Maverick Vinales stuns many taking the win in the opening round of the MotoGP season in Qatar.
Well, MotoGP really is unpredictable isn’t it?! Going into the race many including myself believed we’d see a Ducati in P1 given their raw speed throughout the weekend, so you can imagine our surprise when we saw Maverick Vinales carving his way through the pack once he was able to get past Fabio Quarataro who was holding the field up slightly in the early stages of the race. Maverick Vinales had the most all round pace today in Qatar going into the first race which was demonstrated many times in practice.
Before the season even started he said that he feels the best he has ever felt in his life with his new wife and child on the way, mentally he is 100% clear and his race performance today backs this up, playing it cooly and calmly he ticked riders off one by one in true Marc Marquez style until he arrived in P1 on lap 15 and would remain there for the rest of the race.
Ducati got a great start to the race with a 1-2-3-4 at the first corner with Jorge Martin joining the party at the front all the way back from P14 on the grid, no idea what they are feeding that Pramac Ducati but it is incredibly quick on the straights as Zarco proved on the last lap when he stole P2 at the line from Joan Mir, unfortunately for Martin he was unable to consistently run at the front at the moment, fading back down the pack to P12 but improving his qualifying position by 2 places finishing behind the top rookie Enea Bastianini in P10 who put in a solid performance in Qatar.
Eventually, Ducati were able to fight back at the front after losing P2 to Joan Mir. Zarco and Bagnaia showed Suzuki how it is done on the straight as they battered Joan Mir out of the last corner and demoted the champion from a clear P2 to a P4 finish behind the duo of GP21’s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all fun and games for Ducati with Jack Miller majorly struggling in the race dropping places lap by lap to eventually finish in P9 overall after being the favoured winner here in Qatar, he will aim to improve this as we return to the circuit next week.
Fabio Quartararo finished in P5 after disposing of Alex Rins on lap 20 putting 0.300 seconds between them, this followed a great team effort from Suzuki with Rins working through the pack with Mir hot on his tail. Mir eventually got the better of his teammate and moved up into the higher positions as Rins ended his race in P6 ahead of the incredibly impressive Espargaro duo with Aleix Espargaro in P7 and Pol Espargaro in P8 on his Honda debut. Aleix has been incredibly positive about the new Aprilia with this showing in the season opener at Qatar finishing just 0.056 ahead of his brother Pol on the Honda RC213V taking a P8 finish following his rapid adaptation to the Repsol Honda.
Valentino Rossi was able to save face at Yamaha, the 9 x champion started his race in P4 and found himself out of the points in P16 at one point before moving up to P12, the same cannot be said for his teammate Franco Morbidelli who had a torrid race on the 2019 Yamaha YZR-M1 finishing in P18 overall. The 2020 runner up is one of the favoured riders this year and was plagued with troubles forcing him out of the points.
Featured image – Yamaha MotoGP