Maverick Vinales Wins 2017 Qatar MotoGP!
Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) delivered on his pre-season promise to take a hard-fought victory in round one of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship under the floodlights of Qatar.
After a 40-minute delay, due to rain at the desert venue, the race finally got underway in a shortened 20 lap format with current Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco streaking out to a sensational early lead on the Tech3 Yamaha.
The Frenchman was looking good in the opening laps, pulling out a lead of nearly two seconds over Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Andrea Iannone (Ecstar Suzuki) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) before crashing out at the treacherous turn two on lap seven.
Four laps later, Iannone put his Suzuki into the gravel trap, losing the front end during his intense battle with Marquez. That put Dovizioso into the lead, and while Marquez started to fade with a wearing soft option front tire, Vinales doing the opposite, working his way up from fifth to eventually close down the front two riders with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) trailing his teammate.
Vinales eventually took the lead of Dovizioso and engaged in a fierce battle with the Italian, who had the advantage of the famous Ducati horsepower down Losail’s kilometer long front straight to retake the lead time and again.
But with one lap to go, Vinales had the door firmly shut heading into turn one and proceeded to ride the wheels of the factory Yamaha, smoking the rear tire and eventually pulling a winning gap of 0.461 seconds over Dovi with Rossi clawing himself onto the podium after starting from 10th place in third.
Fourth went to a disconsolate Marquez from teammate Dani Pedrosa, but it was a spectacular performance by Aleix Espargaro in his first ride on the factory Aprilia, claiming sixth just behind the Repsol Hondas.
Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) had a good ride to seventh ahead of Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda), and rookies Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki) and Jonas Folger (Tech3 Yamaha) completing the top 10.
2017 MotoGP Qatar Results
Morbidelli Gets His First
In a processional Moto2 race, Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS Kalex) took his long awaited first win in the category in a dominant display. The Italian finished 2.6 seconds ahead of veteran Tom Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten Kalex), with Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Taka Nakagami taking a narrow third place over the factory KTM of Miguel Oliveria. Alex Marquez on the second of the Marc VDS Kales machines completed the top five.
2017 Qatar Moto2 Results
Mir Wins Ultra-Close Moto3 Race
The Moto3 category was once again a bar fight on wheels with Joan Mir (Leopard Racing Honda) taking a hard fought win over Scotsman John McFee in his debut for the British Talent Team with pole sitter Jorge Martin taking third place.
Spaniard Aron Canet got the better of Romano Fenati for fourth place, making it a clean sweep of the top five places for Honda.
2017 Qatar Moto3 Results