2012 MotoGP Championship
If there’s one trait Jorge Lorenzo greatly displayed Sunday at the season opener of the 2012 MotoGP Championship at Losail International Circuit, it was patience.
The Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 rider was quick throughout the practice sessions for the Qatar race under the floodlights, but really showed the strength of both mind and the new-1000cc machine during qualifying.
Lorenzo took the pole at Qatar, and was 0.221 of a second quicker than the man who had won the previous-five races at Qatar – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. The Australian was the biggest threat to Lorenzo, Stoner wanting to immediately defend his title.
It looked as if the RC213V rider would complete the task, considering he took the lead from Lorenzo on the third lap and began opening a gap on Lorenzo. But the 2010 MotoGP Champion patiently remained in second, with an equally patient Dani Pedrosa in third.
With seven laps to go, Stoner’s gap contiunally decreased, the Australian complaining of arm-pump issues. And on Lap 19, Lorenzo striked, passing his rival for the lead, Stoner’s teammate Pedrosa shortly doing the same.
It now came down to a race for the checkered flag, and Lorenzo was able to hold off Pedrosa for the win by 0.852 of a second. Stoner would finish third, 2.908 second behind Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “What an amazing race! I put everything I have, all my energy into the track, this victory is because I never gave up, kept pushing and trying. Casey was very strong at the beginning and opened a gap.
“Fortunately for us he struggled at the end and dropped his pace where I could keep mine so I managed to pass him. I am very grateful to Yamaha because they have made a big step this winter on the YZR-M1.”
Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager) says: “What can I say, what a great victory! A typical Lorenzo win, he’s won a few races like that, he never gives up. Because of this he was able to win.
“Of course Casey was struggling a bit with his hand issue but I don’t think we had the perfect set up either. Jorge pushed really hard the last few laps, taking a lot of risks but that’s what it takes in this class to win. He really deserved it. The team also deserve thanks as they worked very hard all weekend for this result.”
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director) says: “An impressive victory for Jorge, I don’t have the right words to say how impressive. I think he was superior all weekend, now we go to Spain with a lot of optimism; there was no better way for him to start the season.”
With his patient, Lorenzo opens up the 2012 MotoGP Championship with 25 points before the 17-round series heads to Jerez in three weeks, a home round that he has won the past two years.
But there’s more to Lorenzo’s win than just striking first before his rival Stoner. Last year ended with many bragging rights for Honda (think of Stoner’s 10 victories), but it appears Lorenzo is ready to lead the 2012 assault for Yamaha. And with a bit of patience such as displayed at Qatar, Lorenzo is more than capable of such a task.