Spoiler Alert: 2012 Qatar MotoGP results listed below
The 2012 MotoGP Championship got underway Sunday at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. And the race was of historic significance to the series due to the start of a new era of 1000cc-prototype machines and the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT),
And all eyes were on the man who dominated the pre-season tests and the first two of three free practices – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. But Stoner’s pace slowed during the final free practice, and he would qualify second behind pole-man Jorge Lorenzo.
But by lap two of 22 on the 3.343-mile circuit containing 16 turns, Stoner was back to his championship-winning ways, and was in the lead. The Australian began opening up a lead until the Bridgestone tires began wearing, the two-time champ losing some steam on the 1000cc RC213V.
And with three laps to go, Lorenzo made his move aboard the Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1. The 2010 MotoGP Champion took the lead, and the eventual win. Stoner was then passed by his teammate Dani Pedrosa, who finished second, with Stoner taking the final podium position.
The win was Lorenzo’s fourth at the circuit, but first in the premier class.
When the race got underway, Lorenzo got off the line smoothly, maintaining first place. He was followed by Pedrosa, Stoner, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden.
But by the second lap, Stoner, who had moved pass Pedrosa, was already pacing the Qatar circuit three-tenths of a second faster than Lorenzo. On the next lap, Stoner took the lead, and opened up a gap as high as over two seconds by mid race.
As Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa gapped the remaining 18 riders, Spies began losing positions, falling back slowly through the field. With the three up front, a race-long battle began for fourth between the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha duo of Dovi and Cal Crutchlow, who started third from the grid.
After many attempts, Crutchlow finally passed Dovi on Lap 17, holding it to finish fourth, his highest-ever in the MotoGP class. Dovizioso finished fifth, followed by the Hayden, the highest-placed Ducati on the grid.
San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista took seventh, followed by the reigning Moto2 Champion, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera, and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who continues to struggle with the GP12.
Spies finished 11th, followed by the highest-placed CRT machine, the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter piloted by Colin Edwards.
The grid will now take a three-week break before Round 2 of 17 at Jerez in Spain.
2012 Qatar MotoGP Results:
|1.||25||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||166.2||42’44.214|
|2.||20||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||166.1||+0.852|
|3.||16||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||166.0||+2.908|
|4.||13||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||165.1||+17.114|
|5.||11||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||165.0||+17.420|
|6.||10||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||164.3||+28.413|
|7.||9||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||164.3||+28.446|
|8.||8||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||164.3||+29.464|
|9.||7||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||164.2||+31.384|
|10.||6||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||164.0||+33.665|
|11.||5||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||162.6||+56.907|
|12.||4||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||162.5||+58.088|
|13.||3||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||161.7||+1’10.650|
|14.||2||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR-FTR||161.4||+1’15.943|
|15.||1||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||160.7||+1’26.733|
|16.||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR-FTR||159.7||+1’43.327|
|17.||54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||159.5||+1’47.419|
|18.||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||159.2||+1’51.882|
|51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||110.6||7 Laps|
|9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||158.8||7 Laps|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||154.0||15 Laps|