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Qatar 2004: Closest ever finish

Qatar 2004: Closest ever finish

Qatar 2004: Closest ever finish

The first ever Grand Prix in Qatar saw the closest ever finish in the history of the sport, with Jorge Lorenzo taking 125cc victory by less than a thousandth of a second over Andrea Dovizioso in 2004.

Lorenzo started from pole position but got involved in a four rider battle for victory which was reduced to three when Casey Stoner retired on the ninth lap. Alvaro Bautista then led the way but himself suffered from a technical problem near the end of the race and had to settle for third, leaving an historic head-to-head between Lorenzo and Dovizioso.

Lorenzo's photo finish victory over Dovizioso in Qatar was the first Grand Prix in which the time-keepers have been unable to separate the first two riders across the line since the introduction of timing to thousandths of a second, making it officially the closest race ever recorded.

However, since the World Championship began back in 1949 there have been six other occasions in which the two riders across the line have been given the same time:

250cc/Italy/1952/Monza – Enrico Lorenzetti/Werner Haas (timing to 0.1 sec)
250cc/Italy/1959/Monza – Carlo Ubbiali/Ernst Degner (timing to 0.1 sec)
125cc/Ulster GP/1962/Dundrod – Luigi Taveri/Tommy Robb (timing to 0.1 sec)
500cc/Dutch TT/1975/Assen – Barry Sheene/Giacomo Agostini (timing to 0.1 sec)
250cc/Italy/1978/Mugello – Kork Ballington/Greg Hansford (timing to 0.1 sec)
125cc/Yugoslavia/1981/Rijeka – Loris Reggiani/Pierpaolo Bianchi (timing to 0.1 sec)

The closest race, in each of the three current classes, since the introduction of the current timing system to 0.001 sec are as follows:

250cc/Czech/1989/Brno – Reinhold Roth/Masahiro Shimizu – 0.001 sec
500cc/Czech/1996/Brno – Alex Criville/Mick Doohan – 0.002 sec
125cc/Italy/1995/Mugello – Haruchika Aoki/Stefano Perugini – 0.004 sec
125cc/Austria/1997/A1-Ring – Noboru Ueda/Valentino Rossi – 0.004 sec

MotoGP, 2006

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