Dovizioso edges Marquez by 0.027s to win Qatar GP

Dovizioso edges Marquez by 0.027s to win Qatar GP

With just under a second in the gap ahead of Rossi is was about if Marquez could finally beat Dovizioso on a last lap battle after coming off second best in Austria and Japan a year ago.

Polesitter Zarco took the holeshot to comfortably lead the first 18 laps despite brief attempts by Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi to take over at the front.

Dovizioso managed to take the lead from race-long leader and poleman Johann Zarco in the closing laps, with main 2017 rival Marquez following through into second.

Hafizh was second best among the rookies after Italian Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who came in 12th (+16.274s).

"It's really good, and we've confirmed the good feeling from the test, which I'm really happy about", said Dovizioso. Apart from that, I'm also very happy about the great work inside the team.

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Dovizioso made it hard for himself however after a poor start from fifth on the grid, slipping to ninth by turn two on lap one.

"I was able to push at the end, even though the tyre was finished".

Marquez said he had no regrets over his move, saying he wouldn't have slept if he hadn't tried to win.

"Today Johann was wonderful, I followed him and he was very fast".

Marquez added that he is not anxious about losing a late-race battle against Dovizioso for the third time as these duels have happened on the Spaniard's weaker tracks.

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"I think this season is the most balanced of Moto GP seasons ever", Rossi, 39, who will be the oldest rider this year, told reporters at a joint press conference on Thursday.

Dani Pedrosa finished his 200 MotoGP race seventh ahead of Zarco, who had seemingly cooked his Michelin rubber while leading for the first two thirds of the race.

"So we have to continue working, trying to simulate a little bit the bike from the beginning of previous year - the positive points - and let's see what we can do".

Meanwhile, Malaysia's Moto2 duo Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (SIC Racing Team) both struggled to make an impact in qualifying and will start from 25th (2:02.433s) and 32nd (2:04.780s) respectively.

Behind, Zarco was slipping down the order, and would eventually end up eighth, in what was ultimately a disappointing outing under the floodlights of Qatar for him.

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