The 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship campaign is officially underway with the first of 21 rounds rushing into life at the Grand Prix of Qatar and the debut for CFMOTO in the cauldron of Moto3™ racing.
Here are some of the headlines from the Lusail International Circuit:
– CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP debut in MotoGP™ with strong performances
– The team score 10th place in Qatar after both qualify in the top 13
– Artigas takes 6 points after Tatay has poor luck and it hit by another rider on the first lap
The sunshine, wind and dust of the Lusail International Circuit provided a typical opening scene for MotoGP™. The Qatari venue has been the traditional site for a world championship launch since 2004 and opened what will be the longest season on record this year. The track itself is largely flat with wide sections, sixteen corners (ten of which fold to the right) and a long main straight. The breezy conditions mean that dust from the surrounding desert section can often create an abrasive asphalt but the racing itself is usually close and exciting.
The 2022 Grand Prix programme began slightly earlier compared to previous editions of the event, so all three classes – Moto3™, Moto2™ and MotoGP™ – could benefit from the warmer afternoon climate before the impressive floodlight system brightened up the dusk setting.
CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP were showing off their new colours for the first time and the two speedy Spanish stars of Carlos Tatay and Xavier Artigas ensured the fetching motorcycles were a blue blur during Free Practice and Qualification. Tatay was 11th after Saturday and occupied a place in the fourth row of the grid while Artigas was just behind in 13th.
When the red lights disappeared and the 18-laps of furious Moto3™ competition started it was Tatay who darted into the leading group. The #99 then hit disaster when he was forced wide by Sergio Garcia and crashed. Garcia was penalised for the incident and Tatay was able to restart but was forced to the pitlane. Artigas was pushing for slots on the fringe of the top ten and finally grabbed 10th place.
Round two will present a curious challenge. The Moto3™ class will discover the brand new Pertamina Mandalika Circuit for the very first time on March 20th. The first Indonesian Grand Prix this century will force the teams and riders will quickly have to learn the trajectory and secrets of the Lombok layout. The mystery will certainly provide more first-class speed and entertainment!
#43 Xavier Artigas I P10
“I’m really happy with the whole weekend because I understood the bike and where we need to improve. We’ll be ready for the next race after this learning experience and I want to give many thanks to the team for all their hard work. This is just the start.”
#99 Carlos Tatay I DNF
“Overall, I have to be happy because we had a strong pre-season, we worked well and my pace was so good here in Qatar. I’m disappointed with the race because when something like that is not your fault then there is nothing you can do. We need to keep focused, keep pushing and go for it in Indonesia. We will maintain our strategy. This is just the first race and we have twenty more to go.”
1. Andrea Migno, ITA, Honda 37:59.522
2. Sergio Garcia, ESP, GASGAS +0.037
3. Kaito Toba, JPN, KTM +0.573
4. Deniz Öncü, TUR, KTM +0.594
5. John McPhee, GBR, Husqvarna +1.064
10. Xavier Artigas, ESP, CFMOTO +6.055
DNF. Carlos Tatay, ESP, CFMOTO
Pictures by ©  RLekl