Viñales Draws First Blood
Maverick Viñales hasn't been far from the headlines in the motorcycling world in the last few months - dazzling everyone with how quickly he has adapted to the Movistar Yamaha. He had made his intentions to be 2017 World Champion clear heading into the weekend, and todays victory in Qatar will remove any doubt in anyone's mind that he has the pace and talent to go all the way.
Rain had been an issue throughout the weekend and once more it prevented the race from starting on time. After much inspection and further delays the action began, but it wasn't Maverick that got the holeshot.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Johann Zarco streaked off in the lead, with Dovi, Marquez and Iannone trying to keep pace. His excitement was shortlived however, with the Frenchman crashing out of contention and starting his season with no points to his name - however his pace and confidence shocked many. He's going to be one to watch this year, so long as he gains consistency and keeps his confidence he will stand to have a fantastic rookie season in the premier class.
Viñales and Rossi were able to work their way up and before long were nipping at Dovi's heels for the lead. Viñales snatched victory on the very last lap, pushing the Italian back to second and Rossi making up the podium.
Marquez finished fourth, followed by fellow Factory Honda rider Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro making a fantastic Aprilia debut. Redding, Miller, Rins and Folger made up the top ten.
27.03.2017 - Big Ed