2014 Qatar MotoGP Race Result: A Battle Of (And By) The Ages

Results Below:


Marc Marquez won a thrilling, 13-lap battle with Valentino Rossi to take the first race of the 2014 MotoGP season at the Losail Circuit in Qatar.  Rossi, who started 10th on the grid, took second after a charge through the field and several late-race lead swaps with the eventual winner.

Dani Pedrosa took third after a multi-lap fight with Alvaro Bautista.

Bautista was one of several solo crashers including former world champion Jorge Lorenzo who low-sided at turn 15 while leading the first lap. Bradley Smith crashed out while in a comfortable in fifth late in the race. Stefan Bradl dumped his Honda on turn six while leading eight laps into the race with Marquez and Rossi on his tail.

Aleix Espargaro, the story of free practice and pre seasion testing on his open class Yamaha, made up for a lousy start to climb into fourth by race's end. Factory Ducati teammates Andrea Dovizioso (5th) and Cal Crutchlow (6th) both rode steady races to give the Italian company one of its best team finishes in two years. Scott Redding arrived in seventh in his MotoGP debut after a seesaw battle with Nicky Hayden (8th). Colin Edwards -- Espargaro's Forward Racing teammate -- rode his open class Yamaha into ninth, just ahead of satellite Ducati racer Andrea Iannone. The Italian known as "Crazy Joe" was among the leaders early but also crashed. However, Iannone remounted and fought his way back into 10th.

But the story of the night was the epic, lengthy fight between the 35-year-old, seven-time MotoGP champion and the 21-year-old reigning champion and wunderkind.

At the start of the race, neither of the two were out front. But Marquez quickly began cutting through the field, moving from fifth to second behind Bradl, who had clamed the top-spot after Lorenzo's crash. Rossi took a bit more time to get through the pack and found himself in fourth place with 17 laps to go. Rossi picked off Bautista and settled into third behind Marquez. After Bradl's crash, it was Marquez and Rossi out front with 13 laps remaining.

Soon after, Rossi passed Marquez at turn six. By this time Pedrosa also had passed Bautisa and moved into third. Nine laps from the end, Marquez pulled out of Rossi's slipstream on the front straight and passed him at turn one.

Wth two laps remaining, Rossi pushed past Marquez at turn four. Marquez returned the favor at turn six. At turn seven, Rossi attempted an inside pass but Marquez shut the door. At turn 10, Rossi again dove to the inside and briefly passed the younger rider only to run slightly wide and lose the position.

Marquez held on for the win by two tenths of a second.

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time / Diff.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 42'40.561
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 0.259
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 3.37
4 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Forward Yamaha 11.623
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 12.159
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Ducati 28.526
7 45 Scott REDDING Honda 32.593
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 32.628
9 5 Colin EDWARDS Forward Yamaha 39.547
10 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 43.36
11 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 46.595
12 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 46.688
13 17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda 50.581
14 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ART +1'03.127
15 23 Broc PARKES PBM +1'14.386
16 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM +1'32.593
17 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Avintia +1'36.085
Not Classified
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 2 Laps
  38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 4 Laps
  44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 5 Laps
  6 Stefan BRADL Honda 14 Laps
  8 Hector BARBERA Avintia 18 Laps
  99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 0 Lap


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Now that was a race! The new Alien, the old Aliens, and the up and comers, Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding, their best MotoGP race and it's only the first race! What if Smith, Lorenzo and Bautista had not crashed? Nicky Hayden rides the wheels off the customer Honda. On to the next one! Austin, Texas here we come!!!

Hayden beaten by a guy in his first motogp race on same bike, hardly riding the wheels off it

This will be Hayden's last season in GP. He a top rider, just not a top GP rider. I look forward to seeing him on a WSBK machine.

If Colin Edwards is any indication, there is always room for a talented American rider with sponsorship backing in GP. The caliber of machine may lessen over time, but it will be up to Nicky to decide what the next move is. Let's just see how the rest of the season goes on the customer RCV before writing Nicky off to WSBK, even if I'd love to see what he can do there too.

Great racing. Marquez makes up for last year when he got beat by Rossi. Not this year! Amazing fight between the two, hard but fair.

Also great to see the sattelite bikes mixing it up, I still wonder what would have happened had Lorenzo and Bradl not crashed... Bautista would have been on the podium for sure.

Anyone who expected Espargaro on the podium has now learned a little something called 'false hope'.

And Marquez ultimately won by "giving the Giberneau" to Rossi. I'm sure Valentino did not welcome that move, but I'm sure he understood it. Epic race.

It was a hard move but there was room. Nothing similar to Rossi/Sete in Barcelona.

Both moves, the original and yesterday, were hard but fair, IMO. So I disagree when you say "Nothing similar to Rossi/Sete in Barcelona."

to a new season, and it's acting like it's not necessarily going to be the boring "alien show" of past years. Looking forward to installment #2.

