Maverick Vinales scores victory in MotoGP season opener at Qatar GP


Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales won the 2021 season opener in MotoGP, working his way through the pack after a wild start to the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar.

Vinales won by more than a second over Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia. Defending series champion Joan Mir finished fourth, and Fabio Quartararo was fifth.

Vinales, 26, took the lead on Lap 15 and scored his second victory at the Losail International Circuit and the ninth of his career in MotoGP’s premier series. This is the Spaniard’s seventh season in the class, and he is seeking his first championship (having finished a career-best third in points twice).

Rounding out Sunday’s top 10 were: Alex Rins, Aleix Espargaro, Pol Espargaro, Jack Miler and Enea Bastianini.

In the Moto2 division, American Joe Roberts finished sixth in his debut with the Italtrans Racing Team. Former Superbike champion Cameron Beaubier finished 11th in his Moto2 debut for the American Racing Team.

MotoGP of Qatar - Race
Maverick Vinales won the MotoGP season opener on his Yamaha at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar (Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images).