The first tests in Sepang back in February, demonstrated two things with regards to rivals Honda and Ducati. One is that Marc Marquez two months after undergoing shoulder surgery, was on his way to recovery but wasn’t back to full fitness and that Andrew Dovizioso and the Honda team had upped their game and would be in a great position to launch their 2019 campaign.
Recovery was clearly evident in the free practice session in Qatar this weekend, with Marquez producing the fastest lap time which also happened to be three tenths under the previous lap record; the lead-up to the 2019 opener certainly had all the elements pointing towards an explosive rematch between the two rivals. Dovizioso hungry for a championship win after coming in second behind Marquez, who now has a total of five championships under his belt.
The first half was close and intense with less than 10 seconds between all the drivers and ended with the top five split by just 0.6 seconds.
Dovizioso led early and convincingly from the get-go but a rare mistake with just two laps to go, allowed Marquez to claim the lead for the first time in the race.
With two hundredths of a second margin between Dovizioso and Marquez, the world champ pushed it to the limits to fight off Dovizioso in a gripping photo-finish ending with Ducati reclaiming the lead they had for the majority of the race. At the end there was 0.023 between the two rivals in what was a crazy opening race of the 2019 season.
Round Two of the 2019 MotoGP Championship in Argentina LIVE on 10 Bold and streamed LIVE on 10 play. Broadcast commences - 4.30am AEST Monday 1 April.