Five things we learnt from Qatar

Bologna Brilliance

Ducati are back and they are back with a bang.

After grabbing a surprise pole position on Saturday Andrea Dovizioso guided his new GP15 to a phenomenal second place finish with team-mate Andrea Iannone following suit in third.

The Desmosedici certainly sent shockwaves through the MotoGP paddock after qualifying, and now as the dust settles on the opening weekend many of their competitors have been left scratching their heads wondering exactly what the new GP15 could be capable of this season.

Ducati look good, I mean really good, and with the addition of Gigi Dall’igna they have finally produced a bike that is not only competitive but also looks capable of grabbing race victories this season and if Dovizioso’s performance is anything to go by they will be in and amongst it again at Austin in a couple of weeks.

Just what ‘The Doctor’ ordered

Valentino Rossi is a true great.

It probably doesn’t need saying but having won nine World Championships there isn’t much more the Italian can do to add to his racing legacy. Yet after a brilliant race victory from 8th on the grid you felt this was one of the best of his long and illustrious career.

After struggling throughout testing and in the build up to this weekend’s race Rossi may have been questioning why he still puts himself through the strains and stresses of racing in Moto GP but as all true greats do he gave the motor biking world another timely reminder that you can never count him out.

A 10th world title could well be within reach after an amazing showing in Qatar and it would only cement his legacy even further among the greats.

Italian Invasion

Step aside the Spanish Armada the Italians are coming.

The last all-Italian MotoGP podium was way back in 2006 in Japan and if Sunday’s race is anything to go by it may not be the last of 2015.

The Spanish domination may well and truly be over after an Italian one, two and three in Qatar. With Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa dominating many of the races in recent seasons it was refreshing to see the Italians fights back in Losail.

Only time will tell whether this can become a common theme throughout the season but with the reinvigorated Ducati holding two Italians on board they will certainly be up for the fight.

No magic from Marquez

An uncharacteristic mistake in turn one from reigning World Champion Marc Marquez ended with a disappointing 5th place finish to kick off his 2015 title defence.

Having been hampered by injury in the built up to last season Marquez will have been relishing kick starting his campaign with a strong outing, but a costly mistake meant he entered turn two of the first lap in last position.

Of course nobody knows how differently the race could have been if the 22-year-old had kept pace with the leading pack in the early exchanges but the Spaniard is clearly feeling the heat of the competition.

It was a truly disappointing start to the season but one that could give him the reality check that was needed, the two-time MotoGP World Champion may not have it all his own way this season after all.

Exciting season ahead

2015 could be the best MotoGP season for years.

With the new found speed of Ducati mixed with the rejuvenated Valentino Rossi the 2015 MotoGP season could be the most competitive for a long time.

Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda’s recent grip on the sport has been loosened ever so slightly after an intriguing first race of the season and it is a real possibility we could see a new rider stand on top of the podium come November.

There is no doubt Marc Marquez will be the man to beat again this season, but he could be tested for the first time since making the move to MotoGP in 2013.

With the likes of Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo aiming to break the Spaniard’s run of Championship wins we are in for an unforgettable season ahead.
Joe Urquhart

Follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeUrq24