Just a few days after the Malaysian GP, which saw Enea Bastianini take his first win in Ducati Lenovo Team colours at the Sepang International Circuit, MotoGP returns to the track this weekend in Qatar for the penultimate round of the 2023 season. As usual, the Grand Prix will be contested at night at the Lusail International Circuit, whose paddock was completely renovated and inaugurated just a few months ago. On the track located just a few kilometres from the capital Doha, Ducati has scored 6 victories so far and the last one bears the name of Bastianini, who in 2022 achieved his first success in the premier class here with the Desmosedici GP of the Gresini Racing team.
Francesco Bagnaia, third last Sunday at Sepang, arrives at Lusail as World Championship leader and could have his first match point here. Pecco currently holds a 14-point lead over Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing), and should he finish the weekend with 37 points more than his rival, he would mathematically clinch the 2023 World Title.
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will take to the track in Qatar for the first free practice session on Friday 17th at 15:45 local time (13:45 in Italy). Qualifying will take place Saturday afternoon from 15:40 (13:40 CET), while Saturday’s Sprint(11 laps) and Sunday’s GP (22 laps) are scheduled at 20:00, 18:00 in Italy.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st (412 points)
“I’m happy to be back racing in Qatar this weekend. It’s another track where we have always been competitive. In the Malaysian GP, we finally managed to be fast right from Friday, and we were back on pole, something that hadn’t happened since Barcelona. Here too it will be important to be able to do the same. 14 points of advantage in the standings are not many, so the goal will be to try to increase the gap on Jorge in the Championship.”
Enea Bastianini (#23, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 15th (76 points)
“Last week at Sepang I finally got a weight off my chest and now I feel freer! I’m back to having fun on the bike and consequently being fast. This weekend we will race in Qatar, another track where I have been competitive in the past and where I won my first MotoGP race last year! I don’t know if I can repeat myself again, but I definitely want to try!”
Name: Lusail International Circuit
Best lap: Bastianini (Ducati), 1:54.338 (169,3 km/h) – 2022
Circuit Record: Bagnaia (Ducati), 1:52.772 (171,7 km/h) – 2021
Top Speed: Zarco (Ducati), 362,4 km/h – 2021
Track Length: 5,38 km
Sprint Distance: 11 laps (59.18 km)
Race Distance: 22 laps (118,36 km)
Corners: 16 (6 left, 10 right)
- From Ducati Media House