Rossi old? Near retirement? Says who?

Amazing battle between two giants of the sport.
Marquez made his best lap in the last lap ! As champions do !

What an awesome race!

I feel sorry for Bradley and Bautista, I think they both deserved a podium. I watched the race in BTSport and I hated the comment when Bautista crashed "oh! Bautista on the floor, he has done what he does best". What a shameful and disrespectful comment (please correct me if I misunderstood the commentator, but I'm almost 100% sure that that's what he said). Beside that, they did a good coverage of the event.

Great battle between Rossi and Marquez, these guys are epic.

What a pity for Pol Espargaro in his first race. Tough day for Tech3 guys.

Impressed with Redding, he accomplished his objetive: end the race ahead of Nicky Hayden, and BTW, I'm a little bit dissapointed with Nicky's performance. I'm also very impressed with Aleix, he would have been fighting for the podium for sure if it wasn't for his crash in the qualifying.

Overall, it has been a great start of the season. I'm really looking forward to Austin!

I thought by losing coverage on Eurosport (and refusing to buy a sports package for BT or rip-off Motogp.com sub) I may be missing out on something. Nah, same bikes/riders on the podium zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I can only say you were the biggest looser today, since there aren't that many races exciting as this one, not even in WSBK.

Looking forward to seeing the race on ITV4, Monday at 20:00, listening to Toby Moody commentate!
I don't mind watching a race the day after it's run, I don't require a BT sport or motogp subscription package, life is good!

Same commentary as last night. For me it's okay, I preferred the beeb team, think they were more on the ball and entertaining being former racers, but the new crew will no doubt settle in. Not so sure about ms. Sykes, think BT are misreading the audience if they think a pretty face alone is enough. You have to have a transparent passion for the sport as a minimum.

As for the BT package, once you accept that from here on you're always going to pay to watch full races, its not bad. Its been an absolute delight to be able to watch dozens of classics going back to the early 90's, and its pretty good to be able to watch all the sessions at whatever time suits you. On demand picture quality is more or less as good as live for me, and this will be the first season where I needn't worry if the family delete my future recordings schedule. From what I've seen so far I'm hoping they'll add wsk next year.

They stopped short of saying that about Bautista, though it was certainly inferred. But honestly, it didn't need saying, the big question was whether he'd take someone out when he crashed, because that he would crash was a 90% certainty from where I was sat. He looked just slightly over the edge too often.

"giving the Giberneau"? Nothing but good hard racing there, and no-one in a snit about it post-race either. Rossi enjoys racing as much as winning.

Since this thread is about ages I thought I would point out Rossi is now 35, not 34. I only know because we are born one month apart and yes I am starting to feel a little bit old. Rossi's performance today though shows I don't have anything to worry about just yet.

Right. He had a February birthday. Thanks, Farrow. Made the fix. (Although to be frank, given how he raced today I'm more inclined to subtract years, not add them wink.)

What a race! I was surprised at all the crashes, especially Jorge. Its hard not to be a fan of Rossi. Ya see his interview? Smiling and laughing about the hard battle with the kid! Jorge would have been bitching and moaning about 93's dangerous moves. Ive always been impressed with his talent, but he needs to stop moaning so much.

Bring on COTA!!!

back a year before, rossi is in podium with the same laughing only to end up axing burgess.. there are 15 rounds to go ;)

What was with all the moaning about Yamahas fuel problems and Rossi in particular likely to be uncompetitive due to being to large/heavy? Hah! Rossi wheelied all the way round the slowdown lap! Goes to show, when the flag drops the BS stops, in this case literally. If anything it looked like it was Marquez who was down on power.

Marquez down on power... at no time during this race.

I'll ask again.

Where are all the people who said Rossi didn't have it anymore, he's too old, doesn't deserve his factory seat back at Yamaha?

They said he has now amassed more points than anyone in the history of the sport.

Hope that baked crow tastes wonderful :)

Didn't you say the same thing last year around this time?

When will people learn not to draw conclusions from one race? A race which saw more than half the top riders fall, nonetheless.

Same goes for people slagging off on Rossi when he gets another fourth, by the way.

Qatar agrees with the Rossi/M1 combination. Although, not quite enough to take the win.

If he gets a win and a few podiums during 2014, he'll have matched his 2013 season. Until then we'll keep the crow on ice :)

Seriously, he rode like the Rossi of old, it was great to see.

Calm down everybody.
I really liked to see Rossi ride and fight like that.
But still:

A) Quite a lot of podium candidates, who may or may not have been faster than him, had DNFs (Lorenzo, Bautista, Bradl, Smith, maybe even Iannone?)

B) Marquez was not at 100%. Well, that's what he said at least. Didn't look like he had much trouble walking, when he climbed the top step.

C) Rossi is exactly, where he was one year before. Admitted, he was a lot closer to winning and he hasn't shown a fight like that for quite a while, but let's see what happens. Obviously, Qatar likes Yamahas and Rossi in particular.

