It was the time. First race weekend of the season came. It all happened in Qatar. In the place where rains just occasionally. Actually that was what most of the people thought. But the riders were so unlucky with the weather. It was rainy already a week earlier when riders were there for the pre-season test. This test had to be cancelled.
Nothing much has changed for the race weekend. At least they could do some laps on Thurdsay and also on Friday. But it was so rainy on Saturday. It was very wet and it wasn’t safe for the riders to go to ride on that kind of track. So the qualification was cancelled. Starting grid was made from the combined free practises results.
So it meant that Jorge Martín was on pole position for the first time in his Moto3 career. Philipp Oettl and Romano Fenati was on the front row as well.
Bo Bendsneyder, Niccoló Antonelli and Joan Mir started from the second row while the third row was comprised of Andrea Migno, Aron Canet and Juanfran Guevara.
Jorge Martín went in the lead after the race started. Joan Mir was behind him, also Oettl, Antonelli, Migno, Canet, Guevara, Fenati and some others were there.
First crasher of the season in the races was Bo Bendsneyder. But from the available replays it looked like it was not only his mistake. Looked like someone knocked him out when he hit his bike from behind.
Meanwhile, on front there was a group of 12 riders and the order was changing very often. You know, typical Moto3 race.
Albert Areans crashed and later also Oettl and Guevara was in a collision with each other.
A few laps before the end of the race also Patrik Pulkkinen, who was racing last with quite a big gap, crashed. Then Marco Bezzecchi crashed too but he re-joined the race.
The battle for the victory started to be serious as it was coming til the end of the race. Joan Mir, Romano Fenati, Jorge Martín, Fabio Di Giannantonio, these looked very strong. Also John McPhee was there with them. Some other riders were behind but it didn’t look like they would involve in this fight.
In the end Joan Mir was able to escape by a few tenths and it was enough to keep it until the finish line. John McPhee gained second place and the poleman Martín was third.
Great start of the season for all three of them. Of course, victory is a victory but P2 for McPhee in the new British Talen Team is really huge achievement. And if I am right it’s his first podium finish on dry track. Podium for Martín is also very important and big achievement.
Aron Canet was 4th, Romano Fenati, who is back in this class after last year’s problems, was 5th, Andrea Migno 6th. Niccoló Antonelli didn’t come up to expectations as he was P7. Of course, it’s good, he scored some valuable points but for Ajo rider you just expect something more.
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Marco Ramírez and Adam Norrodin completed the top 10. Good start to the season with top 10 finish for Ramírez and Norrodin.
Please notice that Ayumu Sasaki was 11th. He is the 2016 Red Bull Rookies Cup Champion and it’s good debut in Moto3 for him.
Livio Loi was only 12th, Darryn Binder scored some points as he was 13th, Nicolo Bulega only 14th and Tatsuki Suzuki was 15th.
If you want to look at the whole results list you find it at the official MotoGP website.
The Championship standings is of course same as the race results.
Next race weekend will be 7th – 9th April and it will take place in Argentina.