Dovizioso sees off Marquez in final-lap thriller

Andrea Dovizioso holds off Marc Marquez in a final-lap battle to take victory at the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP season in Qatar.
Dovizioso sees off Marquez in final-lap thriller

Full Qatar MotoGP race results

Andrea Dovizioso has held off Marc Marquez in an almighty final-lap battle to take victory at the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP season in Qatar.

In scenes reminiscent of 12 months ago at the Losail International Circuit, the pair traded passes on the final lap to decide who would take victory.

After Dovizioso drifted wide on the penultimate lap to see Marquez skate through to the lead for the first time in the race, the Italian used the extra horsepower of the GP19 to power back into the lead into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap.

But Marquez, hoping to learn lessons from losing out to his Ducati rival last year, made his move up the inside at Turn 10 only to see Dovizioso cut past on the switchback for Turn 11.

The reigning MotoGP world champion made his gamble at the final corner by diving up the inside looking to block off Dovizioso but couldn’t make his RC213V wide enough, which allowed the Italian rider to power to the chequered flag for victory.

In an equally enthralling final-corner tussle, Cal Crutchlow made his move up the inside of Alex Rins perfectly to grab the final podium spot on his race comeback from a nasty ankle injury for LCR Honda.

With Suzuki’s Rins left in fourth place, Valentino Rossi produced a classic fightback through the field after a disaster qualifying saw him start down in 14th place.

The 40-year-old, starting his 24th season, climbed up to fifth place ending the race within half a second off race-winner Dovizioso for Monster Yamaha.

Danilo Petrucci endured a late race fade having been in the front-running pack to drop to sixth place, but did enough to hold off pole-sitter Maverick Vinales, with the Monster Yamaha rider suffering a disaster start dropping down to seventh place.

MotoGP debutant Joan Mir produced the standout display from the rookies by taking eighth place for Suzuki, another one in the thick of the front pack fight, with a small gap to LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami in ninth place.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro impressed with 10th place ahead of Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli with lead Red Bull KTM rider Pol Espargaro in 12th place.



Jorge Lorenzo pinched an underwhelming 13th place ahead of Aprilia’s Andrea Iannone in the sprint to the line, having suffered two big offs on Saturday during his Repsol Honda debut.

Johann Zarco held on to take the final point on the Red Bull KTM by seeing off fellow French rider Fabio Quartararo who suffered a nightmare start to his MotoGP debut by stalling his Petronas Yamaha on the grid which forced him into a pit-lane start.

To Quartararo’s credit the 19-year-old banged in fastest laps to climb up the order ahead of Miguel Oliveira on the Tech3, ahead of Avintia Ducati duo Karel Abraham and Tito Rabat, with fellow Tech3 rider Hafizh Syahrin completing the finishers in 20th place.

It was a disaster 2019 opener for Pramac Ducati with both Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia forced to retire with separate technical issues, while part of the Australian’s seat came loose in the early stages.

Aprilia wildcard rider Bradley Smith was also a non-finisher crashing out late on at Turn 1.