Qatar MotoGP 2019 – Rider Quotes


Andrea Dovizioso – P1

“I’m super happy about this win, especially because after the tests I wouldn’t have expected to be so fast. We stayed focused and we made progress in each session. Our strategy in the race was simply to preserve the tyre, and this made the difference, but it wasn’t easy because I led for most of the race and I couldn’t really study my opponents. Marquez gave it everything he could, as usual, and pushed me to the limit. We made the most of our strenghths, that is, acceleration and top speed, but we still need to improve our corner speed. This year there are plenty of quick riders and it’ll be crucial not to lose too many points on less favorable tracks. We need to keep our feet on the ground and continue working in this direction.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Marc Marquez – P2

“It was exactly the same as last year! I tried to push hard but here when you overtake you just run wide and you can’t keep the line. I tried to be there, to push a little and just be there until the end. I’m very happy with these 20 points because normally we struggle here and this weekend especially we worked a lot. We changed some things that meant I couldn’t push like I normally do in braking. But we finished the race and take good points.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Marquez Dovi
Marc Marquez – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Cal Crutchlow – P3

“It’s great to even be back racing in MotoGP, let alone come away with a podium finish, but my LCR Honda Castrol Team did a great job. We worked hard this weekend because the tests were a bit of a waste of time for me. This weekend has been difficult, and if you had asked me after warm-up if I’d finish on the podium I would have laughed! I played my cards in the race, I felt good and once we started the race myself and Marc Marquez had similar tactics – saving the rear tyre and managing things a little bit more. What a great start to the season for everybody, for my team, for the riders and the fans here in Qatar and for the people watching at home. It seems every race in MotoGP is always a battle and it was nice to be in it and race and get a podium. It’s a dream to be honest. At one point we didn’t know if I was going to be coming back at all.”

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Friday Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Alex Rins – P4

“It was an incredible start to the season, it shows all the hard work we’ve done in the winter. The race pace was quite slow and I was constantly trying to get to the front to pull a gap, but Dovi and Marquez overtook me down the straight and it was difficult. We know this isn’t our best track but I felt good and we’re all pleased with this result.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Alex Rins
Alex Rins – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Valentino Rossi – P5

“We worked hard from yesterday to today, we modified the setting of the bike, also for the race we made some other adjustments. We worked well and I’m happy, it was a good race. I felt good with the bike today and I also enjoyed coming from the back, so it’s not so bad. I arrived in fifth, that’s good, especially because I’m 0.6s from the victory, but at this track we are always good. We have to keep working because in some other places maybe we’ll have more problems, but we’ll take this result. I tried to get on the podium, but I was not strong enough.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Danilo Petrucci – P6

“My sixth place is still positive because we scored important points for the championship. Unfortunately, I was hindered by a less than optimal start, but the race pace wasn’t very fast and I was able to recover positions quite quickly. Still, I struggled to pass other riders and push hard in braking. In retrospect, choosing the soft tyre for both the front and rear was a gamble, but we expected the temperatures to drop further and we also weren’t as fast as usual on the straight. That said, the championship has just begun and I’m confident we’ll bounce back soon.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Maverick Vinales – P7

“At the start I got a lot of wheelie, I couldn’t keep the gas fully open and I missed the inside a little bit, so I couldn’t keep a good line. Obviously, we have to improve the bike. When I’m alone I can do really good lap times, even in the middle of the race I could ride 1’55s-lows on my own, but as soon as I’m behind another rider I suffer this lack of grip on the rear, and I couldn’t attack and overtake. We have to improve, and so do I. We need to keep working. The positive point is that we now know where we have to improve, and this is very important.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Joan Mir – P8

“I’m so happy about the race. We showed good pace in FP4 and I was able to bring this speed to the race. I learned a lot from the top guys and this was one of the most important and interesting things about this race for me. It was a shame that my tyre went off a bit at the end so I was unable to push more, but anyway, I hope to continue this way – improving race by race, and trying to stay with the front guys.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Joan Mir
Alex Rins – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Takaaki Nakagami – P9

“It was a bit of a struggle today, but I’m really comfortable on the bike and, especially at the start of the race, I felt really strong. Last year, I struggled to get the speed I wanted after the start, but this time there was a real improvement I think. After that I was a little bit disturbed by (Joan) Mir and (Jack) Miller during the race. After that I tried to overtake them and maintain my rhythm and, in the end, the lap time was quite good. The race was good and I’m really happy to finish in the top 10, of course we can still improve but, for the first race, P9 is not so bad. The team looks happy so I’m happy as well!”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Aleix Espargaro – P10

“Not bad at all! Finishing in the top ten for the first race is definitely positive. Since I started well, I tried to stay up with the leaders. Our engine is now competitive, especially in the top gears, and I have good speed on the straight, but with the new tyre, I never had good traction. Then, grip started to drop for everyone, I felt very competitive. It’s a shame that we lost a lot of time overtaking Miller, but when I did, I was also able to get past Morbidelli and finish in the top ten. We can build our growth on this good result.”

