Moto GP – Qatar GP – Race
As the sun goes down, the ligths iluminate the Losali International Circtuit. Marking the start of the Moto GP 2021 season. A race that saw a ferocious battle between Yamaha and Ducati bike all race long, constant pressure and a late comeback were also some key features that happend on today´s race.
The ligths went off and the race begin with a strong start of the four Ducatis on the grid, as Bagnaia, Miller, Zarco and Martin were up front at the end of the first lap, with Jorge Martin having a huge start as he was 14th on the starting grid, the only incident on the starting lap had Danilo Petrucci ending his race prematurely.
At first laps, the middle pack was on constant change, like Joan Mir started to gain momentum and climbing some positions, the Monster Yamahas of Quartararo and Viñales chasing the Ducati group ahead and also saw the Petronas Yamahas underperforming on track, as Rossi and Morbidelli where constantly overtook by other riders.
As the race was getting to the equator, the Monster Yamahas were starting to push harder, as both overtook Jorge Martin, then they also overtook Jack Miller. Now they have to face Zarco and Bagnaia up front, as the Ducatis were rockets on straight, it wasn´t going to be an easy task. A front group separated from the rest of the pack, as Bagnaia, Zarco, Viñales, Quartararo, Miller and Rins completed the top 6.
Viñales was inspired on track, as he could overtake Zarco and was on the hunt of the leader, even as the Yamaha wasn´t stronger on the main straight, Viñales´ bike showed great corner taking an strong pace compared to the Ducati of Bagnaia. With the Spaniard eventually hunting down the Italian with 7 laps to go. Two more accidents happened on track, as both LCR hondas of Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez had to abandon because of an accident.
Thanks to the defense of Bagnaia that, even that he could´t hold the lead, it gave an oportunity for the defending champion Joan Mir to connect with the leader group and started to gain some positions, overtaking his teammate Alex Rins, then made a move on Fabio Quartararo, and then got provisional podium from Francesco Bagnaia, even as the Suzuki was suffering on the straights, Mir was keeping the pace with the Ducatis with a skillful ride from the Spaniard.
It wasn´t much problem for Maverick, as the Monster Yamaha separated from leading group and was on his way for the chequered flag. A big fight was developing between Zarco and Mir for P2, as the French rider hold up all the attacks of the Spaniard. With Mir finally making a move on the last lap, but on a shocking turn of events, Both Ducatis of Zarco and Bagnaia passed flying on the last straight and taking the last steps of the podium, Suzuki has much to work on the top speed on the bike if they want to keep up with the competition. Fabio completed the Top 5, with Alex Rins on 6th and a good result for Aleix Espargaro, taking the Aprilia on 7th place.
1. Maverick Viñales /// 2. Johann Zarco /// 3. Francesco Bagnaia
4. Joan Mir /// 5. Fabio Quartararo /// 6. Álex Rins
7. Aleix Espargaró /// 8. Pol Espargaró /// 9. Jack Miller
10. Enea Bastianini /// 11. Stefan Bradl /// 12. Valentino Rossi
13. Miguel Oliveira /// 14. Brad Binder /// 15. Jorge Martín
16. Luca Marini /// 17. Iker Lecuona ///18. Franco Morbidelli
19. Lorenzo Savadori
DNF: Alex Marquez, Takaaki Nakagami, Danilo Petrucci
Great win for Yamaha that showed a great overall pace agains the Ducatis, even with the disavantage of the straight line speed, Both Suzukis even with their issues, can be again a real threat for the rest of the grid, Honda had much to work on the next weeks, as Bradl was the highest bike at 11th place. Ducati can still bounce back, as Qatar will host a double header on next week. will they improve their pace on the technical sectors? Only time will tell it.