Marquez makes brilliant debut with podium finish in Qatar

Repsol rider third in Qatar, on his debut in the premier class. Dani Pedrosa finishes fourth after fighting for the podium.

A spectacular race kicked off the 2013 MotoGP World Championship under the floodlights of the Losail circuit in Qatar, where Marc Marquez fought for second place with Valentino Rossi right until the final lap. He would eventually finish third, behind Rossi and racewinner Jorge Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa, who also battled with his teammate and with Rossi for the podium, eventually finished fourth.

Podium: third place Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: third place Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

The Sunday night race began with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa stuck to one another at the front of the field. The Yamaha rider managed to pull away, lap-by-lap, while Pedrosa kept his Honda in second place. Pedrosa was followed closely by Cal Crutchlow and by Marquez, who climbed up from eighth after four laps.

With six laps to go, Marquez overtook Pedrosa. Rossi did likewise, and in turn got ahead of the MotoGP debutant. Despite Marquez’ attempts to regain the position definitively, he was eventually unable to do so and concluded his first MotoGP race with a maiden podium.

The next round of the World Championship will take place in two weeks’ time in the United States, at the Circuit of the Americas.

Dani Pedrosa - 4th at 9.473 sec. “Today's race was good, in part. I rode strongly and at a good level, although I had to slide around a lot during the entire race to combat a lack of rear grip. I saw from the opening lap that Lorenzo was going much faster and I tried to keep my position, because I knew that on the corners the traction issue came into play. I tried as hard as I could to keep my position, but then Rossi came through at a blistering pace and, to tell the truth, I couldn't stop him -he went straight through. I did all that I could, but it wasn't enough. Maybe there was a setup issue with the rear, because I had problems with it all weekend and we didn't have enough grip tonight. I was off the podium in the end, which is a shame considering we had some good pre-season tests and that the setup was good in those. For some reason, it just didn't work for us tonight.”

Marc Marquez - 3rd at 6.201 sec. “To tell the truth, I was pretty nervous on the grid, because it was my first MotoGP race. I don't think I've ever been so nervous before. I found it hard to keep calm and I wasn't as focused as in Moto2. However, I regained my concentration at the last moment. The start was important and we knew that we were taking off from the dirty part of the track. I didn't get off well, but I was able to attack on the opening laps and overtake many riders. I think that this was the key. When I rode behind Dani I learnt a lot, also later on with Valentino. Fighting against him is always nice to watch, but it's always tough at the same time. Valentino was a tough rival to overtake on the final laps. He beat us this time, but we hope to learn from him and from everyone who went faster than us.”

Repsol Honda Team

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Cal Crutchlow , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Article type Race report
Tags honda, losail, marquez, motogp, pedrosa, qatar, repsol