Pol Espargaro showed off the incredible potential of the new Repsol Honda Team RC213V with a brilliant third place finish ahead of Marc Marquez, who with a fifth place finish sees the Repsol Honda Team leading the Teams’ World Championship. Leading most of the race with Marquez close behind, Espargaro proved the potential of himself and the new package from Honda HRC. The Qatar weekend as a whole has been hugely positive and productive for both sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage as Espargaro and Marquez consistently ran with front-running pace.

There was no missing the power and precision of the Repsol Honda Team RC213V off the line as Pol Espargaro rocketed forward to lead from sixth on the grid, teammate Marc Marquez, who has started third, tucking in just behind him after the first corner. The pair settled into a steady rhythm in the opening laps as the MotoGP field fought behind them.

Espargaro’s pace didn’t relent as he steadily worked his way further forward, opening up an advantage of a full second towards the middle of the race. On lap 11 of 22, the #44 set his fastest lap of the race as he tried to maintain his lead. Expecting another kind of race all together, Espargaro spent the closing stages of the Qatar GP managing his tyres and fuel and soon found himself with Enea Bastianini for company. As the young Italian passed on the start of lap 18, the extra speed from his slipstream sent Espargaro wide at the first corner – ending his challenge for victory and seeing Espargaro hold steady for third.

This is Espargaro’s second podium finish with the Repsol Honda Team. Having led 17 laps today, Espargaro more than doubles the amount of race laps led in his MotoGP career. This is Espargaro’s best result in Qatar and his first podium finish at the opening round.

After his lightning start, Marquez held strong as the likes of Brad Binder, Joan Mir and Bastianini piled on the pressure in the opening laps. Wanting more from the front tyre, the #93 lapped in the high 1’54s for most of the race as he defended his position in the top three. Taking home a safe fifth place when the flag came out positions Marquez well for the rest of the year, the eight-time World Champion knowing full well that seasons aren’t won at the first race.

Now the MotoGP World Championship prepares to head back to the Mandalika circuit in Indonesia for Round Two on March 20. The race will see MotoGP return to Indonesia for the first time since 1997, when Tadyuki Okada won the 500cc race on his NSR500 from Repsol Honda Team teammate Mick Doohan and Alex Criville.

Pol Espargaro

Third

“It’s a great way to start the year, we made an incredible start and we were able to lead most of the race. Honestly speaking, we were not expecting a race like this and with the pace we had, so at the end we were really on the limit. It’s an incredible feeling to start the year like this, of course I am disappointed that when Bastianini passed me I got sucked into the slipstream and I ran wide, dropping to third. But still we have to be pleased to start the year like this at a track where I normally do not go well at and in the past has not been the best track for Honda. I wanted to show my potential and today I was able to do it. Much of the glory today has to go to Honda HRC, for all their hard work over the winter in Japan to build this new bike and allowing me to show my true potential.”

Marc Marquez

Fifth

“Honestly speaking the pace today was just too fast, the speed coming from Pol and the guys at the front was amazing. I did my maximum today and managed everything we had to, it’s the start of a new season and I thought to start with a top five is good for today. Today was not our day as I was struggling with the front tyre, so we kept calm. Of course, we need to keep working. I am happy for Pol and really happy for Honda HRC, this result shows all the work they have been doing and the potential of this new bike.”

MotoGP 2022
Race Round 1   Qatar

Qatar Grand Prix Race Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA 25 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 42'13.198
2 Binder Brad 33 RSA 20 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.346
3 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA 16 Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.351
4 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA 13 Aprilia Racing Aprilia 2.242
5 Marquez Marc 93 SPA 11 Repsol Honda Team Honda 4.099
6 Mir Joan 36 SPA 10 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 4.843
7 Rins Alex 42 SPA 9 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 8.810
8 Zarco Johann 5 FRA 8 Pramac Racing Ducati 10.536
9 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA 7 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 10.543
10 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN 6 LCR Honda Honda 14.967
11 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA 5 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 16.712
12 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA 4 Aprilia Racing Aprilia 23.216
13 Marini Luca 10 ITA 3 Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 27.283
14 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA 2 WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 27.374
15 Gardner Remy 87 AUS 1 Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 41.107
16 Binder Darryn 40 RSA 0 WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 41.119
17 Di Giannantonio Fabio 49 ITA 0 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 41.349
18 Fernandez Raul 25 SPA 0 Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 42.357
19 Martin Jorge 89 SPA 0 Pramac Racing Ducati DNF
20 Bagnaia Francesco 62 ITA 0 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati DNF
21 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM DNF
22 Marquez Alex 73 SPA 0 LCR Honda Honda DNF
23 Bezzecchi Marco 73 ITA 0 Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati DNF
24 Miller Jack 43 AUS 0 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati DNF
Location Information

The fabulous Lusail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event – the Marlboro Grand… read more.

Length 5.380 kilometres / 3.343 miles
Width 12 metres
Left corners 6
Right corners 10
Longest straight 1.068 kilometres / 0.664 miles
Constructed 2004

Losail International Circuit, Al Daayen, Qatar - View in Google Maps

www.circuitlosail.com

Records

Pole Position 1m 52.772s (171.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)
Race Lap 1m 54.624s (168.9 km/h) Maverick Viñales (Yamaha,2021)
Race Time 42m13.198 (168.2km/h) Enea Bastianini (Ducati, 2022)
2022 Race Winner Enea Bastianini (Ducati)