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MotoGP analysis: How Quartararo delivered a stunner in Doha

Fabio Quartararo

Bengaluru, April 5: Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) put in a stunner at the TISSOT Grand Prix of Doha, making 2021 a clean sweep for Yamaha so far and heading up the first ever French 1-2 in the premier class as he pulled clear of the chasing pack at the perfect time under the lights at Qatar's Losail International Circuit.

Compatriot Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) took second as he duelled rookie team-mate and pole-sitter Jorge Martin to the line, the Frenchman making history for his nation and waves in the standings as he took over the 2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship lead.

Martin, meanwhile, madehis own waves as the rookie led much of the race from a spectacular start, coming home third for his first premier class podium only second time out.

Behind the three, there was plenty of drama too... and it was the closest top 15 in history!

Zarco heads to Europe with 40 points at the top of the standings, with Quartararo and Vinales on 36 points apiece but classified in that order.

What will Portimao bring? We need not have to wait long to find out!

Stunning start

Stunning start

Martin kept his nerve off the line and shot off to lead around Turn 1, the Spaniard unaware that he would actually be staying there for the majority of the race as his incredible Sunday began as it meant to go on.

Behind him, Zarco slotted into second but Qatar GP winner Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) went backwards, and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) propelled himself from P12 to P4 in an absolutely stunning start.

Calm and composed

Calm and composed

Approaching half race distance, Martin was still leading, and looking as cool, calm and collected as ever.

Just behind him though, tensions were starting to reach boiling point in the heat of the desert. Turn 10 saw Mir make a close move on Miller, contact made between the two, and the Ducati was wide.

French 1-2

French 1-2

As the last lap dawned, Quartararo's lead was 0.7 seconds and it was El Diablo's to lose, with Martin leading Zarco in the fight to complete the podium.

Vinales ran wide at Turn 1, allowing Rins to slide on through in the battle for P4 too, so it looked like two Frenchmen and a rookie on the podium.

History is made

History is made

Quartararo kept it pitch perfect to hammer round Losail for the last time in 2021, pulling out a few more tenths to cross the line for his first factory Yamaha win by a second and a half.

History was made -- 8.928sec was the gap between winner Quartararo and 15th place Oliveira in the closest top 15 finish MotoGP has ever seen, with Doha delivering a stunner under the floodlights.

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Monday, April 5, 2021, 8:48 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 5, 2021