As the top MotoGP rookie with tenth place in the opening Qatar race, Enea Bastianini may have expected to extend his points lead over the other newcomers with an eleventh in the second outing.

But a stunning podium, from pole position, by Jorge Martin means that the Pramac (G21) rider leapfrogged Bastianini and heads to Europe with a six-point advantage over the Avintia (GP19) rider.

However, it could be a 'new look' Bastianini that turns up in Portimao next weekend, after suffering an unusual problem at the end of the second Losail race; his long hair hampering his visibility.

"Unfortunately, 6 or 7 laps from the end, my hair and sweat [went in my eyes] did not let me have good visibility and I couldn't stay focused," he said.

Nonetheless, it had been another strong performance from the reigning Moto2 champion, who had qualified just 19th on the grid.

“We made a great race," said Bastianini. "If I would have qualified much better, I am sure that I could have fought with the first ones."

That might sound like quite a claim, but Bastianini crossed the finish line just 5.550s from race winner Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). That compares with 9.288s behind round one winner Maverick Vinales.

Bastianini was also just four-seconds behind Martin and a podium and ten-seconds clear of Esponsorama team-mate Luca Marini, in 18th place.

The other rookie on the grid, Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori, was 20th and last.

 

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