Stoner took the win
Stoner takes the win in Qatar
10 March 2007 13:10
Casey Stoner has won the first MotoGP race of the season after a spectacular battle with Valentino Rossi.
The two riders completely outpaced the rest of the field at the Qatar circuit but it was Stoner's Ducati that simply amazed everyone with its incredible top speed.
The two bikes were set up completely differently with the Ducati roaring down the straights while Rossi's Yamaha was able to outbrake and out-corner anyone making for a very exciting race.
The two riders swapped places an incredible amount of times but Stoner had such a strong advantage on the straight - as much as 20kph faster - the Rossi simply could not stay in front and had to settle for second place.
Dani Pedrosa managed to mix with the top two for the first half of the race and like Stoner could outpull rossi on the straight, but the Yamaha's shear braking power always saw Rossi slide back through going in to the first corner.
Halfway through the race Pedrosa's crew told him to switch to a softer fuelling map and from that point on the front two riders began to pull away leaving Pedrosa to fight for his third position with John Hopkins on the Rizla Suzuki.
New World Champion Nicky Hayden struggled all weekend and only managed to finish the race in eighth place.