Andrea Dovizioso doubles up with fastest time in FP2

by Abel Hampton March 19, 2018, 0:44
Andrea Dovizioso doubles up with fastest time in FP2

Italy s Andrea Dovizioso won a thrilling season-opening Qatar MotoGP on Sunday, surviving a last-lap challenge from world champion Marc Marquez.

Valentino Rossi, the Italian great starting his 23rd grand prix season at the age of 39 and with a new two year Yamaha contract freshly signed, joined them on the podium at the floodlit circuit.

Dovizioso managed to take the lead from race-long leader and poleman Johann Zarco in the closing laps, with main 2017 rival Marquez following through into second.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow will line up fourth for LCR Honda while factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez's main rival previous year, qualified fifth.

Marquez added that he is not anxious about losing a late-race battle against Dovizioso for the third time as these duels have happened on the Spaniard's weaker tracks.

"The bike worked very well so it was easier than in the past". His teammate Andrea Iannone picked up points for the Japanese manufacturer in ninth place, while Jack Miller rounded out the top ten on his Pramac Ducati debut. "In the finale battling with Marquez was complicated as usual, but I am very happy with the result".

"It was a ideal race, flawless weekend", said Dovizioso.

Repsol Honda's Spanish driver Marc Marquez competes during the MotoGP qualifying session at the Losail International Circuit yesterday.

Earlier Spain's Alex Marquez - clocking a top speed of 274.4km/h - yesterday to emerge as the clear pole victor in the Moto2 class, finishing ahead of Italian duo Lorenzo Baldassarrita and Francesca Bagnaia.

"Now, I will fully focus on the race and I hope to race without making mistakes during the 22 laps".

Vinales - who won in Qatar a year ago on his Yamaha race debut - continued to struggle for pace in qualifying at the Losail circuit after a hard winter, ending up having to fight his way through Q1 and then ending up 12th and last in the pole position shootout. "I think Dovi has got a little bit more in this moment in managing the tyre". There is still a lot more that I need to learn in MotoGP.

Similarly, Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins completed the top three thanks to their times from second practice.

Marquez, riding for EG 0,0 Marc VDS, clocked a time of 2'00.299 to claim the front spot on grid one. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/LCR Honda) 2.881, 5. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 3.888, 7.

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