Author : cmunroe

We waited patiently. We were not disappointed. In fact, we were thrilled beyond belief! Moto 2 made it abundantly clear – if you plan to win, you have to be willing to endure the hotly contested, pulverizing battle all the way to the checkered flag. Every mm was crucial! In Moto 2 the dueling pair that crossed the line P-1 and P-2 were separated by two thousandths of a second! Nail-biting and jarring stuff. Just how we love it!


Triumph announced the arrival of the new Moto 2 era in the appropriate way – with a victory. The race was won by Lorenzo Baldassarri  – the first ever Triumph winner – notes for the history book. Baldassarri ran away early, but, the ride of the race, undoubtedly, was claimed by a rider who traveled on the MotoGP train in 2018 and scored a total of zero points!

But, at the first Round of the 2019 Moto 2 season, Thomas Luthi borrowed hot-knife-through-butter mode, blazed a fiery trail and wrestled with Baldassarri in the closing laps. It was a firecracker of a race. Lorenzo prevailed.

Lorenzo won the Moto 2 race. Was that a sign for what was to happen in MotoGP?

The Losail International Circuit in Qatar was the Colosseum. The gladiators had their first bust-up in qualifying. Crowd-favorite Rossi was struggling. Lorenzo was not at his best – expected. ‘Dovi’ remained realistic – said he was not the fastest – but sat at P-2. A poker trick? Marquez salvaged pride – P-3. Vinales wielded the Barrett M82 – P-1!

The stage was aptly decorated -spectacular Qatar – cataclysmic jolts were anticipated when the lights reneged on their purpose!


Before the race even began, the rookie, Quartararo, was crippled by the moment and forced to start from pit-lane. ‘Dovi’ was in a no-nonsense mood though and seized the hole-shot. Vinales, like a deck of cards, was shuffled immediately. Jack Miller ascended and Marquez remained relevant. Vinales, in the early segment was aboard a horror movie – he plummeted! Quartararo went into beast-mode, recovered from his egg-in-the-face moment and clicked rapid laps. Rossi made small steps to the front.

Rins sliced his way to the front, but, Dovi’s Ducati was a brutal bully! A monster -  6th gear, 300 plus km/hr – Rins was a statue – motionless! Suzuki needs some jerk in the sauce! The Suzuki is obviously agile. Lacks pace?

With 11 laps to go, after several lead-swaps, Dovi, Marquez, Petrucci and Rins tried to break from the pack, but it appeared as if the fight would be really between Dovi and Marquez. Where was the much touted Lorenzo? Invisible!


Rossi continued his forward march, but, as the laps dwindled, the obvious came to the fore – it was 2018 all over again. Marquez has shown that he rejects any notion of finishing second and the manner in which he rides conveys that at all times. At Qatar he attacked early. Dovi was ready. Marquez attacked again. Dovi was still ready. We wanted the Ultimate Showdown and MotoGP 2019, Round 1, at magnificent Qatar, delivered immensely. Marquez was tenacious, but, Dovi was a sleuth, confident, cunning and calculating.

With 2 laps to go Dovi made a ‘vibranium’ mistake – rare -lol. Marquez accepted the lead. Dovi held his nerve and on the start-finish straight the Ducati – the ogre of a machine it is – exploded! Marquez was reduced to a creep as the raucous Ducati went by!

Marquez assembled his missiles. On the final lap, he fired at will. Dovi countered. Dovi led. Marquez rebelled. Marquez in his typical fashion, forced the issue and pushed ahead, but it was brief. Dovi was callous and fearless. It was his view, that at Losail, he was the boss! Marquez remained on the ragged edge – exposing, yet again, his exceptional ability to restrain an enraged Spanish bull – his MotoGP machine!

In 2018, we saw Marc’s final push to pass at the final corner, so we knew that move was in the bag. Dovi knew that as well. And like all the other occasions – he was ready. Marc’s final reach for P1 came and with a subtle, avoid-move, Dovi prevented disaster, recovered quickly and dived ahead of Marquez. Approaching the finish-line, it was Dovi in front and Marquez locked in contortions, urging his HCR Honda forward. But, as it was in 2018, 2019 played the same numbers – Dovi – P-1 and Marquez – P-2, separated by an atom at the line!

How did Cal Crutchlow claim P-3? Rossi clinched 5th! Try this, to measure Lorenzo’s performance. Lorenzo’s finished 13th! Quartararo, the rookie, who started from pit-lane, finished 16th!


That question can be answered some other time. This, is certain, at the Losail International Circuit, Dovizioso is better than Marc Marquez!

Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer

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