MotoGP: A Review from Round 1 at Qatar


The MotoGP circus got underway over the weekend with Valentino Rossi taking the win at Qatar, taking the victory from the Ducati duo with not a Honda in sight.


Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi claimed the first win of the 2015 MotoGP™ season in Qatar, after an awesome battle with Dovizioso.

Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi came out on top against the resurgent Ducati GP15’s of Dovizioso (2nd +0.174s) and Iannone (3rd +2.250s). Jorge Lorenzo was in 4th (+2.707s), with Marc Marquez (+7.036s) recovering to an incredible fifth position after running wide at turn 1 on the first lap, and having to work his way back through the field from last place.

Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa finished in 6th (+10.755s), with Cal Crutchlow (+12.384s) the leading satellite bike on his CWM LCR Honda in 7th. Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing +33.625s) finished as the top Open class rider in 15th.

 “It was a difficult race. After the first lap, I found myself in second place and I followed Dovizioso. I was faster and I passed him where I could in the fast corners. On the speed and in braking the Ducati was much stronger than our bike, but we could recover on corner speed while the acceleration was similar. To be honest, I thought that I could win the race, though it surely wasn‘t going to be easy, because Valentino had a very strong pace at the end of the race. I was feeling better and better, but suddenly there was something wrong when in the top part of the helmet the foam came loose and came down so I lost half of my vision. I couldn‘t see the corners very well and couldn‘t concentrate or ride like before and I was losing half a second or more per lap. In a race where, at minimum I could fight for the win, I finished fourth.”

Jorge Lorenzo



Jonas Folger took an unexpected victory at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar as the race favourites all encountered problems.

The problems started early for Tito Rabat after hitting a false neutral, and several corners later Rabat was forced wide by Morbidelli. His troubles continued as he collided with Simone Corsi after Turn 1 when the Italian closed on Rabat’s line, taking out his front end. Rabat was uninjured but disappointed saying, “When I passed Corsi up the inside he cut across my line and took out my front wheel. It was impossible to avoid a crash and that was the end of my race. Sorry to the team.”

This left Johann Zarco and Sam Lowes to run away at the front, as they gained a significant advantage over the rest of the field. Zarco, harkening back to his 125cc days, tapped on the rear of his bike in an attempt to get Lowes to follow him so they could increase their lead.

However on lap 17 disaster struck as the gear shifter broke, leaving the Ajo Motorsport rider stuck in third gear. Coming out of the final corner Zarco examined the problem, attempting to change gear with his hand, resulting in an incredibly close run in with pit wall.

“It was important to finish the race even with this problem. Championship points are impossible. I was very strong with a good pace before the problem and the bike was easy to ride. That’s why I keep my smile,”

Johann Zarco



Another nail biting Moto3™ race saw the top three split by under 0.150s, with Alexis Masbou claiming victory.

Moto3™ provided an exhilarating start to the 2015 season under the floodlights at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar as a group of ten riders battled for the victory. All riders opted for medium front and rear tyres, apart from Hiroki Ono who went with the harder rear Dunlop.

There was drama from the start as Francesco Bagnaia went up the inside of Miguel Oliveira at Turn 1 with the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, and race favourite, crashing out. A strong recovery saw the Portuguese rider battle back to 16th, but he did not dwell on this.

“I sincerely believe that I could have been fighting for victory today, if everything had gone well, but racing is like this. We have to forget this result and take only the positives away from this race.”

Francesco Bagnaia

Bagnaia and his Mahindra were one of the surprises of the race, able to fight with the top riders and compete for the win. The young Italian overtaking Vazquez around the outside and able to maintain his lead in the race despite a small mistake. He eventually finished in ninth, within a second of Masbou.

All materials courtesy of MotoGP PR