Qatar MotoGP: Rossi wins from Ducati duo!

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Valentino Rossi has won the first MotoGP race of 2015 – incredibly, after holding off the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone in one of the best races the class has seen in years.

Rossi was a slow starter, with the leading quartet off the line containing Jorge Lorenzo and three Ducatis – with Yonny Hernandez joining the factory pair. They quickly broke away, with the Italian seven-time champion forced to hunt them down.

Meanwhile, Marc Marquez was forced wide in a turn one scrap, demoting the Repsol Honda rider to dead last. Able to pick his way through the field, the best he could take at the line was fifth, ahead of teammate Pedrosa.

Rossi eventually hauled down the leaders though, battling through to set up an incredible ending with Rossi. Swapping places multiple times on the closing laps, Rossi was just able to do enough to say clear of the ferocious top speed of the Ducati on the start finish straight.

“I said this a lot of times, but this is one of my best results ever. We did a fantastic job during the practice, and had a great set-up. The bike was moving everywhere, and it was a hard job to close down the leaders, but I’m so happy for my team!”

Cal Crutchlow was the best of the Brits and the best of the privateer bikes in seventh, ahead of Bradley Smith and his Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Pol Espargaro, while Hernandez rounded out the top ten.

Scott Redding was thirteenth, while Eugene Laverty finished his MotoGP debut in eighteenth.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer