Fabio di Giannantonio passes Francesco Bagnaia to register his first MotoGP win in Qatar GP with Luca Marini in third.
It was a dream start for Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia in the MotoGP race in Qatar GP to lead from fourth ahead of pole-sitter Luca Marini in the VR46 Ducati machine. Gresini Ducati’s Fabio di Giannantonio was third from teammate Alex Marquez.
Honda’s Marc Marquez was fifth from KTM’s Brad Binder with Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco in seventh from teammate Jorge Martin who had a poor start to drop two places. Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales was ninth from VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi in the Top 10.
LCR Honda’s Iker Lecuona had issues with the bike, as the front saw Bagnaia continue to lead from Marini but A Marquez passed di Giannantonio for third while Binder passed M Marquez for fifth. Zarco was asked to move aside but he had a wide moment himself.
It helped Martin to be seventh but Vinales got through to for eighth with Zarco in ninth from Bezzecchi. The podium fight continued as di Giannantonio re-passed A Marquez to take third and then made an aggressive move to clear Marini for second.
Marini then lost to Binder and A Marquez to be fifth, as Binder passed him and along with M Marquez and A Marquez to be third. A Marquez was fourth as M Marquez dropped to seventh after Martin cleared him to move up to sixth but still lacked pace.
At the front, Bagnaia held onto the lead but di Giannantonio pressured him well with Binder, A Marquez and Marini not far behind. But Martin started to lose out as Vinales passed him for sixth with M Marquez also getting through him.
But M Marquez’s wide moment allowed Martin to get back to seventh. Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo was eighth after passing both Zarco and M Marquez. The misery for Martin continued on as Quartararo and even KTM’s Jack Miller passed him to drop him to ninth.
Miller too had cleared Zarco and even Martin to be eighth. The two Pramac riders, though, managed to be clear of M Marquez who dropped to 11th from Ducati’s Enea Bastianini. His teammate Bagnaia still managed to keep di Giannantonio behind.
But Binder had A Marquez, Marini and Vinales in the fight for third. Both A Marquez and Marini exchanged places but the VR46 rider had the last laugh to be fourth. He didn’t waste much time and passed Binder to move back into the podium places in third.
Binder lost to both A Marquez and Vinales to drop to sixth, as Vinales was up to fourth after passing A Marquez. But Binder came back on A Marquez to take fifth as Quartararo was seventh from Bastianini, who passed M Marquez, Zarco, Martin and Miller to be eighth.
Miller was ninth with Martin dropping to 10th from Zaco and M Marquez. At the front, di Giannantonio seemingly got an instruction to hold position from Ducati but he still went for it and took the Qatar GP lead from Bagnaia, who tried to fight back.
But he went wide in a heart pouncing moment but held second from Marini. It was like that in the end as di Giannantonio took his first MotoGP win in Qatar GP, with the Italian for now having just the one premier class race remaining in his career with no ride for 2024 sorted.
Bagnaia settled for second with Marini in third from Vinales, Binder, A Marquez as Quartararo held onto seventh despite Bastianini’s pressure with Miller in ninth from Martin who fended off M Marquez in the end. The Spaniard was hit late by Zarco which held him.
VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi was 13th from Honda’s Joan Mir and GASGAS Tech 3’s Augusto Fernandez in the Top 15 points places. Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli was 16th from lone RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez after his teammate Miguel Oliveira was out injured, with Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro in 18th and LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami in 19th.