By the time Free Practice 1 (FP1) wrapped up for the MotoGP season opener at Losail International Circuit, Qatar, the favorite quickly became Repsol Honda RC212V rider Casey Stoner.
The Australian then dominated FP2 and FP3 before taking the pole position in qualifying. And although he didn't lead all of the 22 laps at Losail Sunday, Stoner ended up winning the race by 3.440 over the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1).
Stoner's teammate, Dani Pedrosa, finished third. Rounding out the top five were two more Honda RC212V prototypes: Andrea Dovizioso on the third Repsol, and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini).
As for Valentino Rossi's debut on the Ducati Team GP11, he dueled with Lorenzo's teammate Ben Spies. But the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year from America got the best of Rossi; Spies would finish sixth, Rossi seventh.
Attached is a video from the FIM, highlighting the action at the Doha, Qatar, Round 1 of 18 in the 2011 MotoGP Championship.