Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez cross the line inches from each other to finish 1st and 2nd respectively, whilst Cal Crutchlow started his [and LCR’s] season with a fantastically unexpected 3rd place.
The race started normally despite newcomer Fabio Quartararo stalling on the formation lap and having to start from the pitlane, Fabio Quartararo would then to go on to set some of the fastest laps of the race, but presumably using all of his tyres in the process. Dovizioso and Miller had the best of the getaways from the grid and surged to the front, with Miller taking 2nd place a few laps later despite having his foam seat insert come loose and having to throw it clear of the bike. Unfortunately, regardless of Jack Millers great start and early pace the Pramac machine developed further mechanical issues and he later retired. This then enabled Álex Rins to attack on the Suzuki and he battled with Márquez and Dovi for the podium spots and even leading for a fair few laps looking very strong.
Meanwhile Crutchlow was picking riders off one by one during the race battling with Danilo Petrucci on the second of the factory Ducati’s, and Suzuki’s other rider, Joán Mir, this allowed him to capitalize upon Álex Rins’ mistake into Turn 1, suspected to be the results of tyre degradation from pushing the Suzuki too hard to compensate for their slight lack of performance. The mid portion of the race was a slow burning build up to an incredibly close finish and intense battle on the final few, forewarded by a mistake Dovi made, Márquez passed and they traded places from then on, all the way up until to the final corner on the final lap with a gap of only 0.023s. Outside of the front runners, Lorenzo had a difficult race given his injuries and body conditioning, that said, despite struggling in 17th-18th position during most of the race, had a turn of pace in the last 3rd of the race to finish in 13th position, managing to pip Andrea Iannone on the Aprilia right at the line. Takaaki Nakagami also had his best career finish of 9th place on the 2nd LCR Honda.
To mark a standout performer in the race, you can’t look much further than Andrea Dovizioso, pretty much lead from start to finish and looked completely dominant and in control of the situation at all times, but, aside from Dovi, one has to give credit to Cal Crutchlow, managing to finish the race within only 3 tenths of a second from the factory Honda of Marc Márquez and riding a very cool calm and collected race to finish on the rostrum. Álex Rins who finished just off the podium in 4th place deserves a mention, hauling the Suzuki to as close to a podium as he could have realistically gotten it.
|1||25||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Mission Winnow Ducati||Ducati||166.6||42’36.902|
|2||20||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||166.6||+0.023|
|3||16||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||166.6||+0.320|
|4||13||42||Alex RINS||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||166.6||+0.457|
|5||11||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||166.6||+0.600|
|6||10||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Mission Winnow Ducati||Ducati||166.4||+2.320|
|7||9||12||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||166.4||+2.481|
|8||8||36||Joan MIR||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||166.3||+5.088|
|9||7||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||166.1||+7.406|
|10||6||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||166.0||+9.636|
|11||5||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||166.0||+9.647|
|12||4||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||165.8||+12.774|
|13||3||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.7||+14.307|
|14||2||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||165.7||+14.349|
|15||1||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||165.6||+15.093|
|16||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||165.6||+15.905|
|17||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||165.5||+16.377|
|18||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||165.1||+22.972|
|19||53||Tito RABAT||SPA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||165.1||+23.039|
|20||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||163.8||+43.242|
|38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Aprilia Factory Racing||Aprilia||164.0||2 Laps|
|43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||165.5||10 Laps|
|63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||152.5||13 Laps|
The next round of MotoGP is at Argentina on the 31st of March.