Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing Team) claimed his first MotoGP victory at this track, the Losail International Circuit today when he finished first in the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar. Lorenzo’s list of achievements at this track previously includes a 125cc class victory in 2004 followed later by two victories in the 250cc class. Having stuck to Stoner’s tail for a major part of the race, Lorenzo was smooth throughout the race conserving his tyres and finally managing to pull a move on Stoner. Pedrosa, who had stuck to Lorenzo’s tail for the better part of the race did manage to move past Lorenzo, but only for a couple of turns and finished second. Stoner with the ‘chattering’ front end, had to give in to Lorenzo and Pedrosa towards the final few laps of the race and be content with the third place on the podium. This gives Repsol Honda Team a 2nd and 3rd and has them on the top of the constructor’s title with 25 points. Yamaha follows with 20 and Ducati with 15.
Cal Crutchlow, (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) having landed a surprise 3rd position in qualifying fought long and hard with team mate Dovizioso to finish 4th. Dovizioso, followed Crutchlow across the finish line taking 5th position.
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP team, qualifying 9th rode steady and fought off Hector Barbara, Alvaro Bautista and Nicky Hayden for a while and hovered a while in the 6th and 7th positions. Hector Barbara riding for the Pramac Ducati Team went wide off the track and lost places to the trio. Hayden finished 6th, Bautista 7th, Bradl 8th and Barbara with the expensive mistake, finished 9th.
Ben Spies was the sad surprise of the day, finishing 11th behind Rossi after having qualified 4th yesterday! Rossi and Spies both seem to have had issues with the bike, which of course would be no consolation for these competitive gentlemen.
Colin Edwards riding the BMW powered Suter CRT for the NGM Foward Mobile Racing team took 12th and Rand De Puniet riding the ART GP12 for Power Electronics Aspar took 13th.
Karel Abraham riding the satellite Ducati for Cardion AB Motoracing ( Team Manager being Karel Abraham Sr. ) pulled out after 15 laps stating technical issues. Danilo Petrucci with the Came IODARacing pulled out after 7 laps, possibly due to tyre issues.
The opening round, Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar was entertaining, with the the trio up front fighting for the podium, the Yamaha Tech 3 rider slugging it out and then the four riders following up with their own battle for 6th position! Here’s crossing our fingers for the excitement to continue throughout the season!