QATAR. Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) took a sensational maiden victory in the Grand Prix of Qatar, beating his compatriot Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) to the line as the victory was decided on the final lap under the floodlights. The 2017 rookie of the year secured his team’s debut victory in the class and began his season in the best possible way. Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) clung onto the final podium spot, holding off Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) who took fourth position.
Oliveira finished in a distant top five, but was able to hold off Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who secured sixth position overall after some tough battles throughout the race. Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP) took eighth, beating his team-mate Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) by just 0.097 over the line. Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) won his battle for ninth, ahead of Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) who rounded out the top ten.
Making a very credible debut in the Moto2™ class, Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) moved up from 24th position on the grid to take a top 11 finish, ahead of Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) in 12th position. 13th went to Hector Barbera (Pons HP40), who crossed the line 0.007 behind Gardner, as Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) took 14th, and Dominique Aegerter (Keifer Racing) secured the final points scoring finish this weekend in Qatar.
There were just two riders to not meet the chequered flag in the Grand Prix of Qatar, and it was a bad day for Swiss Innovative Investors. Iker Lecuona parked his bike up on the 10th lap, whilst team-mate Sam Lowes had a tough return, crashing out through turn 16.
Simone Corsi: 14th
"I hoped for a better result. I had a good start and I was able to reach the 9th position but I had grip issues at the back, which was a common issue. I think that our expectations could be higher than two points so we travel to Argentina to redeem ourselves."
Fabio Quartararo: 20th
“It was a very difficult weekend because we had problems during all the sessions. We need to improve the aerodynamics of the bike and continue to work ahead of the next race in Argentina”
Andrea Locatelli: 19th
“Tough weekend. I race I give my best but I didn't recover many positions and I couldn't get the right pace that would allow me to be with the group in the points zone. We have made good progress and worked well with the team: I can't wait for the next round in Argentina”.
Isaac Viñales: 16th
“After the pre-season we did expect to be a bit higher, we have to improve in the classification to be able to start later, it's a very close category and it's difficult to recover positions. and this circuit has historically not been good for me, the positive part is that the team is working very well and I am sure that we are going to do more in each race, staying at the gates gives some despair, but each time we are closer and the season has just started, there are 18 races left, we have to keep improving and I am sure that the results will come in. The whole team is very motivated and we believe in our possibilities.”