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

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15