Marc Marquez held his own in the opening laps of the Qatar Grand prix, keeping out of trouble and moving ahead of the chasing pack with Andrea Dovizioso. The reigning World Champion soon had companions in his hunt for victory, a frantic melee between the leading seven riders playing out over the next 20 laps. Just 0.023s split Marquez from Dovizioso as they crossed the line, Marquez opening his 2019 account with 20 points.
Relive the epic final lap at Losail! ?
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) March 12, 2019
“It was exactly the same as last year!”, Marquez exclaimed.
“I tried to push hard but here when you overtake you just run wide and you can’t keep the line. I tried to be there, to push a little and just be there until the end. I’m very happy with these 20 points because normally we struggle here and this weekend especially we worked a lot. We changed some things that meant I couldn’t push like I normally do in braking. But we finished the race and take good points.”
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) March 11, 2019
After Saturday’s pair of heavy falls, Jorge Lorenzo’s Repsol Honda Team debut was heavily restricted by lingering pain in his back and shoulder. Focusing on his own rhythm and understanding the Honda over race distance, Lorenzo battled to 13th to earn three points on his debut.
“There are many positive things even if where we finished is not what we thought we could achieve. I was very limited by the crash, it was a very big impact everywhere and especially on my shoulder. It limited everything. From then, I was always slower than at the start of the weekend. I had some problems in the opening laps and lost about three or four seconds there. Without doubt we have much more potential and if we’re not unlucky we can be stronger”, Lorenzo said.