This weekend the first round of the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 championships kicked off at the Losail International circuit in Qatar. There were two firsts for SHARK-supported Brits Scott Redding and Sam Lowes, as they made their debuts in MotoGP and Moto2 respectively.
Scott Redding marked his MotoGP debut and his 100th Grand Prix appearance with an impressive ride to finish in seventh place, also achieving the teams goal to be the first open class Honda home. Getting a good start, Redding marked former World Champion Nicky Hayden for much of the race before passing him. Redding also finished as the top MotoGP rookie. Fellow SHARK-supported Aleix Espargaro finished just off the podium in fourth place.
Sam Lowes impressed with his move to Moto2, after winning the World Supersport Championship last year. He started the 20-lap race from fifth position and after a solid ride finished within the points in seventh place. Lowes was moved up a place following a rider disqualification so his final classification was sixth. Johann Zarco crashed out of the running, unhurt, on the first lap.
Meanwhile in Moto3 SHARK’s Miguel Oliveira missed out of being on the podium by just 0.015s, finishing in fourth place.
The next round of the MotoGP championship will take place on Friday 11 to Sunday 13 April, at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
Scott Redding, MotoGP, 7th:
« I am very satisfied, as I was expecting to be able to follow Nicky Hayden for only a few laps and, although he was the target, I wasn’t really expecting to beat him. In the first laps I wanted to take maximum advantage of the soft tyre and I was pretty aggressive with the passes. I got through on Nicky and thought I’d got away from him, but then he came back at me. But I knew I was faster than him, so I waited until two laps from the end before making a move, retaking the place and then holding him off to the finish. Tonight we achieved our goal; to be the first open class Honda home, so I’m pleased with that. »
Sam Lowes, Moto2, 7th:
« Overall I’m pretty happy with that as my first time in Moto2 and Qatar. We didn’t show our full potential, as had some problems with the bike’s set up during the race, but was solid enough for the first race! I lost time when Agerter’s bike was smoking in front of me so decided to keep my head down, finish and get the points.
Thanks to my team and everyone for the support, I’m exited now for the next race! »