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Friday Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Franco Morbidelli – P11

“I would split my race tonight into two parts. The first half was good despite a bad start, because I was able to recover positions easily, run with the front group and manage the tyres. Unfortunately, we made a bad choice with the rear tyre and went for the soft option when the majority of riders went for the medium. I had to make the tyre last for as long as I could, but from around the halfway stage I started to struggle to stay with the group. It is a shame because we had the pace to finish higher up and we worked really well, being reasonably strong throughout the weekend, so we need to focus on the positives and keep this dynamic going in Argentina.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Pol Espargaro – P12

“A mix of feelings but we must be happy because the gap to first place is not so far. We were close…but we also finished twelfth. It feels like it’s good, but also that it’s not enough. When you are close to the top guys you start to look what is going on and thinking about where we lose such a small gap per lap. I think we are talking 0.3 per lap: it is not much. I think it is in some acceleration. We are so close but twelve seconds away.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Jorge Lorenzo – P13

“There are many positive things today even if where we finished is not what we thought we could achieve. I was very limited by the crash yesterday, it was a very big impact everywhere and especially on my shoulder. It limited everything. From then, I was always slower than at the start of the weekend. I had some problems in the opening laps and lost about three or four seconds there. Without doubt we have much more potential and if we’re not unlucky we can be stronger.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Andrea Iannone – P14

“Overall, it was a positive race. On my début with Aprilia, we finished 14 seconds behind the leader and that means that we worked well. There was no lack of difficulties: on the first turn I lost the left winglet due to contact and that certainly didn’t help. I am pleased, we improve every time we go out onto the track and a team of skilled people who believe in me has my back. These are fundamental ingredients that allow me to be positive. We are on the right path.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Johann Zarco – P15

“The beginning of the race was pretty good. I was controlling the bike well and the others were not much stronger than me. It was a good way to analyse the performance of the others. I’m happy because I expected to have some struggles but I saw other riders were also having problems: I know at the moment we don’t have the package for winning, not even for the top five but with good work and good control I really trust that a top ten is possible and that is the target throughout the year. Let’s see in Argentina if I can catch it. I wanted it here but because of the up-and-down of Friday and Saturday finally I was not ready. That is part of experience, and doing 22 laps in a row was really important and the first time we do it. I have a factory team and I know they have the quality to make a strong analysis of this race.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Fabio Quartararo – P16

“I made a mistake before the start, which was a shame, but it is better to make mistakes at the start of the season rather than in the middle. The first lap was very difficult because the tyres were still cold so I had to really concentrate under braking, I stayed calm and was very careful until the tyres got up to temperature before I increased my rhythm and pushed. I struggled a little towards the end of the race but I am happy with the job we have done here during the weekend and also at the test. The biggest thing I learned from my first Grand Prix is that it is much harder to overtake in this category than it is in Moto2 and Moto3, but we did learn a lot during the race. I want to thank the team for all their support during my first Grand Prix in this category. Now I can’t wait for the next one.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Miguel Oliveira – P17

“The race was quite interesting. I was trying to keep up with this little group of Aleix Esparagaro and Taka Nakagami and after seven, eight laps to go I felt a big drop of tyre, I had a lot of sliding with vibration on the rear, so I honestly thought the tyre was going to explode. Obviously, I couldn’t do much. I’m disappointed, because I knew I could have finished in the points. It was quite hard to manage it, but anyway, I’m glad we finished the race, I had good fun and gathered some good information.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Hafizh Syahrin – P20

“It has been a difficult race for me. We have a big gap to the front and I don’t know how to explain it well. I couldn’t keep the pace and while I played with the electronics the gap got bigger and bigger. To be honest, I’m slow at the moment and I don’t have the confidence to push more. I try to learn from today’s race and improve further. I’m disappointed with myself, but we keep on working hard, we are patient and I hope it’s coming soon.”

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Friday Hafizh Syahrin
Hafozh Syahrin – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Pecco Bagnaia – DNF

“I got off to a good start taking a line that allowed me to gain positions. In the first corner, however, there was a very aggressive overtaking on Petrucci who touched me breaking the right wing. I tried but it was impossible to continue. It was a good weekend in which we worked well and the first laps were important to understand how the others ride”.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Qualifying Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Jack Miller – DNF

“It’s a real shame because we went very fast through the whole weekend and I was convinced that I could stay with the leading group until the end. Unfortunately, after the problem with the seat, I couldn’t control the bike in the corners and it was impossible to keep on. All things considered, the feeling is still positive and I can’t wait to be in Argentina”.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Jack Miller
Jack Miller – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Bradley Smith – DNF

“It was not the weekend finale that we expected. As we had already figured during the tests, after the first 5 laps in which I felt very good, we inevitably began to lose ground. During the final laps, I tried to pick up the pace a bit, but I crashed on turn 1. We’ll need to analyse this behaviour well. We have some ideas about it already and we’ll start working on it as early as the next tests in Jerez.”


