Qatar MotoGP: Lorenzo victorious at season opener

By Liam Marsden -

MotoGP

 08 April 2012 20:46

Factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo has won the opening race of the 2012 MotoGP championship at the floodlit Losail circuit in Qatar.

Lorenzo took to the front of the pack on the first lap, but reigning champion Casey Stoner took to the lead on the third lap where he stayed until the final corner on lap 19. Stoner had opened up a comfortable gap, but his pace dropped dramatically in the final stages of the race, allowing Lorenzo and Pedrosa through.

Brit Cal Crutchlow was locked in a race-long battle with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who he managed to pass on lap 17 to finish in fourth place.

Factory Ducati rider Valentino Rossi continued to struggle onboard the new aluminium-framed Ducati GP12 machine, finishing the race in 10th place after also being forced off track by Hector Barbera, who finished ninth after running off track on the final lap.

Rossi's team-mate Nicky Hayden was the top Ducati in sixth place ahead of Alvaro Bautista and MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl in an impressive eighth.

Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies was surprisingly the last prototype machine to cross the line in 11th place, 56.907secs behind team-mate Lorenzo.

BMW Suter rider Colin Edwards was the highest place CRT rider in 12th place less than two seconds behind former team-mate Spies.

Brit James Ellison finished 18th onboard the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia.

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
Not Classified
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 158.8 7 Laps
  17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 154.0 15 Laps