Did Y'all watch the season opening MotoGP race from the floodlit Losail International Circuit just over a Fortnight ago? As your humble No Fenders scribe was more Jazzed about this race then the IndyCar season opener the week afterwards; Aye Karumba!
The front row of the grid saw some unfamiliar faces upon it, albeit the Pole Sitter wasn't exactly a stranger, as Marc Marquez rebounded from his broken leg by taking the top spot ahead of the unknown Alvaro Bautista and Bradley Smith - as top flight "Works" machinery took six of the eight places in final qualifying, with only the Duc's' (Ducati) making the show.
And as the departed Gavin McLeod would have said, I-T was a "Cracking Race!" As Marquez dropped back upon his harder slick tyre whilst George Lorenzo shot to the top like a scalded cat, leaping from fifth to P1, albeit the ecstasy was short lived as the two-time world champion 'Low-sided his YamaHopper and exited the race before lap-1 was in the books!
Marquez slowly made his way to the front, nipping at Stefan Bradl's heals, a la Laguna Seca last year before the German inexplicably crashed out at the same Turn-6 as Lorenzo had done so, gifting the Spaniard the lead, while "the Doctor" (Valentino Rossi) had masterfully carved his way up to second from a bemused tenth-place starting position.
These two riders, the sport's master and his heir apparent then set about putting on a cracking duel, swapping the lead back 'n forth multiple times, as Rossi jumped to the lead and led awhile before Marquez repassed the Italian legend, as lead world commentator Nick Harris proclaimed they were doing 215mph (easy) down the front straight, seeing who could outbrake each other!
Every time Rossi took the lead, Marquez immediately took it back, lining up a ferocious duel for victory with just under two laps remaining... Yet the young Spaniard was simply too quick for Valentino - as Rossi reluctantly settled for second place while Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa rounded out the Qatar podium...