Just when it seemed that the MotoGP race at the Grand Prix of Qatar was going to develop before the rain came, it made an appearance with five minutes to go and the start was delayed total almost 45 minutes, until conditions became practicable. Johann Zarco excelled in the first stages of the race, leading the first six laps until, on the seventh, he went to ground in the second corner.
The options for the group behind opened up, leaving Andrea Dovizioso in the lead, but with Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi prowling close. The Ducati rider led the most laps in Losail, eight of the twenty, but the most important lap, the last, was headed by Maverick Viñales. The Spaniard is the first championship leader of the season, ahead of Dovizioso and team-mate Valentino Rossi. Marc Márquez, current champion, starts the year in the fourth place.
Pull&Bear Aspar Team rider Alvaro Bautista sadly did not finish the opening round of 2017. The Spaniard was running sixth, less than three seconds behind the leader of the race at the time. However, on the seventh lap, when he reached the last corner, he hit the ground when he lost the front end.
Bautista, who won with the Aspar Team in Qatar in 2006, does not hold great memories of night races and is already thinking ahead to the next round of the World Championship, which will take place in two weeks in Argentina.
Álvaro Bautista (DNF):
“It has been a very strange weekend. I think it would have been better to have canceled the race and to have it done the next day, because we started just when it should have finished. The humidity was very high and we knew that around ten o’clock was more dangerous. In the end it was decided to run. My idea was to finish the race, take my pace and score. I made a good start, I was in the first group, I was comfortable, but in the middle of the race, without knowing why, I lost the front wheel in the last corner and I fell without doing anything special. It is annoying because I have not done anything different, everything was normal. I was setting my pace, I have not tried to push to catch the rest, I wanted to finish. We were sixth, two seconds off the lead. The night has not been very good, I’ve had some bad luck in the night races, but the positive thing is that there is only one night race a year.”
Source: Aspar Media
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