Jorge Lorenzo couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to start the defence of his MotoGP crown after he rode to a majestic opening round victory at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar last night.
A fast start from pole position meant the Spaniard only ever had clear track in front of him for 22-laps as he romped to a start-to-finish victory to claim the 24th premier class success of his career.
Lorenzo’s second successive win in the Doha night race never looked in any doubt once he’d opened up an advantage of over one second over fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa by the end of lap two.
He eventually took the chequered flag by close to six seconds after building up a lead at one stage of well over seven seconds.
The 25-year-old said: “This has been a perfect result for the team and Yamaha. To start this championship with this victory is fantastic. I am very proud of this victory because in the beginning of my MotoGP career I didn't start very well but I have improved this aspect.
I wanted to go away from the beginning but I knew it would be difficult because the other riders were really strong. I wasn't sure if the new tyres would be as strong as me but fortunately for me once the rear tyre was wasted I was a little faster than the others and could pull away for this important victory."
Lorenzo said he had not been surprised with how relatively easy it was for him to make a break at the front of the race, with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa unable to find the form that took him to six wins in the last eight races of 2012.
Double MotoGP world champion Lorenzo added: “Dani was really strong at the beginning and this gave him a little advantage and I had to push more than 100% to open just two tenths every lap. But then when I got a 2.5s gap it was more easy and then it became four or five tenths every lap.
That's when I stayed calm and was more relaxed to ride. It may have looked easy to win with such a big gap but it is never easy against this level of competition.”
For more coverage from the opening MotoGP race in Qatar, see the April 10 issue of Motor Cycle News.