Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar – MotoGP Round 1 Result

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The 2015 MotoGP season got off to an explosive start this evening at the Losail circuit in the deserts of Qatar, with 36 year old Valentino Rossi taking victory.

After a very intense qualifying session in which the all new Ducati GP15 revealed how competitive it was, Andrea Dovizioso gave the Italian brand its first pole position in more than  3 years.  Equally surprisingly, defending world champion Marc Marquez started 3rd behind Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.

The race immediately stirred controversy, as Marquez came very close to, possibly contacting Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista, then missing the 2nd corner and going wide.  Marquez rejoined the race dead last, but Bautista limped into pits with what looked like a severed brake line on the side Marquez bumped him.   MotoGP.com commentators said Bautista was heard muttering “Marquez. Marquez” after he got off his stricken motorcycle.

At the front, Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo traded places for first place for nearly half the race, with the Ducati consistently showing itself to be much quicker on the straights, breezing past the Yamaha M1, only for Lorenzo to take back the leadership position in the tighter corners of the race, perhaps demonstrating the handling prowess the Yamaha is famous for.

Factory Ducati teammate Andrea Iannone remained in a solid 3rd place for most of the first half, until Valentino Rossi came up to him after a very bad start and began nipping at his rear wheel.  These four riders, Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Iannone and Rossi jockeyed for more than 6 laps, traded places in almost every conceivable combination, until with 9 laps to go, Rossi and Dovizioso definitively took off in the lead.

Rossi and Dovizioso traded places until the last couple of laps when Rossi managed to hold the lead, taking the line by a couple of bike lengths, leaving Iannone and Lorenzo to pick up 3rd and 4th. The Factory Hondas were all out of the podium throughout the race, with Pedrosa circulating around 6th, finishing there.  World Champion Marquez stormed up the entire field to finish an impressive 5th.

In the mid field, both Tech3 Yamaha riders, Bradley Smith and Pol Esparago managed 8th and 9th, after a long battle with Cal Crutchlow and Columbian Yonni Hernandez, who impressed in the early laps by holding onto 5th place with the leaders.

Aleix Esparago and Maverick Viñales finished the race with a solid performance on the freshman Suzuki GSX-RR, proving at least that the return of the famous Japanese brand promised reliability.

This is the perfect start to the season for anyone worried that it would be dominated by the usual Honda suspects. The MotoGP circus goes to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas in two weeks.


RESULTS

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 166.7 42’35.717
2 20 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 166.7 +0.174
3 16 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Ducati Team Ducati 166.5 +2.250
4 13 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 166.5 +2.707
5 11 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.2 +7.036
6 10 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.0 +10.755
7 9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR CWM LCR Honda Honda 165.9 +12.384
8 8 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.8 +12.914
9 7 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.8 +13.031
10 6 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Pramac Racing Ducati 165.5 +17.435
11 5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 165.4 +19.901
12 4 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 165.1 +24.432
13 3 45 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 164.6 +32.032
14 2 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 164.5 +33.463
15 1 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 164.5 +33.625
16 6 Stefan BRADL GER Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 164.5 +33.944
17 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 164.2 +38.970
18 50 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 163.7 +46.570
19 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 162.9 +59.211
20 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Octo IodaRacing Team ART 161.9 +1’14.981
21 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 159.9 +1’48.143
22 76 Loris BAZ FRA Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 141.2 3 Laps
Not Classified
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE AB Motoracing Honda 163.8 1 Lap
43 Jack MILLER AUS CWM LCR Honda Honda 163.8 1 Lap
Not Finished 1st Lap
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0 Lap

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for making the article title and image safe for those of us who watched the race delayed instead of live. Most sites put the winner in the title and most show the victor as the image.

  2. Great race!

    In related news, Cal Crutchlow and Fernando
    Alonso were reported to be sitting in a dark
    corner of a dive bar, splitting a large jug of
    draft, and muttering under their breaths.

    • It was indeed a great day for Italian marques. Ferraristi are already whispering the words “renascimento”, while in Ingolstadt (home of Ducati parent Audi) large men in Hugo Boss suits are smiling.

      Crutchlow is a gifted man without any long term plan at all. Pity.

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