Qatar MotoGP Quote Machine Final

The Ducati Lenovo Team has come out victorious in the Qatar GP race thanks to two-time reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia, who put together a perfect performance from start to finish. Enea Bastianini was fifth in the 21-lap, first full race of the season.

Bagnaia had a great start from fifth place on the grid and was third entering turn one, before making his way to first position in a matter of a few corners. Thanks to a fast and consistent pace, Pecco kept himself safely in the lead while managing his margin and – at the same time – preserving the tyres, eventually crossing the finish line 1.3secs ahead of his closest rival.

After riding in fourth place as the MotoGP field stormed through turn one, Bastianini lost a few places in the opening laps but was able to recover some back in the remainder of the encounter. With two laps left, he made a successful overtake on Alex Márquez, which granted him fifth position at the chequered flag.

Thanks to today’s win, Pecco is now leading the championship standings with 31 points, while Enea is currently fifth – 16 points in arrears.

The Ducati Lenovo team will be back in action on March 22-24 at Portimão’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“We used a different strategy today, after the excellent work done with the team during warm up. Everything went perfectly: I tried to brake hard and waiting an extra moment in order to not use the rear too much and ended the race in the best possible condition. I started a bit slower lap-time wise and then started a bit more as the laps went by. When I saw another rider getting closer, I tried to pull away a bit more and everything went according to plan. Even on this occasion, the team has done an incredible job.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 5th
“We’re half happy. It was a difficult race: I couldn’t get the bike stopped the way I wanted and that prevented me from pushing hard. Then I tried to save the tyres for the final laps, but in hindsight it wasn’t the right choice, as the drop was a lot lower compared to yesterday. It’s a shame because I could have surely done something better, but I must settle with this finishing position. Our expectations were higher, but we’ll try to do better in the next race; once we get to Portimão, we will have a clearer picture on how to make a further step forward.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Pecco did a good job and had a great start. He took some risks in the opening lap, and he did well in doing so. The way he managed the race was impeccable and he did everything he had to do in order to keep the rivals at bay, while staying focused and preserving the tyres. His race craft was simply perfect, there’s nothing he could have done better, and the same applies to the team. He’s a great champion and we’re happy that he’ll be with us for the upcoming years. Enea also did a great race: he finished in the top five and I’m sure he will give us a lot of satisfaction because he’s been working very well with his crew.”
Track House

“It looked like a very promising weekend. We had good speed on Saturday and finally we couldn’t make it happen in the race. The long lap really penalized us a lot. I had to do the long lap early in the race when the group is more compact and I just lost time and track position. So, I had to regain a few positions while I was trying to conserve the tire. Many things were going on at the same time. I tried to push a lot at the end to try to gain some time when everybody else was struggling, but couldn’t make it. A point for the effort, but we are not happy how the weekend finished. I believe we still need a little bit more time to get the best out of the bike. That’s what I want to believe. I think the team is able to do it, we just need some time, need to keep working and put our heads down to get the best out of ourselves.”


“Honestly, I’m really frustrated. After a really good Warm Up and a really good weekend in general, we were very competitive. On the grid I had an issue with the electronics, I don’t know why exactly. We have to analyze the data. I saw the lights on the dashboard and saw there was something not right. We tried to find a solution in the pitlane, but we didn’t find a possibility to ride with that bike. So, I had to run to the other bike, that had used tires and with that my race was almost done. I tried to do the race, but the last five laps it was really difficult to manage the tires, I couldn’t ride and entered the garage.”


“The first drama of 2024 is written. Raul had an error code on his dash just before he started. After two or three seconds the bike came back, but at that point you need to leave the grid as soon as possible. Looking at the error we had to switch to the second bike because it was too tricky to start with the error code. With the second bike, he needed to start from the back of the grid and unfortunately, after a few laps with a good pace the rear tire dropped massively and also the front tire was on the limit. He was pushing and forcing and trying to come back from the last position, but he had to retire. Miguel needed to do his penalty from Qatar 2023 and he succeeded that in lap number five, dropping from 15th to 19th. Of course, you lose only a couple of seconds, but also four positions, which is a lot on this grid at the moment. He kept on fighting, lap times were really good at the end because he was able to save the tire in a way to be able to do that in the end and not all the guys managed to do the same. So, he grabbed a point, because he kept on fighting until the end. Of course, 15th is not where we want to be, but looking from where we were coming with the long lap penalty and Raul’s issues, I think we need to be pleased with at least a point. Let’s go to Portimao now with the speed we have. We have shown a couple of times this weekend, we can do much better. But everything needs to be fitted together and that clearly didn’t happen this weekend.”


