2019 Qatar MotoGP™ Preview: Marquez begins quest for sixth title

MotoGP Marc Marquez Qatar Testing 2019

The 2019 MotoGP™ season gets under way in Qatar this weekend, with Marc Marquez going in search of a sixth championship in seven years.

Marquez (five) and Repsol Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (three) have come out on top of the riders' standings in eight of the last nine campaigns.

However, the Qatar GP has proven an unreliable indicator of which man will go on to prove victorious at the end of the season.

Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider around Losail International Circuit, but the Italian has not been crowned champion since 2009.

With the help of Opta, we look at some of the key numbers around the opening weekend of the 2019 campaign.


13 - This will be the 13th time the MotoGP™ World Championship has started at Losail International Circuit. No other circuit has hosted the first race of the season as often.  

4 - No rider has won more often at the Qatar GP than Rossi (four, along with Casey Stoner).

0 - None of Rossi's four wins at Losail saw him start from pole position. Indeed, he's registered just one pole at Losail (2007) in his 15 previous appearances there.

4 - Only in four of the 12 previous occasions in which the 500cc/MotoGP™ World Championship started in Qatar has the driver who won that race gone on to win the title at the end of the season (Stoner 2007 and 2011, Lorenzo 2012 and Marquez 2014).

3 - Maverick Vinales won the 2016 Qatar GP in his first race for Yamaha. Since then, he has won just three of his 35 races for the Japanese team.

1 - Marquez has only won one of his six previous MotoGP™ races in Qatar (2014), however he has notched up four podium finishes.

4 - Andrea Dovizioso won in Qatar last season, after finishing in second position in his three previous races there. Four podiums in a row is his best record at any of the current MotoGP™ circuits.

196 - After Dani Pedrosa's retirement, Dovizioso is now the active rider with the most MotoGP™ appearances (196), wins (12) and podiums (51) without winning the title.

1 - For the first time since the 2011 MotoGP™ season, only one British rider, Cal Crutchlow, will take part.


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