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MotoGP Qatar 2024 - Bagnaia Wins, Marquez 4th on Ducati debut

Written by Owen Bradley

Credit: Karim Jaafar


MotoGP 2024 is now on, the Qatar Grand Prix was set up by an interesting Qualifying session followed by a telling Sprint race on Saturday. With tyre wear and the track now rubbered in from the support races, we're set up for a barnstormer of a MotoGP Grand Prix in Qatar. Marquez starting from 6th, the Ducati civil war now in full effect, here are the results and a rundown of the MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix 2024.


Results


1st Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati

2nd Brad Binder, KTM

3rd Jorge Martin, Ducati

4th Marc Marquez, Ducati

5th Enea Bastianini, Ducati

6th Alex Marquez, Ducati

7th Fabio Di Giannantonio, Ducati

8th Pedro Acosta, KTM

9th Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia

10th Maverick Vinales, Aprilia

11th Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha

12th Joan Mir, Honda

13th Johann Zarco, Honda

14th Marco Bezzecchi, Ducati

15th Miguel Oliveira, Aprilia

16th Augusto Fernandez, KTM

17th Alex Rins, Yamaha

18th Franco Morbidelli, Ducati

19th Takaaki Nakagami, Honda

20th Luca Marini, Honda

21st Jack Miller, KTM

DNF Raul Fernandez, Aprilia


Grand Prix


Raul Fernandez was unable to get off the grid, delaying the start for the Trackhouse Aprilia. Fernandez would need to start from the Pit lane, as Luca Marini also appeared to have issues on the grid, waving his arms frantically. Not an ideal start for Trackhouse Aprilia's first ever race in MotoGP. Marc Marquez also seemed to have issues with his ride height device on the grid, many riders having a multitude of issues with their bikes on the first attempted grid start.


Bagnaia made an excellent start, riding around the outside of the leaders and eventually firing his Ducati out of the first right-hander of Turn 3 and up the inside of Jorge Martin into Turn 4's slow double right. Marc Marquez managed to make a move into 4th place as the leading four riders began to run away with the race. Brad Binder would seize 2nd position from Jorge Martin on Lap 2, down the inside into Turn 1 as his Red Bull KTM teammate, Jack Miller, would crash on the run down to Turn 1.

Credit: Karim Jaafar


Pedro Acosta on the Red Bull GasGas KTM made some serious inroads on Lap 3, overtaking Fabio Di Giannantonio and Enea Bastianini for P6, chasing down the Ducati's at the front. Martin would slide up the inside of Binder at the slow left-hander of Turn 10. Pedro Acosta in his first ever MotoGP race, also made use of Turn 10 just a lap or so later, overtaking Alex Marquez and chasing down the other Marquez brother, and the other Ducati's.


Brad Binder would sneak back past Jorge Martin after the 2023 runner-up managed to get back past him earlier. Binder follows leader Bagnaia, who is now close to half a second out front. But Martin would once again manage to fire himself up the inside of Binder into Turn 1, as Marc Marquez struggled to find a place to overtake one of the riders for a spot on the podium. Binder one lap later again got up the inside of Martin into Turn 1, the slipstream working exceptionally well around the Lusail circuit, and huge progress from the KTM team to close that straight line and braking speed to the Ducati's.

Credit: Karim Jaafar


Marco Bezzecchi ran 16th for most of the race, something not working for both of the VR46 Ducati's, as Luca Marini was overtaken by Jack Miller who had crashed earlier in the race, a terrible weekend for Valentino Rossi's brother Marini, who is on the Repsol Honda for 2024.


Pedro Acosta now dives down the inside of Marc Marquez into Turn 1, the KTM's starting to come on strong in the mid-distance of the race, perhaps managing the tyres much better than the opposition. Acosta does seem to now be struggling for tyre grip, running completely wide in the triple right hander and allowing Marc Marquez to come back through for 4th place. The gap between the two leaders, Bagnaia and Binder sits at just under one second as the KTM of Binder seems to navigate the corner exits far better, where the Ducati approaches the faster corners better.


Raul Fernandez comes into the pits to finish his race, a tough weekend for Trackhouse Aprilia who had their other rider, Miguel Oliveira, sitting just outside the points. Fabio Di Giannantonio and Aleix Espargaro now right up behind Pedro Acosta, as DiGi send it up the inside into Turn 10. Acosta with a lot to learn, but with a lot of positives to take away from his first MotoGP race.

Credit: Karim Jaafar


Enea Bastianini went up the inside of Alex Marquez for a 5th place finish with only a couple of laps remaining into Turn 2. Jorge Martin went 0.800s quicker than Binder on the penultimate lap, with a lot more rear grip he hunts down Binder for P2. Unfortunately for the spaniard it wasn't quite enough, as Bagnaia came home to take victory, followed by Binder and Martin to round out the podium. Marc Marquez had a solid race to finish in 4th place on his Ducati debut, a very interesting weekend for MotoGP and a decent first race of 2024.


MotoGP will return to Portimao for Round 2, in two weeks time.





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