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MotoGP calendar finalized ahead of 2017 season

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The calendar for the 2017 MotoGP season has been finalized by its governing body, the FIM, and commercial rights holder Dorna.

The most recent provisional MotoGP schedule was published in December, comprising 18 rounds and only a couple of date changes compared to the 2016 calendar.

Earlier this week, the FIM and Dorna confirmed via MotoGP’s website that the calendar for the forthcoming campaign was now final.

Honda rider Marc Marquez heads into the new MotoGP season as the defending champion, with the biggest talking point being the number of seats that have changed hands.

Three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo ended his long-running relationship with Yamaha to join Ducati, while Maverick Viñales has been hired as his replacement to partner nine-time world title-winning Valentino Rossi.

As in 2016, just one MotoGP round will be held in North America this year, with the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas hosting a race on April 23.

MotoGP’s junior classes, Moto2 and Moto3, will appear on the undercard for all 18 rounds on the 2017 calendar.

The new MotoGP season begins on March 26 at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit.

Final 2017 MotoGP calendar

1. Qatar – March 26
2. Argentina – April 9
3. USA – April 23
4. Spain – May 7
5. France – May 21
6. Italy – June 4
7. Catalunya – June 11
8. Netherlands – June 25
9. Germany – July 2
10. Czech Republic – August 6
11. Austria – August 13
12. Great Britain – August 27
13. San Marino – September 10
14. Aragon – September 24
15. Japan – October 15
16. Australia – October 22
17. Malaysia – October 29
18. Valencia – November 12

MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo scores third win of season

MotoGP Fabio Quartararo
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
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Fabio Quartararo won the Catalan Grand Prix, recapturing the MotoGP points lead and his championship momentum Sunday with his third victory of the season.

Quartararo, who opened the season with his first two career victories in the premier series, took his first checkered flag in two months by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT.

The French rider opened an eight-point lead (108-100) over Joan Mir, who finished second Sunday. Alex Rins was third.

After winning the previous race, Maverick Vinales slipped to 18 points behind Quartararo after a ninth-place finish.

Andrea Dovizioso was the points leader entering the race but crashed his Ducati in the second turn and placed last. Dovizioso fell three spots to fourth in the championship rankings, 24 points behind Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP.