MotoGP Qatar: Race Results Wrap-Up

MotoGP Race Summary

Valentino Rossi got his title defence off to a perfect start by taking the first win of the season in Qatar after polesitter, Casey Stoner, crashed out of the lead just five laps into the race.

Front row qualifiers Stoner, Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo all got good starts, but it was Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda who led the field into the first turn, after a lightning start from the third row of the grid.

Pedrosa and Rossi swapped the lead for two laps, before Stoner pushed his way to the front and started to pull away from the chasing group. The Ducati Marlboro rider posted the fastest lap of the race on his fourth lap, as he tried to open a gap on his pursuers. The Australian was still pushing hard when he made an uncharacteristic mistake, lost the front and crashed out of the lead on the very next lap.

With Stoner gone and a clear track in front of him, Rossi upped the pace and tried to pull away from the field. Nicky Hayden on the second Ducati Marlboro Desmosedici and Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso rode hard to stay in contact with the reigning World Champion and, on lap 16, Dovizioso managed to squeeze his way past the Fiat Yamaha to briefly take the race lead.

Rossi retook the lead on the following lap and held it to the line, ending Stoner’s run of three successive victories in Qatar.

"I got a fantastic start, but I wasn’t quite fast enough and was suffering on the straight," said Rossi. "I lost some time passing Pedrosa and by then Stoner was quite far from me. I thought then that it was going to be hard to catch him! Then he made a mistake and crashed, which was bad luck for him but crucial for us."

Dovizioso was very strong and we had a good battle. I did three or four laps at maximum and managed to stay in front, but it wasn’t easy. I haven’t won at the first race since 2005 and these 25 points at this stage are like gold dust, it’s a fantastic result for the team to make a 1-2 at race one. I ran out of fuel on the slow down lap, but it was very funny to come to Parc Ferme ridinga scooter" added the reigning World Champion and race winner.

A hard charging Jorge Lorenzo, passed both Hayden and Dovizioso on the penultimate lap to make it a Fiat Yamaha 1-2 on the podium. After getting the better of Dovizioso on the final lap Hayden looked all set to secure the final podium place, but the Italian rider managed to slingshot past the American on the run to the line, denying the Ducati rider by the narrowest of margins.

Ben Spies finished an impressive fifth on his debut as a full-time MotoGP rider with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. LCR Honda rider, Randy de Puniet, finished in sixth place ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who had faded back through the field after an impressive start to the race.

Colin Edwards took eighth place on the line with Loris Capirossi, in his 300th Grand Prix, just one second further back in ninth. Hiroshi Aoyama rounded out the top ten on his MotoGP debut, finishing ahead of Marco Simoncelli, Hector Barbera and Marco Melandri.

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 46 Valentino
ROSSI
ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 165.8 42’50.099
2 20 99 Jorge
LORENZO
SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 165.7 +1.022
3 16 4 Andrea
DOVIZIOSO
ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 165.7 +1.865
4 13 69 Nicky
HAYDEN
USA Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 165.7 +1.876
5 11 11 Ben SPIES USA Monster
Yamaha Tech 3
Yamaha 165.5 +3.903
6 10 14 Randy DE
PUNIET
FRA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 165.2 +9.322
7 9 26 Dani
PEDROSA
SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 164.7 +16.508
8 8 5 Colin
EDWARDS
USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 164.5 +19.867
9 7 65 Loris
CAPIROSSI
ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 164.5 +20.893
10 6 7 Hiroshi
AOYAMA
JPN Interwetten Honda MotoGP Honda 164.4 +21.100
11 5 58 Marco
SIMONCELLI
ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 163.8 +31.638
12 4 40 Hector
BARBERA
SPA Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 163.7 +32.573
13 3 33 Marco
MELANDRI
ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 163.2 +40.780
Not Classified
    19 Alvaro
BAUTISTA
SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 163.7 1 Lap
    41 Aleix
ESPARGARO
SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 162.7 15 Laps
    27 Casey
STONER
AUS Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 164.4 17 Laps
    36 Mika KALLIO FIN Pramac
Racing Team
Ducati 156.1 20 Laps