Fabio Quartararo takes sensational win at Tissott Doha MotoGP
Fabio Quartararo won a sensational Tissott Doha MotoGP race where the top fifteen were covered by 8.9 seconds.
The Monster Energy Yamaha rider started from fifth on the grid but dropped to ninth on the opening lap behind pole setter and MotoGP rookie Jorge Martin and team mate Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati’s. 23-year-old Martin was only competing in his second MotoGP race and the Spaniard was riding superbly at the front.
He never looked to be troubled until Quartararo, who had fought through in the closing stages of the twenty-two lap race to challenge Martin on lap eighteen.
The French rider took the lead but Martin fought back and held the Yamaha man at bay until the decisive move two laps later at Turn4.
With the Ducati’s battling for second Quartararo eased out half a second at the front and Zarco, who now leads the world championship, squeezed past his team mate for second with less than 0.043 seconds separating the Pramac riders at the line.
It was the first ever French one, two in the premier class. Suzuki’s Alex Rins just held off Yamaha’s and last weeks winner Maverick Vinales for fourth with Lenovo Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia completing the top six.
“I have not won a lot of races but this one was such a special win,” said the race winner.
“I came from seventh or eighth and I saw that the pace was totally different from FP4 and warm up so I decided to keep the tyre for the end and actually when I saw Maverick (Vinales) coming that was the moment to push and to overtake.
“It is such an amazing moment for me and I have always dreamed to win in Qatar unfortunately it was not the first race but the second.
“Thanks for everyone who believed in me. I have worked a lot in pre season to achieve this goal. The media always tell me there’s extra pressure to take the place of Valentino ( Rossi ) so I will enjoy this moment tonight.”
Sam Lowes continued his domination of the Moto2 class winning his second Grand Prix on the trot at the Losail International circuit in Qatar.
The 30-year-old British star had a carbon copy of the previous week setting pole for the ELF Marc VDS team, crashing out of morning warm up, then doing what he does best leading from the front, albeit pushed all the way to the line by Australian Remy Gardner on the Red Bull KTM.
Completing the rostrum was Gardner’s team mate Raul Fernandez. It has been the perfect start to 2021 for the Lincolnshire rider who became the first British rider since Mike Hailwood in 1966 to win the opening two races in the intermediate class.
“The crash in warm up again it wasn’t nice but when I was behind on the opening couple of laps it was easy to follow the leaders as I could stay out of the wind but when I hit the front it was hard to pull away,” said Lowes.
“I tried to stay consistent and leave a little bit of tyre to the end of the race. I’m really happy and we have done a real good job over the past few weeks in Qatar. Mentally for me it was a great race to lead and I can go to Portimao with a good feeling.”
Unfortunately fellow Brit Jake Dixon crashed out eight laps from home.
Pedro Acosta, the 16 year-old Spanish wonder kid claimed his first ever Moto3 victory after starting from pit lane at the Tissot Grand Prix of Doha.
In his second ever Grand Prix start on the Red Bull KTM Ajo the reigning Red Bull rookie champion was sensational as he inched closer to the front five over the 18-lap race to finally take the lead on the last lap and cross the line three- hundredths of a second ahead of hard charging South African Darryn Binder, Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda with Avintia KTM rider Niccolo Antonelli, closing out the rostrum.
For the second weekend on the trot it was another disaster GP for Scotland’s John McPhee.
He was in with a great chance of at least a podium when Jeremy Alcoba lost control of his Gresini Honda after contact with Binder and wiped out McPhee at Turn1 with three laps to go.