Team Managers

Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse General Manager

“We couldn’t have started the season off in a better way. Hats off to Dovizioso, who rode a clever race, without making mistakes, preserving the tyres and managing the situation until the very last corner, where he played his cards wisely. Thanks also to the team, who worked hard all winter to make sure we were ready for Qatar. We’ll keep putting in the same effort to allow both our riders to be protagonists in the next races.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“After yesterday’s qualifying, the team worked really hard to prepare something for Vale to give him a better feeling for the race. He did a great job riding to fifth place, especially considering that he had to come through mid-pack, which is always a bit chaotic. He was only 0.600s off the race win. Coming from 14th on the grid, that is a solid achievement. It’s a shame Maverick couldn’t exploit his pole position today. His rhythm in the middle and towards the end of the race was pretty good, but unfortunately the rear tyre he used in the race was performing less when he was riding behind another rider. We will try to find out what the reason is for this change. These are not the results we were hoping for at the opening round, but it’s an indication of where we can improve. We will regroup and learn from this GP weekend and this race day, to prepare for the next round in three weeks’ time.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Wilco Zeelenberg – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager

“I want to start off by thanking the team for their excellent work throughout preseason and here at the first round of the season. Everything went really well up until the race. I think that’s the best way to summarise the Qatar GP! Fabio [Quartararo] stalled the bike on the grid and had to start from pit lane. Unfortunately, it was a small mistake that had a big consequence. However, he didn’t throw in the towel and he put together a strong pace in the race, making it up to sixteenth. Morbidelli didn’t have an easy start, dropping from 8th to 12th on the first lap. Then he had to push to recover, whilst managing the tyres, but after fifteen laps the left side was very worn and the performance dropped off, losing speed and a lot of time under acceleration. 11th and 16th position was not what we were hoping for from this GP, but considering the exceptionally high level of this championship and the difficulties we ran into on Sunday, we can be proud of the job we did.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Davide Brivio – Suzuki ECSTAR Team Manager

“It has been a great race and we were very close to the front – fighting for the win for the whole race. Alex did a great job and achieved a lot, despite the fact that our bike suffers a bit on the straight. We feel very positive because this isn’t our best track but we still had a very good result. Joan put together an incredible debut, we hoped he would be in with a group so he could learn, and it turned out he was in the best possible group to get important lessons! He made some great moves and fought with the fastest guys.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Rins
Alex Rins – Qatar MotoGP 2019
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“Round one and generally we are really happy to have four bikes on the grid and have all four finish: this sounds like something quite easy but it is not always like that. Both Pol and Johann were quite happy with the performance of the bike and we know we have to improve our package and continue to grow. When we first came here we were thirty seconds from the race winner and we have to be realistic. This was never an easy track for us but in the middle of the race we were only 5-6 seconds away and this is very motivating for everybody in the team to keep pushing. We have eighteen more races now and we will try often as possible to get into these top ten positions.”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco – Qatar MotoGP 2019

Qatar MotoGP Race Results

PosRiderNationBikeTime/Gap
1Andrea DoviziosoITADucati42’36.902
2Marc MarquezSPAHonda+0.023
3Cal CrutchlowGBRHonda+0.320
4Alex RinsSPASuzuki+0.457
5Valentino RossiITAYamaha+0.600
6Danilo PetrucciITADucati+2.320
7Maverick ViñalesSPAYamaha+2.481
8Joan MirSPASuzuki+5.088
9Takaaki NakagamiJPNHonda+7.406
10Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia+9.636
11Franco MorbidelliITAYamaha+9.647
12Pol EspargaroSPAKTM+12.774
13Jorge LorenzoSPAHonda+14.307
14Andrea IannoneITAAprilia+14.349
15Johann ZarcoFRAKTM+15.093
16Fabio QuartararoFRAYamaha+15.905
17Miguel OliveiraPORKTM+16.377
18Karel AbrahamCZEDucati+22.972
19Tito RabatSPADucati+23.039
20Hafizh SyahrinMALKTM+43.242
Not Classified
/Bradley SmithGBRAprilia2 Laps
/Jack MillerAUSDucati10 Laps
/Francesco BagnaiaITADucati13 Laps

 

MotoGP Championship Standings

PosRiderBikeNationPoints
1Andrea DoviziosoDucatiITA25
2Marc MarquezHondaSPA20
3Cal CrutchlowHondaGBR16
4Alex RinsSuzukiSPA13
5Valentino RossiYamahaITA11
6Danilo PetrucciDucatiITA10
7Maverick ViñalesYamahaSPA9
8Joan MirSuzukiSPA8
9Takaaki NakagamiHondaJPN7
10Aleix EspargaroApriliaSPA6
11Franco MorbidelliYamahaITA5
12Pol EspargaroKTMSPA4
13Jorge LorenzoHondaSPA3
14Andrea IannoneApriliaITA2
15Johann ZarcoKTMFRA1
16Fabio QuartararoYamahaFRA0
17Miguel OliveiraKTMPOR0
18Karel AbrahamDucatiCZE0
19Tito RabatDucatiSPA0
20Hafizh SyahrinKTMMAL0
21Bradley SmithApriliaGBR0
22Jack MillerDucatiAUS0
23Francesco BagnaiaDucatiITA0