Forgot my main point:

Compared to FP and Qualifying, the race was slow. lap times dropped to 1:56 and below at times. So it's no wonder, Rossi was able to keep up with the front runners.
But then again, it was an amazingly close QP session. Nobody was really far off.

... scrap in about as great a matchup as I can think of: the young and spry Marquez with a healing leg vs. the aging Rossi starting from the 4th row. Two tough disadvantages and the result is just about even!

I loved the race, but just like last year and the years before, they're always showing the front 2 or 3 people. They're always the focus or some boring guys staring at their screens in pit lane.

Especially now, this year, when all teams are a lot closer to each other, they're fighting from top to bottom and I'm sure there were some epic battles fought out between riders in the lower points.
The same goes pretty much for this article. Every corner of the last few rounds is described for the first two riders. I've watched it on TV and was hoping to read a bit more about the other riders here :(

That being said, all the people screaming out that Brad Smith goes so well this year and has potential to be on the podium multiple times, look at previous 3, 4 years. Tech 3 and this circuit gel together very well. After that, it goes pretty much downhill all year when the factories get new parts and Tech 3 has to stay with the same bike all year.

Ducati have done pretty well (just looking at the points), but if there weren't so many casualties in the top, how would things have looked for them now?
I'm not sure that even with the Open Class decision, they've made a lot of progress in terms of advancing to the front. Losail also is a circuit that suits Ducati better than a lot of other circuits we still have to visit (kind of the same case as for Tech 3).
Guess we'll have to wait and see how they're going to perform in the upcoming races to get a better view on where everybody is in the ranking.

Really kudos to Scott Redding!! First time on a MotoGP bike and beating all other non-factory Honda's, including that of 2006 World Champ Nicky Hayden, which he always said was his objective. Too bad there was barely any coverage on TV of that fight... maybe 10s out of 22 laps.

Kudos to Vale as well. He had some trouble in Q2, but I expected his race pace to be a lot better. Even if Lorenzo, Bradl and Bautista wouldn't have dropped it, I'm pretty sure he'd still be on the podium. You gotta love his fighting spirit :)

Really feel sorry for Lorenzo, but my guess is that it's got a lot to do with him not being happy for the moment. He doesn't feel like he has a winning bike with Yamaha (due to the tires) and he deserves one. They said that Yamaha will soon be offering contract renewals to both Vale and Jorge... but I wouldn't be surprised if Honda would jump in and try to get Jorge in their own camp as well. I'm really curious to see what Yam is going to do to keep Lorenzo happy enough for another signature! Pedrosa will have to impress some people this year to keep his seat (he's had it for 7 years -this is his 8th- without much to show for it). He is a really good rider but that alone doesn't bring him success.

Rossi had a wheelie on the exit of last corner on the penultimate lap, and lost 2or3tenths on the straight, otherwise last lap would have come with a series of passes between Rossi and Marquez !

You know whether it was rossi would have won the epic battle last night it would still have kept everyone happy, and marc too. Long as it was not Jorge, just listen to what he said "I would like to have more battle with him (rossi) in the future" something like that. He wouldn't like Jorge or pedrosa in the mix :D coz they ain't no fun with them. I'm sure he would prefer cal too... these 3 guys are fun!! :P

You know whether it was rossi would have won the epic battle last night it would still have kept everyone happy, and marc too. Long as it was not Jorge, just listen to what he said "I would like to have more battle with him (rossi) in the future" something like that. He wouldn't like Jorge or pedrosa in the mix :D coz they ain't no fun with them. I'm sure he would prefer cal too... these 3 guys are fun!! :P

I said this in an earlier comment. When the interviewer asked Crutchlow
a question, Crutchlow was quite rude to the interviewer. And that is all I
said. It was a statement of fact, as anyone who saw Crutchlow's behavior

If the above is the sort of remark which causes comments to be removed by a
moderator, I'd like to know so I don't waste any more of my time on this

Your comment was removed because it was unnecessarily abusive towards a rider. All comments of that nature against all riders are removed. If you are unhappy with that, then there are plenty of other motorcycle racing websites on the internet.

Abusive comments are removed quickly, for the same reason as comments which I believe are likely to generate infighting between various fan factions. I have no desire to host that kind of debased arguing - despite the fact that it can be profitable, as it generates more pageviews - and so I preemptively remove comments which I am not happy with. The decision making process is subjective, unfair, and irrational. But generally, it works.

I don't know what your original comment was, but it seems Cal received a bunch of feedback on his reply. His response via twitter:

@calcrutchlow: Just so everyone can stop tweeting me about it. I know what I said to @NeilHodgson100 may sounded savage but was just correcting a friend,ha

To me it looked like cal was feeling like one more disappointed bunny who'd put his shirt on ducati and was now thinking that might not have been so smart. He was just s bit curt, didn't want to talk, and having a slightly abrasive personality that came across badly. No big deal.