After another all-time classic in Qatar, the fuse has been lit and the MotoGP season is up and running.
This weekend we head to round two at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina.
Headlining the carnival after the barnstorming race in Losail will be the first championship leader of the season – Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – and reigning world champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
Behind the two men who battled it out in the desert, there are a few favourites lining up.
After leading for 16 laps at the Qatar season-opener, Frenchman Johann Zarco will try again to make history as the first satellite Yamaha winner of the four-stroke MotoGP era, in Argentina this weekend.
His charge faltered due to a technical problem with his front tyre at Losail, sending him from first to eighth in the closing laps.
But the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider is ‘highly motivated’ to repeat that speed in South America this weekend, where he rode from 14th to 5th in only his second MotoGP appearance, one year ago.
Last year’s star man Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will want to convert Qatar pace into a first visit to the top step in 2018, and team-mate Valentino Rossi will be gunning to stand in his way.
After a more difficult pre-season for Yamaha, Rossi found some serious traction at Losail and took his first podium of the season to extend his incredible golden years in the premier class.
As a previous winner at the venue to boot, who writes off the rider from Tavullia? Another race win to cement his new contract would doubtless be a sweet thing for Rossi.
MotoGP World Championship Standings after round one:
- Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) DUCATI – 25 points
- Marc Márquez (SPA) HONDA, 20
- Valentino Rossi (ITA) YAMAHA, 16
- Cal Crutchlow (GBR) HONDA, 13
- Danilo Petrucci (ITA) DUCATI, 11
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