MotoGP: Maverick Vinales wins season opener in Qatar

Maverick Vinales took the lead of the Qatar race with eight laps to go
Vinales overcame a slow start to take victory in Qatar

Spaniard Maverick Vinales won the opening race of the MotoGP season in Qatar.

Vinales overtook Francesco Bagnaia, who started on pole, to move into the lead with eight laps left before securing his ninth win in the premier class.

Johann Zarco was second as he and third-placed Bagnaia passed reigning champion Joan Mir down the final straight on the last lap.

"Overall, it was so good. It was a fantastic weekend," said Vinales.

"I felt unbelievable. The start didn't go so well but after that I felt the potential.

"I tried to be very smart and calm, and took the right place to push. Finally, I opened a gap and I was trying to control the tyres and manage the power."

Meanwhile, Sam Lowes was victorious in the Moto2 race in Qatar, becoming the first Briton to win a season opener since 1979.

He finished in a time of 40 minutes 3.123 seconds, with Australian Remy Gardner second and Italian Fabio di Giannantonio third.

Qatar Grand Prix

1 Maverick Vinales (Spa) Yamaha 42mins 28.663sec

2 Johann Zarco (Fra) Pramac +1.092sec

3 Francesco Bagnaia (Ita) Ducati +1.129

4 Joan Mir (Spa) Suzuki +1.222

5 Fabio Quartararo (Fra) Yamaha +3.030

6 Alex Rins (Spa) Suzuki +3.357

7 Aleix Espargaro (Spa) Aprilia Racing +5.934

8 Pol Espargaro (Spa) Honda +5.990

9 Jack Miller (Aus) Ducati +7.058

10 Enea Bastianini (Ita) +9.288

World Championship standings

1 Maverick Vinales (Spa) Yamaha 25 pts

2 Johann Zarco (Fra) Pramac 20

3 Francesco Bagnaia (Ita) Ducati 16

4 Joan Mir (Spa) Suzuki 13

5 Fabio Quartararo (Fra) Yamaha 11

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