Imagine that you have been waiting months for this blockbuster movie to be released. As the time for its release draws nearer, you start getting even more excited. And then a few days before the release, you are told that the release might not happen on that day. On the day of the release, you’re shown a few trailers but just before the start of the main movie, there’s another delay. You are ready to tear your hair out in frustration when miraculously, the movie is shown. And what a masterpiece it turns out to be! Something similar happened with the opening round of the MotoGP season that was held in Qatar. After months of pre-season testing, when it was finally time for the race weekend, rain played spoil sport – cancelling the qualifying practice sessions. And on the day of the race, the Moto3 and Moto2 races – exciting ones at that – took place. But when it was turn for the marquee event – the MotoGP race – to take place, the rain came down again. After what seemed endless delay, the weather gods relented and a 20-lap race was held. And what a race it was!
The Losail International Circuit produced a Qatar GP that the spectators and those watching on television will remember for a long time to come. The hero of the day was Maverick Vinales, who rode a great race to register his first win for Yamaha. In second place was Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and in a surprise third place was MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi. The start of the race was as eventful as the events leading to it. With qualifying cancelled, the grid was decided on the basis of the cumulative practice times. Vinales got the pole position with Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone in second and Honda’s Marc Marquez in third. The second row of the grid saw Dovizioso start in fifth place, sandwiched between satellite riders Johann Zarco (Yamaha Tech3) and Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati). Dovi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was the big name to lose out because of the cancellation of the qualifying, having had to start the race in 11th place.
It was a weekend that MotoGP fans will be thankful for too. As the podium ceremony was being conducted the skies
opened up and showered everyone with a celebratory rain. The weather gods had permitted just enough of a window for the race to take place. But despite all the weather-induced delays, Qatar GP was a blockbuster movie that left people screaming for more.