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Maverick Viñales triumphs in shortened 20-lap #motogp race as rain plays havoc.
The Spaniard mastered the conditions and took full advantage of crashes from his rivals to land his first victory for Yamaha. In an exciting finale, Viñales made his final move on #andreadovizioso with just two laps remaining and held on for victory.
Two-wheel legend #valentinorossi finished third, followed by #marcmarquez and Dani Pedrosa. Red Bull KTM Factory #racing started their #motogp adventure at the Losail International Circuit and can be positive both riders saw the finish line with Pol Espargaro in 16th and Bradley Smith one place further back.
It was an eventful first race of the season, starting with rookie Johann Zarco taking an early lead on his debut #motogp race before crashing.
A heavy storm had already played havoc with the scheduling over the weekend with Saturday’s qualifying cancelled due to dangerous levels of surface water on the track.
The race was also initially delayed by 40 minutes because of rain and eventually left race directors with no alternative but to shorten the spectacle from 22 laps to 20.
Multiple riders skidded and took a tumble as grip was hard to come by but Viñales held on to top the standings after Race 1.
Viñales revealed afterwards, ”It feels great. The track was so difficult but the bike was great.
"First lap I was taking a lot of care, then when the #people started to push I said 'OK, now is the time to push' and I started to come back little by little - I didn't want to destroy the tyre."
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