Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP 2018 Qatar MotoGP Recap | 'After the Flag' Video Commentary

2018 Qatar MotoGP Recap | ‘After the Flag’ Video Commentary

2018 Qatar MotoGP Recap: Round 1

For 2018, MotoGP and its lineup of commentaries – Steve Day, Matt Birt and Simon Crafar – have launched a new series titled “After the Flag.”

This is much better than the typical official MotoGP video recap of under two minutes. Now, we get some insight from those closest to MotoGP.

The new “After the Flag” series, embedded below, began at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, which launched the opening round of 2018 MotoGP this past weekend.

The action was intense from the opening day of practice. Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who finished runner-up in 2017 MotoGP behind eventual four-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), was quickest Friday.

But come Saturday Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco claimed the pole with a record lap. The Frenchman then led 16 of the opening 17 laps on race day, but experienced tire-wear issues, dropping him back to eighth, where he eventually finished.

Dovizioso, who qualified fifth, was less aggressive from the outset, taking his time to pass LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa within the opening 10 laps of the 22-lap MotoGP.

He then battled with Marquez, and the two passed Zarco at the first corner of lap 18. From there the two dueled to the finish line, and Dovi’s Ducati GP18 had more on Qatar’s straight to claim the win by 0.027 of a second. Claiming a lonely third was nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who finished 0.797 of a second behind Dovizioso, and over two seconds ahead of Crutchlow.

2018 Qatar MotoGP Recap | 'After the Flag' Video Commentary
Ducati’s Dovizioso battles with Honda’s Marquez at Qatar MotoGP

“I’m really happy with this win because we have confirmed the improvements made over the winter and I was able to manage the race well, even though I made a really bad start,” Andrea Dovizioso says.

“On the first lap I had to come off the gas, otherwise I would have crashed into Rins I think, but then I began to make up places, trying not to ruin the tyres.. Towards the end, after passing Zarco, I tried to pull out a gap on Marquez and Rossi but I didn’t have any more grip and was unable to increase my lead.

“At the last curve I had to be very careful because I knew that Marquez would try and pass me, and that’s how it went. He closed the door on me even more than in Austria and Japan, but I passed him on the inside of the curb and then took advantage of the power of my Desmosedici to stay ahead. Once again it was a great satisfaction!”

MotoGP now breaks for two weeks ahead of the Grand Prix of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo, a track that was dominated last year by Movistar MotoGP Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

2019 Motegi MotoGP Results: Champ Marquez Claims Win #10

Two weeks after clinching the 2019 MotoGP Championship in Thailand, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez was once again unstoppable at 2019 Motegi MotoGP.

2020 Suzuki GSX250R and GSX250R ABS Buyer’s Guide: Specs & Price

The smallest sport motorcycle in the 2020 Suzuki lineup, the GSX250R offers big-bike features such as a full fairing, fuel injection, electric cooling, and optional ABS.

BMW K 1600 GT, GLT & B Motorcycle Recall: Transmission Issues

BMW K 1600 GTL & K 1600 B Recall BMW of North America is recalling 4,672 of its 2017-2020 K 1600 GT sport-touring motorcycles, and...

2019 Monster Energy Cup Supercross Results: Las Vegas

2019 Monster Energy Cup Supercross Results: Cianciarulo Wins In 450 Debut With three riders—Adam Cianciarulo, Malcolm Stewart, and Eli Tomac—tied for the lead going into the...

Kawasaki SuperBike Club Racer: Spec Bike Test

Race-Ready 300-pound Ninja 400 From Norton Motorsports Back in late 2017, I found myself twisting the throttle of the then all-new Kawasaki Ninja 400 around...

2019 Monster Energy Cup Guide: Supercross In Las Vegas

2019 Monster Energy Cup Guide: How To Watch, Plus Rider Quotes and News Supercross returns to Las Vegas for the 2019 Monster Energy Cup, giving fans...