“It has been emotional for all the Trackhouse family, for the first race of our team. Even if, unfortunately, it did not go as we wanted, we had an electronic warning at the grid and Raul had to start at the back of the grid, on his second bike, which is very unfortunate as I think he had the pace to fight for a result. On the other side of the garage, Miguel had to pay his penalty, which is something strange as it’s from last year, but it is what it is and without that he could probably have been easily in the top ten. Let’s say; we go away from Qatar knowing that we have the potential to do much better than what we have done and this we have to try to use starting in Portimao, Portugal, which will be a very important race for Miguel. Before then, we will analyze everything that happened here and try to improve, to do better.”

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo had a strong start to the Grand Prix of Qatar Race. Expert tyre management and a late charge ultimately secured him 11th place across the finish line. Álex Rins also engaged in battles during the 21-lap Race at the Lusail International Circuit and rode closely behind his teammate for a substantial amount of time, until front tyre degradation at the end spoiled his finish. He ended the first GP of the season in 16th place.

Chaos at the start of the originally 22-lap Race caused a slight delay and saw the race length being reduced by one lap.

Quartararo stayed calm and focused at the 'second start' and got in a good launch from P16 on the grid. He was on the attack on the opening lap and had breached into the top 10 by lap 2. He temporarily lost a position to Maverick Viñales, but was quick to retake it as the Spaniard lost ground. By lap 6, however, Quartararo had the number-12 rider on his tail again. The Frenchman was riding defensively, making Viñales work for it, though Quartararo did have to concede eventually on lap 8. Unable to follow Viñales, El Diablo instead needed to put his attention to five fast approaching riders, one of them his teammate. With 7 laps remaining, Joan Mir took over 11th place from Quartararo. But the experienced Yamaha man bided his time, knowing that tyre preservation would be the decider in this match. With 2 laps to go, he made a final charge. He overtook Mir and set back-to-back personal best sectors to wrap up the first Race of the 2024 season in 11th place, 17.701s from the race leader.

Rins made a clever start to the MotoGP Race. Commencing from P20 and gradually moving up the order in the first third of the race distance whilst at the same time managing his tyres as much as possible. He soon found himself in 14th place as part of a group of six riders all fighting for 11th. With 11 laps to go, the number-42 rider put in an overtaking manoeuver on Johann Zarco and made it stick. On lap 15, Mir made a move on Quartararo, putting Rins directly behind his teammate. Not able to pass him, the Spaniard was challenged himself by charging riders. He came under attack from Zarco and Marco Bezzecchi with 4 laps remaining. The Yamaha rider lost two further places in the final two laps, unable to defend his position due to tyre degradation. Yet, he still pushed on and retaliated on Augusto Fernandez with one lap to go. Rins finished his maiden Race with Yamaha in 16th place, 24.093s from first.

Today's result earns Quartararo his first 5 points, putting him in 11th place in the overall standings. Rins is yet to score points. After Round 1, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is in 8th place in the team championship with 5 points, and in the constructors championship Yamaha are in 4th position with 5 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team will be back in action in two weeks' time at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve for the Grande Prémio de Portugal.

Team Director

We had hoped to be in a more competitive position when we arrived here, but yesterday's Sprint already showed that we have more work to do. While we were 6s faster in yesterday's Sprint than we were last November, it's not enough yet. Yamaha has been taking the riders' feedback on board and will be working on updates. But realistically this was not something that could be solved within 24 hours. So, for today's Race we made some set-up changes and discussed with the riders how to best manage the tyres. You could see that Fabio managed the tyres in such a way that he still had something left at the end to push. Álex was riding well in his first Race with us. He tried to manage the tyres as much as possible as well but, unfortunately, he suffered a front tyre drop in the final six laps, which prohibited him from pushing. This cost him dearly. It's a shame that we didn't have a more positive season opener. But we now know where we stand, and we will use this GP as a benchmark as we continue to develop our package.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

It was really tough. During the test, we already saw that we are still far from the top, but for the Race I maybe expected something a bit different. But in the end, the performance level was similar to the test, so we still ...

