Qatar 2019: another MotoGP spectacle worthy of the thousands of light wattage thrown at by the Losail bulbs. The stories flowed: just over half a second splitting the top five in the premier class at the finale of three extremely tight and entertaining races, Cal Crutchlow burying his injury pain with another trophy, Lorenzo Baldassarri conquering Moto2, Valentino Rossi emerging from mid-grid obscurity and the ‘MotoGP rookies’ making their presence felt.
The weekend was initially coated with a blue and black blur as Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales produced a stunning lap to take Pole Position. The young Spaniard would suffer with a mediocre start and then a compromise in adapting the Yamaha to the style needed for a dogfight as half the pack ran within a startling ten second bracket: it was like the mania of Moto3. While #12 could not interrupt the tense scrap for victory that saw LCR Honda’s Crutchlow in the hunt (despite lack of optimum off-season testing and a right ankle he could barely use to brake and replace on the RCV footpeg) his teammate Valentino Rossi produced a typically resurgent performance.