MotoGP Qatar Roundup

Apologies for the delay on this, it has been the strangest of weeks. It was also coupled with not seeing the baby class races, and trying to find them without having to spend the £40 a month for videopass I don’t currently have.

That said, I’ve heard very positive things about Franco Morbidelli’s ability not to chuck it down the track, and I’m very pleased that John McPhee managed to get Dorna’s new pet project off to a good start.

Now, to racing. Except…

Shoutout to nature

Well wasn’t all that rain fun? I thought at one point we genuinely wouldn’t get races this weekend, and we didn’t have any qualifying at all. That was wacky.

Oh what might have been

What a belting start by Johann Zarco. He was incredible off the line, and was away. If he hadn’t fallen off, he would have been the first of the current field to have won his debut race – he was the first to lead a race. That’s a crazy stat considering this field includes Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez.

A little bit of naivity cost him a potential win, but to lead like that on a satellite bike is some feat. There could be a lot more to come from Zarco as he gets to grips with the Tech 3.

My large adult son

Wow, Maverick. Wow. What a start to your new job. Fastest in practice, taking pole because of it, coming back from a bogged down start to winning the opener and leading the championship. Maturity above your years, and some passing moves that had me out of my seat.

The challenge now is to be that good for the rest of the year. Oh, and actually see how you perform in qualifying.

I really wish I’d put money on him.

The old guard are still there

Dovi second, Rossi third, Marquez fourth. We’ll still have the usual suspects knocking around come the business end of the season. And, in truth, it was a usual winner – a factory Yamaha.

That said, Aleix Espargaro’s 6th was outstanding, and there were solid rides from Scott Redding, Jack Miller and Jonas Folger


Cal Crutchlow fell off twice, because of course he did. The aforementioned Redding came home seventh, while Bradley Smith came home 17th, just one place ahead of Sam Lowes.

Not the best of starts for the KTMs, with Pol Espargaro 16th, but it’s a work in progress. Lowes’ performance is troubling though, when put next to Aleix’s result.

Finally, not an ideal start for Jorge Lorenzo. It might be a bit harder to learn the Ducati than he thought.

Next time out

Next week takes us to Argentina, when we’ll bring you a race preview, and news of a new track for 2018.


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