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

Honestly, we suffered a lot during this Race. We tried to do our best, and I was coming from way back down the order towards the front. We were gaining, and lap by lap I was feeling better and better. I got into the top 11 behind Joan Mir and Fabio [Quartararo], but with six laps to the end, the right side of the front tyre dropped dramatically, and I started to lose many, many seconds. In the right corners I couldn't do the right leaning angle. We took some positive things from this Race for the future, and I'm looking forward to the next GP.


Binder 2nd and double podium prizes for KTM as Qatar MotoGP™ gets 2024 up to speed
MotoGP 2024 - Round 01 of 21, Lusail International Circuit, Qatar – Race

The Qatar Grand Prix produced yet more extreme performance and faster race times and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing were chief protagonists in a tense opening joust of the 2024 campaign. Brad Binder followed up his runner-up finish in the Saturday Sprint at the Lusail International Circuit with a confident repeat 2nd position as teammate Jack Miller logged a 21st place finish after an early tumble in the 21-lap affair.

Round 1 of 21 in 2024 closes with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing achieving two trophies at the superb race facility north of Doha, celebrating its 20th anniversary as a MotoGP host venue
Brad Binder plots a course to the front on the 2024 spec of the KTM RC16 and now sits 2nd in the formative world championship standings after his Saturday Sprint podium
Jack Miller makes it to the flag and the culmination of a busy period in Qatar of testing and racing
Europe, Portugal and the spectacular Portimao circuit next for MotoGP in two weeks

Testing, qualifying, Sprints and then, finally, the Grand Prix. Qatar saw another healthy crowd packed into the main, central grandstand at the modern and impressive Lusail International Circuit as the MotoGP series got underway at the scene of the traditional ‘curtain-raiser’.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing prepped for the 22-lap distance with the knowledge and data of the 11-lap Sprint from Saturday night in the hard drive. For Brad Binder and Jack Miller the Sunday evening outing was the chance to bank full points and click the 2024 season into gear. A mechanical problem for another rider caused a brief delay and a reduced 21-lap distance to be enforced. As on Saturday, Binder launched from 4th on the grid with Miller in 11th and the KTM RC16s were again noticeable for their rapid prowess from a standing start.

During the race Brad pursued Francesco Bagnaia closely and also battled with Jorge Martin; beating the Spaniard to the second step of the podium. The 2-2 scorecard overall represented a shining start to the season and announced the Binder/RC16 package as race winner-in-waiting. Jack was unlucky to slip out of the running on the second lap. He then endured a lonely run at the back of the field and completed the distance outside of the top twenty.

Round two will see the sport and paddock unpack their European Grand Prix set-ups for the first time when they arrive at the Algarve International Circuit in southern Portugal next week. The EU stop will be brief as the third date on the calendar takes the series to North America in April.

Brad Binder, 2nd: “Super-happy to be leaving with 2nd place again. I thought I might have had a bit to catch up and take the lead but every time I got a little closer then the gap stretched again! Anyway, we are happy to start the season this way. I think winning again is only a matter of time. My bike was next-level again, even after the improvements we had made for yesterday, so my team did an immense job. Hats off to them.”

Jack Miller, 21st: “Not how I wanted to start the season but those are the cards we were dealt today. The guys went a bit deep into Turn 1 and I tried to hold a tighter line and the front went away. I picked the bike up and was pushing afterwards but I was missing something today. I could not run close to the pace we needed. A head scratcher. We will try to work out what went wrong and try to fix it for Portimao.”

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “A great race by Brad. He was outstanding out there. This isn’t one of our best tracks - or hasn’t been - so to be 2nd twice gives us a lot of confidence for the future. Also, the change we made to the bike after the Sprint made him happy. Crashing out meant that Jack could not take anything from the race but I am sure that he will be back near the front really soon. Portugal is another round for us and another challenge but with Brad in this kind of form and Jack with potential we can be optimistic.”


Aleix and Maverick in the top ten in Qatar


Aleix Espargaró, protagonist throughout the weekend with a spot on the front row in Q2 and a podium finish in the Sprint Race, had his race conditioned by a lack of grip at the rear. The Spaniard was still able to contain the damage though, finishing eighth and clinching important championship points.

