Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dovizioso edges out Marquez in Qatar MotoGP thriller



Dovizioso edges out Marquez in Qatar MotoGP thriller

Marc Marquez (left), Andrea Dovizioso (centre) and Valentino Rossi celebrate on the podium following the 2018 Qatar MotoGP Grand Prix on Sunday. AFP
Marc Marquez (left), Andrea Dovizioso (centre) and Valentino Rossi celebrate on the podium following the 2018 Qatar MotoGP Grand Prix on Sunday. AFP

Dovizioso edges out Marquez in Qatar MotoGP thriller

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

Dovizioso retook the lead on the final bend of the 22-lap night race to record a notable victory on a track where he had finished as runner-up for the past three years.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi came home in third place on a Yamaha.

Dovizioso, who finished runner-up in the world championship last year, first snatched the lead with five laps to go from long-time leader France’s Johann Zarco, who started on pole.

The Italian held off Honda’s Marquez until the dramatic last lap, before taking the chequered flag and his first 25 points of the season.

“It was a perfect race, perfect weekend,” said Dovizioso. “We worked very well.”

The Italian had been in good form in practice and qualifying and it was surprising that he started fifth on the grid.

Even worse, a bad start on his Ducati meant Dovizioso fell down the field at the start before he was able to haul himself back towards the leaders.

He added: “It was a really bad start, but I was calm, I recovered very slowly and saved a lot of tyres.”

“I was able to push at the end, even though the tyre was finished.”

Marquez happy

Spaniard Marquez said he had tried to push Dovizioso “100 percent”.

“First of all, I am really happy to finish second on this track, it is one of the most difficult,” Marquez said.

“Today, he deserved the victory, he was faster than us, but my target was to try to control him.”

It is the third time Dovizioso has beaten Marquez by snatching the lead on the final bend.

Rossi said he was happy with a podium finish, adding he wanted to follow it up with more this year.

“I am so happy, I expect more than last year,” said Rossi, who also finished third in Qatar in 2017.

“Thanks to my team, thanks to Yamaha and we try to continue this.”

He added: “It’s a very good way to start the season.”

France’s Zarco eventually trailed in eighth, despite leading for two-thirds of the race, dropping off disappointingly at the business end of the contest.

Dovizioso said the chasing pack had waited for the perfect time to attack the Frenchman in an effort to save their tyres on a demanding track.

However, the Italian said he was unconvinced his victory had put down a marker for the rest of the season, and still expected several riders to challenge for this year’s world championship.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow came in fourth with Danilo Petrucci fifth.

Last year’s winner in Doha, Maverick Vinales, took sixth on a Yamaha.

The next race takes place on April 8 in Argentina.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the