Untouchable from start to finish, Italian Francesco Bagnaia, double reigning world champion, won the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, the first round of the MotoGP season, on his Ducati.

In the Qatari night and in front of the sparse stands of the Lusail circuit, he beat the South African Brad Binder (KTM) and the Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac), reigning vice-champion.

Fifth on the starting grid, Bagnaia took control from pole-sitter Martin from the fourth corner of the track, never to let go.

Six-time world champion Marc Marquez finished just off the podium for his first GP with Ducati-Gresini. The Spaniard joined the ranks of the Italian team after eleven seasons with Honda – his entire career in MotoGP.

The day before, Martin had won the sprint race, which was shorter and yielded fewer points than the GP, while Bagnaia had finished 4th.

“We knew our potential,” reacted the day’s winner upon arrival. After the sprint, “we knew we had to change something for the race and what we did during the warm-up (a 10-minute session run for a few hours, editor’s note) was important, the race was completely different compared to See you yesterday (Saturday).”

For his first GP in the elite, Pedro Acosta, only 19 years old, finished 9th. Author of a very good start to the race – even beating Marc Marquez to gain 4th place – the Spaniard then gradually demoted in the hierarchy.

The new recruit of the French team GasGas-Tech3 arrives in MotoGP this season with the label of new virtuoso, after his titles in Moto3 and Moto2. The day before, the young rider had scored his first points in MotoGP, at the end of the sprint race which he finished in 8th place.

Starting 16th on the grid, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) finished in 11th place, ahead of his compatriot Johann Zarco (Honda-LCR).

Due to an aborted start due to a technical problem on the Aprilia-Trackhouse of Spaniard Raul Fernandez after the warm-up lap, the drivers set off for a second warm-up lap, thus reducing the number of laps to 21 (compared to 22 initially planned).

In the lower categories, in Moto2, the Spaniard Alonso Lopez (Sync SpeedUp), who started second on the grid earlier in the day, took control of the race shortly after halfway to win ahead of the Belgian Barry Baltus, who scored his first world championship podium in Qatar.

In Moto3, David Alonso (Aspar Team) won the race ahead of pole sitter Daniel Holgado (GasGas-Tech3). The Colombian driver overtook his Spanish opponent in the last corner of a very competitive final lap.

The next GP of this record season of 21 races until Valencia (Spain) on November 17 will be held in Portugal, on the Portimao circuit, the weekend of March 24.