Dovizioso wins battle with Marquez in Losail thriller

Dovizioso wins battle with Marquez in Losail thriller

Dovizioso wins battle with Marquez in Losail thriller

Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso won the Qatar Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit by just 0.027s from Honda's Marc Marquez, after a sensational final-lap showdown, with Yamaha veteran Valentino Rossi completing the podium.

It was an enthralling final five laps though as the Dovizioso and Marquez continued their battles from past year in Austria and Japan.

Polesitter Zarco took the holeshot to comfortably lead the first 18 laps despite brief attempts by Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi to take over at the front.

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

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Francesco Bagnaia took a sensational maiden victory, beating Lorenzo Baldassarri to the line by 0.112s as the outcome was decided on the final lap under the floodlights, with Alex Marquez rounding out an all-Kalex podium.

"The team's target is for me to finish the race and gain as much experience as possible". It is not 25 points, but it is 20 points in a very hard track for us.

Dovizioso moved up to third position on lap 11 as he spent the start of the race working through the field, passing his countryman Rossi who slipped back to the riders fighting for fifth.

He added: "It was a really bad start but I was calm, I recovered very slowly and saved a lot of tyres". Without this, I'm sure I would have been able to be a tenth of a second faster. And Dovizioso couldn't agree more with the Spaniard, admitting Marquez had a better bike than past year.

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The '17 runner-up then pulled the pin and tried to pull away, although Marquez was able to stay in the wheel-tracks of the Ducati until the closing stages of the last lap.

"Today Johann was awesome, I followed him and he was very fast". Both times Dovizioso had managed to beat Marquez on the last lap.

"I think this season is the most balanced of Moto GP seasons ever", Rossi, 39, who will be the oldest rider this year, told reporters at a joint press conference on Thursday.

Tech3's Yamaha YZR-M1 machine is proving a monster of a machine outperforming the factory Yamaha team. It is a positive start to the season for the Brit who can build on his 13 points.

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