Maverick Vinales wins a wild season-opening Qatar MotoGP from Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
First time Yamaha Team rider Maverick Vinales has made the perfect start to his 2017 MotoGP season by winning the opening round at the Qatar circuit in Doha. In a rain-delayed race, Vinales struggled to get to the lead and then had to fight off a fast-finishing Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati, to win.
Earlier in the race, Dovizioso was doing well to stay in front of champion Marc Marquez’s Honda and Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone – the pair fighting hard before Iannone crashed and Marquez slowed due to front tyre wear. Vinales and his Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi then moved into contention.
Vinales gradually closed on race leader Dovizioso, the pair swapping first place, with Rossi lurking in third.
But Vinales rode the wheels off his Yamaha tyre to win by just 0.461s.
Rossi finished one-second behind Dovizioso, a great result for both Italians, considering their difficult pre-season season.
Marc Marquez finished fourth, just in front of Dani Pedrosa.
Aleix Espargaro’s first race for Aprilia was a sixth, ahead of Scott Redding, having his first ride for Ducati. Jack Miller, Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Jonas Folger.
Jorge Lorenzo ran wide on the opening lap and finished in 11th place, spoiling his debut for Ducati.
KTM’s first full MotoGP season will get better with Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith finishing 16th and 17th.
MotoGP Round One – Losail Circuit, Doha, Qatar.
1. Maverick Viñales
2. Andrea Dovizioso
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Marc Marquez
5. Dani Pedrosa
6. Aleix Espargaro
7. Scott Redding
8. Jack Miller
9. Alex Rins
10. Jonas Folger
11. Jorge Lorenzo
12. Loris Baz
13. Hector Barbera
14. Karel Abraham
15. Tito Rabat
16. Pol Espargaro
17. Bradley Smith
18. Sam Lowes