Podium for Marc Marquez and fifth for Dani Pedrosa under the Losail floodlights
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa opened the 2016 MotoGP World Championship with third and fifth place, respectively, at the Grand Prix of Qatar.
The floodlights at the Losail International Circuit lit up an intense race, in which Marquez was always amongst the leading group. The Spaniard pushed for second place right until the end, battling with Andrea Dovizioso in a fight that would only conclude on the final corner.
He placed on the rostrum behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo and Dovizioso. Dani Pedrosa, sixth at the end of the opening lap, gained a position due to a crash by Andrea Iannone and took the chequered flag in fifth place -earning 11 points.
“I’m happy with this third place because I know that we gave our all and just two weeks ago we were one second off the pace compared to the other guys on the podium. I want to thank Honda and my team for all the hard work they are doing. The race was faster than we expected and we had a great weekend, because we got 100% out of our performance at a circuit that we find hard. I spent much of the race behind Dovizioso because I couldn’t pass him, and it was difficult to make up the ground lost with his better acceleration on the straight. Whenever I got close, I’d lose him again. Although I knew it would be difficult, I made another attempt with 4 laps remaining −but he overtook me on the last lap. I tried again in the last corner but it wasn’t possible. I hope that the circuits coming up on the calendar favour us a little more.”
“It was a difficult race. I started well but I ran wide at the first corner. Nevertheless, I was only down in fifth or sixth place, which was a good position from which to follow the lead group, but my pace was not good enough and gradually I lost touch. The negative side to this race is the result and the distance from the winner, but the positive is that I learned more about the bike and maybe we can improve for the next race. Physically, I also held up very well. We knew that this was a difficult track for us, but now we must look ahead to Argentina.”