Round one of the 2018 MotoGP started at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Being the first race of this season, the atmosphere at the venue was electrifying and tensed in the pits. Just like everyone else, we too were expecting the race to be an exciting one. And it did turn out to be just that with Dovizioso putting up an extraordinary performance to grab the first position at the podium.
It was Zarco who set the fastest lap time in the qualifying round and hence secured the pole position for the race. Marquez sat at the second place followed by Petrucci. Dovizioso managed to get himself the fifth place while Rossi was back at the eighth.
Zarco had a flying start and continued to lead the race for a healthy number of laps, but couldn’t keep his pace until the end. He was overtaken by Marquez, Dovi and Rossi and quickly lost many places. During the final laps of the race, it was Dovizioso who was leading the race. He tried to create a good gap between himself and Marquez. Since the Losail International Circuit is considered to be one of the weakest tracks for Honda, Dovi thought he would easily gain pace ahead of Marc. But Marquez used his skills and talent to push his Honda to the extremes.
It was in the last corner of the final lap, when Dovi was ahead of Marquez, that the Spaniard made his final attack to gain the first position. It was like Deja vu, as we had seen a similar scenario in the 2017 MotoGP at the Australian GP. However, Dovizioso maintained his line and exited the corner exactly as he planned. Then it was straight to the finish line where the acceleration and mighty power of the Ducati aided Dovizioso to keep Marquez just behind and grasp the first position. Dovizioso won but only by 0.027 seconds ahead of Marquez.
While the two leading riders, Dovizioso and Marquez, were busy fighting for the first place, Rossi, who started from the third row and performed brilliantly, was taking things easy at the third place. Getting a podium finish in the debut race of the 2018 MotoGP at the age of 39, Rossi is very optimistic about his decision of extending his contract with team Yamaha for two more years. The Italian really pushed himself and his M1 from the start and gained places slowly from the 8th place to finish 3rd at the podium. Well done, Doctor.
So, it is Dovizioso who has started his winning process with the opening round of 2018 MotoGP. There are many more races to go and much more competition to kill. We really wanted this season to kick off with a great race, and it did. The round 2 of 2018 MotoGP will take place in Argentina on 8 April.
Source – crash.net