The Italian returns to winning ways and to the top of the Championship standings after he finished ahead of his title rivals.

MotoGP™ is finally back in action, with Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) dominating proceedings, winning the opening Grand Prix of the season and taking the title lead.

The Italian came across the line ahead of South African, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who finished one second behind. Joining them on the podium was last year’s runner-up, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) in a solid result for the Spaniard.

It was a delayed start to the race after Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) had a technical issue on the grid. The Spaniard’s Aprilia was pushed into the pitlane with a new race distance of 21 laps.

Once the lights went out, Jorge Martin made a great start to the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar, leading the way into turn one. Brad Binder exited turn one in second, before reigning World Champion, Francesco Bagnaia took the position from him, claiming the race lead.

At the end of the first lap, Bagnaia built a lead of 0.215 from Binder and Martin. Behind the leading trio was eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) who made a great start into fourth.

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) crashed at turn one, losing the front on the second lap of the race.

The fastest lap of the race went the way of rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) who looked confident in the opening stage of the race – setting a new race lap record. Acosta made his way into sixth, passing Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) and Ducati Lenovo Team’s Enea Bastianini.

Bagnaia bridged a three-tenth of a second gap, forcing Martin to pass Binder to reclaim second place. The South African fought back before Martin responded on the entry to turn one, in a thrilling battle for second position.

Pre-race favourite, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) started the race in second position but would drop to ninth. The Spaniard was battling with last year’s winner, Di Giannantonio throughout the race.

As the race progressed Bagnaia stretched his gap to over one second, with a group of four now battling for second. The race hit lap 11 – the distance of Saturday’s Sprint – with the questions about tyre life beginning.

Pedro Acosta continued to show his talent, launching a move down the inside on lap 12, passing Marc Marquez. This forced the #93 to push with the gap to Acosta increasing to half a second. However, Acosta’s rear tyre began to step out, running wide and allowing Marc Marquez into fourth.

Acosta fell further down the field with Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Enea Bastianini overtook the rookie – dropping Acosta to seventh position. The 19-year-old soon fell into the clutches of Di Giannantonio and Aleix Espargaro.

Raul Fernandez’s race went from bad to worse – pulling the Aprilia into the pits with four laps remaining.

The race was now on for the lead to see if Binder could respond to Bagnaia’s one-second advantage.  However, the smooth style of Bagnaia looked strong, and with no mistakes from the reigning World Champion, he would come across the line to win.

Behind the front three, Marc Marquez showed great pace throughout the race, starting strong with Ducati. Behind the #93 was Enea Bastianini who fought his way into fifth, finishing ahead of Alex Marquez in sixth. Meanwhile, Fabio Di Giannantonio could not repeat last year’s success, finishing in seventh ahead of Aleix Espargaro who rounded out the top eight.

Pedro Acosta finished inside the top 10 on his MotoGP™ debut, crossing the chequered flag in ninth, beating Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) to the line. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team) finished as the top Yamaha in 11th, finishing ahead of the top Honda, Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR).

Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) was behind in 13th, finishing ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) and Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) who scored the final Championship points on Sunday’s Grand Prix.

MotoGP™ will return to action in two weeks at Portimao for the Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal in what is set to be an exciting weekend in the Algarve. Make sure you keep up to date on so you don’t miss any of the build-up and action across the weekend!




Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)



Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing)



Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™)



Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team)



Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™)



Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team)



Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)


Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3)


Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing)



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