The script was similar to yesterday for Maverick, who lost a few positions in the initial melee and had to battle in the pack. Nevertheless, signs of improvement appeared, especially at the mid-race point when he began to improve his pace, closing the gap behind his adversaries. Viñales finished the race in tenth place.

"I can’t help but be pleased with today’s result after what we demonstrated throughout the weekend. Something wasn’t working in terms of grip at the rear from the first lap, so I wasn’t able to battle like yesterday. In any case, I am still leaving Qatar knowing that I have a competitive bike and, despite thinking I missed a good opportunity today, the championship has only just begun."

"Compared with yesterday, the feeling improved significantly. We still need to figure out which points we need to improve on – which are just small details anyway – but we still need to identify the right way forward. It was an interesting weekend that allowed us to collect important information anyway. I spent the race today behind various riders and various bikes, which let me identify our strong points and our weaknesses. One of the points to improve is undoubtedly managing rear tyre wear, which keeps me from being as fast as I’d like to be at the moment."


Johann Zarco takes points on Sunday race in Qatar

CASTROL Honda LCR rider Johann Zarco has finished 12th at the Lusail International Circuit.

After a difficult start to the race, Frenchman Zarco performed cleverly during the 21-lap distance: he studied the situation, pushed and fought against rivals, and overtook them on his way to battling for the Top 10 positions. He crossed the line 12th, grabbing the first points with LCR already in the first race, and he finished as the first Honda bike in the standings.

Johann Zarco 12th

“Today’s 12th position is proof that we’ve got potential. I’ve had fun during the race and being there in the fight means we can do a good job this season. Many thanks to the team for its work throughout the weekend; I know that step by step, we’ll reach our goals”.



#QatarGP. In Qatar’s Night of the Oscars, the stars of Mac and Alex Marquez shone bright. The #93, in what was his debut with the Gresini Racing-liveried Desmosedici machine, made a stellar start and put together a solid race, even battling with Martin for the podium in the latter stages of the encounter. He was eventually fourth at the chequered flag; Alex Marquez also had a positive Sunday, being the fifth best-placed Ducati rider at the line for a sixth position that bodes well for the upcoming races.

Between sprint race and full Sunday encounter, Team Gresini Racing MotoGP proved to be on scintillating form, leaving Qatar with 31 points, and finishing as second-best team in the opening round of the season. MotoGP proceedings will resume in less than 10 days at Portimão.


“I had a go at the podium. I wanted to preserve the front tyre in order to have a little extra at the end of the race, and almost bridged the gap to Martin. Almost, but it’s good this way. If at the Valencia test they’d told me I would have finished fourth today, I would have signed for it. This has never been one of my favourite circuits so fourth place is a good result. We will analyse the data now: Bagnaia finished three seconds ahead of us and he’s the reigning champion. It’s from him we need to learn to further raise the bar.”

“Qualifying aside, we put together a strong weekend. I managed to stay with the top riders in the race and play my cards. It was hard to attack, especially due to the high temperatures at the front-end. At this track, this is surely a good result, we bring home a good number of points and fresh confidence ahead of the next round.”

Tech 3


What an opening weekend at the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar it has been for Red Bull GASGAS Tech3, suddenly propelled into the media spotlight thanks to the performances of our new recruit and rookie sensation Pedro Acosta. The two-time World Champion of nineteen years old just lived his MotoGP™ dream at his fullest, after he completed his first-ever race in the main category. However, he did not ‘just complete it’, he was unbelievable and fought like he had been there for a few seasons already. Acosta claimed a brilliant P9 on Sunday in Doha after his eighth position in yesterday’s Tissot Sprint, while teammate Augusto Fernandez could not negotiate more than a P17, although small steps were made.

PEDRO ACOSTA. The hype is real. After an impressive pre-season, we knew that it would come down to the first race weekend of the season, but the boy did not disappoint at all. Qualified directly to Q2 on Saturday, P8 on the grid, P8 in the Tissot Sprint, Acosta went for more on Sunday as he lit up the MotoGP™ grid, fearless, fighting for the top positions against the big guns, and keeping us all on our toes. Where was he going to stop? When the lights went out at 20:00 (GMT+3) for the first time of the season, he lost a couple of positions to P10 after being a bit shaken by Jack Miller forcing his way, but he regained positions within two laps as he overtook Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Di Giannantonio. He rode a 1’52.657 on lap 2, his fastest lap, and the fastest of the race. Incredible. The next lap, he took on Ducati Factory rider Enea Bastianini to find his spot behind Alex Marquez. He was P6 on lap 3. But Acosta was not going to stop the fun there, right? Next was Alex Marquez, who he brilliantly picked off on lap 4. Next, the brother, Marc Marquez. The Shark was lapping faster than the eight-time world champion and progressively caught up with the #93, until he dived underneath the Gresini rider on lap 11. Fearless. He was P4 halfway through the race. He was caught back by the two brothers a few laps later, as his pace started to decelerate slightly. Bastianini, Di Giannantonio and Espargaro eventually caught back on the rookie who struggled a bit more within the final five laps, and he took the checkered flag in P9 after an incredible race. We already can't wait to see the next one.

