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MotoGP, Grand Prix of Qatar27.03.2017


Morbidelli Makes It

After promising preparation work during the winter, Franco Morbidelli confirmed in Qatar that he’ll be someone to reckon with this season. A stated candidate for the Moto2 World Championship title, the Italian rider brilliantly won the first race of the season.



The Races

Although he has already made it eight times to the podium, Franco Morbidelli had never managed to reach the first step. The Total rider put an end to that regrettable fact the best way possible by winning on the Losail circuit after obtaining his first pole position. Having overtaken Tom Lüthi, the Italian raced out in front to cross the finish line nearly three seconds ahead of his Swiss rival. Second on the grid, Alex Marquez was in third position for many laps before downshifting to fifth. Jack Miller began the MotoGP championship on the right foot. On a circuit that has always been unfortunate for Hondas, the Australian managed to get the better of Alex Rins late in the laps and take eighth place in a race won by Maverick Viñales. Still recovering from his terrible crash during the test sessions in Malaysia early in February, Tito Rabat nonetheless clinched fifteenth place. In Moto3, Jakub Kornfeil ended twentieth while Patrik Pulkkinen fell four laps from the finish line.

The Championship

Attacking hard at the start of this season, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS can be proud of its four riders having all scored points. In MotoGP, Miller and Rabat left Qatar in eighth and fifteenth places respectively in the overall standings, while in Moto2, Morbidelli and Marquez now hold first and fifth positions in the provisional ranking.

The Background

Last year, an arsenal of aerodynamic appendages were added to the fairings of the MotoGP bikes, turning the Grand Prix machines into fighter aircraft. Considering most of the fins to be dangerous, and anxious to keep inflation in development costs under control, the race managers decided to ban all of them. This year, teams can no longer expand the fairings of their motorbikes at will. The first model has to be approved during the first Grand Prix, and then only one upgrade is allowed during the season. In addition, it must be approved by the MotoGP technical director. None of the regulations prevent engineers in the racing departments from using their brains, however. The result is that we saw a whole range of new ideas take form over the winter, with wings tucked inside the double flanks, and front fairing nose trims equipped with nozzles or extractors.

MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing , the championship must remain a testing ground for brands and their engineers.

Michael Bartholemy,
boss of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.