The final corner showdown was a replica of the final corner battle between Factory Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez 12 months ago.
After a race-long battle, Andrea Dovizioso managed to replicate the winning overtake that he pulled off 12-months ago against Marc Marquez.
The Qatar Grand Prix started in a dramatic fashion when 5th place starter Fabio Quartararo stalled his Petronas Yamaha SRT M1 as the MotoGP field were preparing for the first warm-up lap of the season, resulting in the 19-year-old Frenchman to start in pit lane.
From pole position, Maverick Vinales’ opening lap woes continued to haunt the Spaniard as he dropped down outside the top 5 in the opening sector whilst Andrea Dovizioso used his ‘holeshot’ device to perfection and lead the way whilst his fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller launched to 2nd.
Miller’s strong start came to an end after a seat padding issue forced the Aussie to remove it mid-way through the 2nd lap, dropping the Pramac Ducati rider down to 10th.
As expected, the top 10 were locked in battle with rookie Joan Mir troubling Marquez for the podium spots whilst teammate Alex Rins recovered from a poor qualifying result and started his attack on Andrea Dovizioso.
After the opening few laps, the top 10 settled down with tyre management taking a big part in the opening half, Andrea Dovizioso controlled the pace on his GP19 but it was Suzuki’s Alex Rins who lunged underneath Dovizioso in the middle of lap 5 to take the lead, before Dovi repaying the favour to the Factory Suzuki rider.
Andrea Dovizioso then turned up the pace on lap 12 with him and Marquez stretching the pack to third place man Danilo Petrucci who had snuck his way up to 3rd position, but the pace then slowed again resulting in an 8 bike train once again.
With Seven Laps to go Valentino Rossi started to make up ground passing his teammate and rookie Joan Mir, back at the front, Andrea Dovizioso made a mistake into turn 4 running wide and allowing Marquez to lead but Dovizioso snuck back under Marquez at the second right of turn 5.
As the MotoGP field started the final lap, Marquez lunged up the inside at turn 10 but once again Dovizioso was able to get his GP19 back under the RC213V.
Dovizioso lead into the final corner but a very late lunge into the final corner from Marquez ran both the Italian and Marquez out wide but the Ducati was able to square it off and drive back under Marquez winning by 0.023s over the Honda rider.
In the last lap battle, Cal Crutchlow managed to get the better of Rins for an incredible podium finish with Valentino Rossi passing Petrucci on the final lap for 5th.
Danilo Petrucci, Vinales, Mir, Nakagami and Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 10 whilst Morbidelli slipped to 11th ahead of Pol Espargaro, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone who crashed his Aprilia RS-GP on the in lap.
The final point went to Frenchman Johann Zarco on the KTM.
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