Qatar GP, raceday round-up: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
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.
In a dramatic Moto2™ race that saw favourites Lowes and Rabat crash out, Folger took the race win after Zarco experienced mechanical issues.
The 21 year-old German Folger (AGR Team) took advantage of Johan Zarco’s mechanical issues, after the Frenchman had established a comfortable lead, to take the checkered flag and claim his first Moto2™ victory. Xavier Simeon (+5.051s) finished 2nd on the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex, ahead of Thomas Luthi (+12.123s) in 3rd.
Alex Rins (+12.202s) launched an incredible attack at the end to almost steal the final podium spot, but had to settle for 4th on the Paginas Amarillas HP40 bike, ahead of Franco Morbidelli (+14.382s) and last year’s Moto2™ Championship runner-up Mika Kallio (+14.413s) in 6th on the Italtrans Racing Team Kalex.
Alexis Masbou on the SAXOPRINT RTG Honda took the first race win of the 2015 Moto3™ season in Qatar, ahead of Bastianini and Kent.
The Moto3™ World Championship lived up to its reputation for providing incredible racing, with riders constantly swapping the lead throughout the 18 lap race. At times there were up to 17 bikes swapping paint and bashing elbows in the leading group, with less than a second separating the first 9 across the finish line.
It was the Frenchman Masbou who held his nerve in the drag to the checkered flag from the final corner, beating Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Team Moto3) by just 0.027s, after the Italian had started form 21st place on the grid.
British rider Danny Kent (+0.142s) took the final spot on the podium for his new Leopard Racing Team, with his teammate Efren Vazquez in 4th. Rookie Fabio Quartararo showed his potential by leading the race at one point before finishing in 7th.
One of the pre-race favourites Miguel Oliveira on the Red Bull KTM Ajo machine, fell at turn 1 but managed to rejoin the race and finish in 16th.