MotoGP: Viñales starts in front for opening race of 2019

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Maverick Viñales will start the opening MotoGP race of 2019 from the front of the grid tomorrow, after setting an impressive lap time in tricky conditions to take pole position for tomorrow's Qatar Grand Prix. He'll start alongside Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez - and goes into the first race of the year upbeat.

"I was surprised. I didn't expect that everyone was going to be so fast. We've made good steps forward with the bike, but we need to keep working, because we still need to improve the exit of the last corner. If we can do that, we are going to be ready to fight for this race. I will push my hardest tomorrow, no fear, I will go for it. I'm able to hit good lap times and I'm fast straight away. I will give my all. The team prepared a really good bike for me, so now it's in my hands to push and be at the front. I think it will be a group of five to six riders that will battle at the front in the first laps. Let's see at the end of the race. I will plan tonight what I can do, but my first plan is just to do my best."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer