales and Mir losing touch.

And so, heading into the last lap, Dovi powered past Marquez into Turn 1 after the reigning World Champion had got the better of his rival on the penultimate lap, with Crutchlow P3, Rins P4 and Rossi P5. Pushing hard, Marquez had a slight moment with the front at Turn 3 before making a lunge up the inside of Dovi at Turn 10, but the Desmosedici was able to cut back up the inside on the exit.

A carbon copy of 12 months ago then played out at the final corner, with Marquez diving through, sitting up Dovi, running wide, with the latter being able to get the drive and power past the Honda on the exit to edge the number 93 to the line by 0.023 seconds. Behind, Crutchlow kept his cool to take a remarkable podium on his first race back since his huge Australian GP crash, with Rins a valiant P4 and Rossi again proving you should never count ‘The Doctor’ out in P5 from P14 on the grid.

Petrucci would have to settle for P6 on his maiden factory Ducati ride, 2.320 the Italian finished behind his teammate in the end, with polesitter Viñales crossing the line 0.161 back from ‘Petrux’ in P7. Mir produced a fantastic rookie ride to finish just over five seconds off the race win in P8, the Spaniard beating ninth place Nakagami and tenth place Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) – 9.636 covering the top 10 in Qatar.

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was just 0.011 behind Espargaro in P11 on his debut ride for Yamaha, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completing the point scoring positions.


1DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4ITA25Mission Winnow DucatiDucati42'36.902
2MARQUEZ Marc 93SPA20Repsol Honda TeamHonda0.023
3CRUTCHLOW Cal 35GBR16LCR HondaHonda0.320
4RINS Alex 42SPA13Team Suzuki EcstarSuzuki0.457
5ROSSI Valentino 46ITA11Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha0.600
6PETRUCCI Danilo 9ITA10Mission Winnow DucatiDucati2.320
7VINALES Maverick 12SPA9Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha2.481
8MIR Joan 36SPA8Team Suzuki EcstarSuzuki5.088
9NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30JPN7LCR HondaHonda7.406
10ESPARGARO Aleix 41SPA6Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia9.636
11MORBIDELLI Franco 21ITA5Petronas Yamaha SRTYamaha9.647
12ESPARGARO Pol 44SPA4Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM12.774
13LORENZO Jorge 99SPA3Repsol Honda TeamHonda14.307
14IANNONE Andrea 29ITA2Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia14.349
15ZARCO Johann 5FRA1Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM15.093
16QUARTARARO Fabio 20FRA0Petronas Yamaha SRTYamaha15.905
17OLIVEIRA Miguel 88POR0Red Bull KTM Tech 3KTM16.377
18ABRAHAM Karel 17CZE0Reale Avintia RacingDucati22.972
19RABAT Tito 53SPA0Reale Avintia RacingDucati23.039
20SYAHRIN Hafizh 55MAL0Red Bull KTM Tech 3KTM43.242
21SMITH Bradley 38GBR0Aprilia Racing Test TeamApriliaDNF
22MILLER Jack 43AUS0Alma Pramac RacingDucatiDNF
23BAGNAIA Francesco 63ITA0Alma Pramac RacingDucatiDNF

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