Wheels and Goals

News, updates, features and opinions on football and motor sport

Marc Marquez wins the Moto GP opener in Qatar

Reigning world champion Marc Marquez has won the first round of the 2014 Moto GP championship at the Losail Circuit.

Marquez managed to come out on top in a battle against Valentino Rossi, in a race that was full of excitement and action throughout.

Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, finished on the final step of the podium in third position despite having a relatively quiet race.

Marquez and Rossi had a great battle

Marquez and Rossi had a great battle

The race did not go to plan for Jorge Lorenzo, Bradley Smith, Stefan Bradl or Alvaro Bautista, all of which crashed out of the grand prix.

Aleix Espargaro finished in fourth spot to earn the title of top ‘open’ rider, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in fifth and Cal Crutchlow in sixth.

Britain’s Scott Redding managed to finish in seventh place on his Moto GP debut after a successful season in Moto 2 last year.

It was Lorenzo who made the best start, leaping from fifth on the grid to the lead going into the first corner, just ahead of Smith and Bradl.

Marquez was down in fourth after the first couple of corners but soon started making his way back towards the front.

There was drama midway through the first lap, with race leader Lorenzo crashing out of the race at turn 15 after losing the front end.

Lorenzo’s mistake allowed Bradl to take the lead with Marquez now right behind him after getting the better of Smith.

Lorenzo crashed of the race whilst leading

Lorenzo crashed of the race whilst leading

Bradl kept his cool for several laps despite having Marquez right behind him but the pressure soon got to the German when he lost the front end of his LCR Honda and crashed out.

This allowed Marquez to take control of the race and many would have believed that this was the moment in which the 21-year-old would ride off into the distance.

That did not happen though as a motivated Rossi had made his way from 10th on the grid to second place and was ready to challenge the champion.

The pair engaged in a great battle, with Rossi trying his hardest to match the raw pace of the Honda.

Behind the top two there was a great battle for the final podium spot, with Pedrosa, Smith and Bautista going at it.

Scott Redding finished in a respectable seventh place

Scott Redding finished in a respectable seventh place

It was the cool head of Pedrosa that came out on top, with Smith and Bautista both crashing out of the race within a couple of laps of each other.

Back at the front Rossi and Marquez were now pushing each other to the limit. With two laps to go Rossi made his move and went down the inside of Marquez.

Marquez fought back immediately and briefly took the lead back before Rossi once again went down the inside.

In the end though it was the pure straight line speed of the Honda that allowed Marquez to re-gain the lead as the pair started the last lap.

Rossi tried his hardest to catch the young Spaniard but was unable to find that extra bit of speed required of the Yamaha.

 

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