Maverick defends lead for sixth time four years later

He has already led MotoGP in 2017 twice, lasting one race the first (Rossi took it off in Texas) and two the second (Dovizioso at Assen).


The one in Doha is not just any grand prize for Maverick Viñales. The Yamaha rider conquered victory last Sunday, in the MotoGP opening round for 2021, and is therefore the first leader of the season, a circumstance that is not news to him because four years ago, in the 2017 season, he already led during two championship stages, on both occasions handing over command to two drivers who did not end up being champions that year either.

Four seasons ago, Mack also won the first race of the course, in Qatar, ahead of Dovizioso. That was how stellar his debut with Yamaha was and, in the following race, in his first defense, he again achieved victory in Argentina. The one from Roses began with a full of 50 points out of 50 possible and arrived at the Texas appointment with the possibility of breaking the championship very early, but there he failed in the race, with a fall at the first change and giving up the leadership in favor of a Rossi who finished second, after Márquez, and thus remained six points behind his boxing partner.The fourth round of that 2017 was in Jerez, where Viñales did not shine and had to settle for sixth place, and it was in fifth place when he returned to the top of the general classification. It happened after the race in France, where he had an intense duel until the last lap against Rossi that was decided in his favor and with The Doctor on the ground. There he took a 17-point lead over Márquez at the head of the general standings, then went to Mugello to defend the leadership of the queen class for the third time in his life.

From Italy he came out stronger, because he extended his advantage to 26 points over the second, which at that time was Dovizioso. Catalonia, the next one, also came out as the leader, but there he suffered a significant cut in points, because his tenth place combined with the victory of Dovizioso brought the Italian to seven points. And already in his fifth defense, at Assen, he lost the lead because a fall from him and a fifth from Andrea left Ducati's as the new leader, four points ahead of Yamaha's.

Since then Maverick had not returned to the top of the general classification and it remains to be seen how long he lasts up there now. If he is able to maintain the level of last weekend's appointment, he will have a good chance of retaining the leadership for longer and who knows if he will even win the title. In that 2017 in which Mack led, neither Rossi nor Dovizioso emerged champions, who are the ones who dropped him from the leadership then.It was Márquez, a pilot who is now on leave, it is expected that until Portimao, third date, and that by 2021 he is still counting despite starting with a disadvantage and whose absence the one who has made the best use of it so far is the newly married and future daddy Maverick Viñales. It will be interesting to see how long the lead lasts this time.

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