On his side, Augusto Fernandez’ struggles continued to haunt him, after a pre-season far from ideal. He was starting from P18 again today following a tricky qualifying. When the lights went out, he managed a decent start to P16 within two laps, until P15 in lap 6 behind Alex Rins. The next lap was his fastest, 1’53.214, 0.557 seconds from the fastest race lap. He held his point-scoring position for a while, but eventually Marco Bezzecchi increased the pace and took over. A few laps before the end, Augusto’s rhythm dropped a bit more and he lost one more position to Miguel Oliveira. He finished P17, outside of the points, a disappointing result for Fernandez, but he came out with positives from today’s race, positives that he will bring to Portimao in two weeks, as Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 heads back to Europe for the Portuguese Grand Prix, on March 22-24, 2024.

Pedro Acosta

Position: 9th

Championship: 9th

Points: 9

"This first weekend was a dream for me, from the start to the end. Being on the grid, getting my first start, doing my first overtakes, keeping the pace with the big boys, doing many laps, getting a good feeling… Everything was unreal. The bike was working really well, I felt really confident and we enjoyed it a lot. Let’s keep working, because we are on the way! "
Repsol Honda
Top ten contention for positive Mir in Qatar GP

A mostly covert weekend for the Repsol Honda Team saw Joan Mir build steadily throughout the Qatar GP, able to challenge the top ten and collect clear data on where to improve in the coming races. Marini completed his first Grand Prix as a Repsol Honda Team rider with greater ambitions to come.

Optimism was the word of the day for Joan Mir who put together a consistent ride after the turmoil on the grid which saw the race distance reduced. An aggressive start had Mir immediately gaining positions from 17th on the grid and moving into the point scoring positions. From here, the Repsol Honda Team rider set his sights on Fabio Quartararo and the top ten with the pair briefly battling Maverick Viñales before focusing on each other. With five laps to go, Mir took an opportunity to break away and secure 11th but his charge would come just moments too soon and he would have Quartararo and Zarco with him again as the race came to a close.

Crossing the line in 13th and 18.4 seconds from the winner, the most important aspect was the positive feeling and comfort he felt with the Repsol Honda Team RC213V. Mir and the team are adamant that this is the positive first step in a year of improvements – a confidence building result for the 2020 MotoGP World Champion.

On the other side of the Repsol Honda Team garage, Luca Marini was able to author another race finish. As with the Sprint race, the Italian spent the reduced 21-lap race distance working to improve his sensations with the Honda and understand his new bike over longer runs. Initially dropping back from the rest of the field, Marini made the most of his situation to study the KTM of Jack Miller for the majority of the race.

Now the paddock will head for Portugal and round two at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, March 22 to March 24. Both Mir and Marini are looking forward to getting back out on track and continuing their progress.

Joan Mir

“We made a great race, honestly. I started well and recovered a lot of positions straight away. It’s been a long time since I was able to enjoy riding like that, so that is really positive. Starting at the back isn’t easy, but we made good ground to be with Fabio for most of the race. In the last five laps I felt like I had a little bit more than Quartararo, so I overtook him and made a gap of one second. Then in the last two laps we dropped a lot, and we lost some positions, which isn’t ideal. But still we are pleased with everything we have done and always learning.”

Luca Marini

“It’s encouraging to see the other Honda riders, and especially Mir, fighting for good positions. For us, it has been a continuation of our weekend today and we had a small issue which limited us in the race. I was able to understand a lot of things during the race which is very important, especially when I realized Miller was behind – I let him pass to study a little bit what he was doing. I think this will help us to understand more and more, to take some positives. We need time to keep trying things and getting more comfortable.”
— ends —
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