2019 MotoGP season to start in Qatar

The wait is almost finished and at Losail circuit, pit boxes are busy with the final preparations before the green light officially opening the 2019 MotoGP season.

The Mission Winnow Ducati team can’t wait to hit the tarmac again after the competitiveness shown last season, with Andrea Dovizioso repeating his second place in the world standings. Pre-season tests were quite positive a sign that with the 2019 set-up the Desmosedici GP has good chan ces of being a contender also in the season about to open. 

After his convincing second place last year, Dovizioso has immediately found a good feeling with the bike and even though he did not mark the fastest time on a single lap, he focused intensely on the race pace with outstanding performance in both Sepang and Losail. 

Danilo Petrucci, on the other hand, has adapted to his official bike very well, consistently clocking in among the fastest on the track, with a performance at Sepang that unofficially broke the track record. For Danilo it's the start of a season where he can show his full value. 

The patrol of Desmosedicis on the track in 2019 has fallen to six units, but the level of competitiveness seems to have kicked up a notch. Alma Pramac Racing will once again deploy Jack Miller with a 2019 version of the Desmosedici flanked by newcomer Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia, who has truly impressed during winter tests.

Real Avintia Racing has confirmed Tito Rabat, who after losing the 2018 season finale due to a bad injury has proven to be very fast once he got on the Ducati. The Spanish team welcomes Karel Abraham, who rode the Desmosedici for the Angel Nieto team for two seasons but this year won't be participating in the MotoGP. 

On the 5,400-m Losail racetrack Ducati has always been quite fast since 2004, when during the first edition of the Qatar GP Ruben Xaus won a very good third place on team D’Antin’s Desmosedici GP. Then came Casey Stoner’s unforgettable victory in 2007, at his début on a Ducati, which displayed the undisputed superiority of the 800cc engine on the long final straight. It's a track that's also liked by the two Ducati riders, with Andrea Dovizioso who in the last edition rode the Desmosedici GP to success an d who in the previous three editions has always managed to earn a spot on the podium. Last year Petrucci also ended the race with a good fifth place.

The 2008 Qatar Grand Prix will take place during the night, on the dramatically floodlit racetrack. After a few years when the programme opened with a single test session on Thursday, it’s back to a traditional three-day week-end as for the remaining championship races.