MotoGP 2018: Just Started, Just Italy!

Andrea Dovizioso is the eighth Italian rider to win the season opener in the MotoGP’s top class. Other Italian stars did it before him, then becoming world champions.

The MotoGP 2018 World Championship begins under the sign of the Italian flag. In Qatar, at the Losail circuit, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso won in a photo finish an amazing opening Gran Prix against the Spanish Marc Marquez, four-time and reigning MotoGP world champion. Third position and podium also for the Yamaha’s ‘Doctor’ Valentino Rossi, one of the all-time most awarded riders of the MotoGP class.

Andrea Dovizioso, simply astonishing

Both Italian riders did not start the race at their best, with Andrea Dovizioso running 5th and Valentino Rossi in 8th position. However, after few laps, they were already leading their motorcycles towards an awesome comeback. On lap 11, Andrea Dovizioso secured the 2nd position by overtaking Marc Marquez, while the French Johann Zarco was taking the lead. Lap 17, the fifth before the finish line, marked the turning point of the race: the three riders in the head, all close to each other, pulled a trigger on a series of overtakings, from which the Italian Andrea Dovizioso turned out first.

Valentino Rossi took advantage of this confusing situation by reaching the 3rd position. He would not give it up anymore, while a compelling duel between Andrea Dovizioso over his Ducati and Marc Marquez over his Honda started. One lap before the finish line, Marc Marquez challenged Andrea Dovizioso with a successful overtake, but the Italian rider did not surrend. Making the most of his Ducati and thanks to his driving ability, he was finally able to leave Marc Marquez behind right in the final straight. Blaze of joy on the podium, while the Italian anthem played twice.

A bright future for Ducati

‘A perfect race in a perfect weekend. I pushed my motorcycle until the end, but it has been as usual very difficult against Marc Marquez, especially on the last lap. I kept calm after the bad start and I was able to pull slower to preserve the tyres. I am very happy for this victory’. These are the words of Andrea Dovizioso after his fantastic race.

The Ducati racing team from Bologna should welcome this success with great satisfaction, focusing on their Italian rider for the rest of the season and trying to renew his contract. Indeed, his Spanish teammate Jorge Lorenzo crashed already in this first Grand Prix, and seems not able to offer the same guarantees.

This MotoGP World Championship for Italy?

Andrea Dovizioso is the eighth Italian rider to win the season opener in the MotoGP’s top class. Other champions such as Umberto Masetti, Libero Liberati, Giacomo Agostini, Luca Cadalora, Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi and Valentino Rossi did it before him, and three of them (Liberati, Agostini and Rossi) then became MotoGP world champions. Among other things, it is matter of great pride for the Italian sports scene to see Valentino Rossi at the top of his game still today.

Finally, the day in Qatar was painted in tricolor also thanks to the Moto2 race, with the victory of the Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia who came in first shortly before the fellow countryman Lorenzo Baldassarri, both driving with Kalex. Therefore, see you in Argentina on April 8, date of the second MotoGP 2018 World Championship race. The South American Grand Prix could bring important confirmations, hoping that the Italian flag will wave high even below the equator.