Motoette -in forward motion

MotoGP Qatar- Final race results overview

via Sporttravel.nl

In the mild desert climate, minutes before the 10pm race start, the riders and their crew stood in solidarity while displaying a banner of the Japanese flag and gave one minute of silence in honour of the tragedy stricken island.

Sunday night in Qatar’s Losail International circuit was to mark 24 Grand Prix wins for recent Repsol Honda rider, Casey Stoner. In the first half of the 22 lap race, the Aussie had his work cut out for him with teammate Dani Pedrosa going back and forth for first position, with reigning 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo tucked close behind. Even with a 3rd and final place on the podium, Pedrosa struggled through out most of race, admitting later that he was having issues with his arm and shifting

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda
“After a great pre-season, we came into this race weekend and everything kept getting better and better for us. This morning in warm up we had a few issues getting a good feeling with the bike, carrying a full tank of fuel and this issue also affected us in the early part of the race. We knew though as the fuel level decreased and the tyres aged, that our bike would come back to us. Dani came past and we decided to follow to see where he was strong and where I was weak. Then when I started to feel more confident with the bike and had more grip and better turning, we decided to push forwards and take advantage. Tonight the bike was fantastic, as it has been for all the sessions and I’m very proud to be racing for Repsol Honda and to take my first victory in the first race. It is a great way to start the season! I’m really happy with how everything has gone and the way the team has all worked together, a big thanks to Honda and my best wishes to Japan in this difficult time”.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda
“I’m disappointed, not for the race I had, but for the physical problems I had again with my left arm. Already in practice I felt something, but I was not sure if it could be that bad. At the end I couldn’t grab the handlebar and in the last 7-8 laps I couldn’t use the clutch at all. I was just holding the arm and I was suffering a lot. The bike was perfect all race, I had the chance to win but I had a very hard time, one of the toughest races of my life. I don’t know what I can do because I should be ok after the rest I had this winter. I did the tests and everything was in order. I feel sorry for my team as well, because the bike was very good, fast, perfect also in the corners. I’m proud of how I’ve been riding, I’ve been fighting with Casey in this circuit, as nobody else did in the past, but at the same time, I feel sad because I don’t know what the future will bring. I know we will go to Jerez in two weeks, where the bike will run very well, and I’m very strong and fast, but I don’t know what will happen”.

Just like the dramatic floodlights that illuminated the evening track, the race start took on the same drama with an immediate out of the shoot start of the 16 riders. Within in the first lap Marlboro Ducatt’s Valentino Rossi attempted to catapult himself to 2nd from his 9th pole position, but failed by over braking and going wide, pushing him back four positions. By the second lap the dynamic Italian fell to 7th after Mapfre Aspar Ducati’s Hector Barbera passed him.
Another intense episode to get the fans to sit up and take notice was Pramac’s Ducati’s Randy De Puniet with a low side on a hair-pin turn on the first lap. The first of two Pramac Ducati riders not to complete the race.
The sponsor-less Yamaha rider, Jorge Lorenzo came off the track raising his arms in triumph, publicly displaying how pleased he was with his performance and placed 2nd on the podium. He later stated “that it was the best race of his life”. It was a challenging first race and test of endurance for the Spaniard, by not giving up in the fight to push up the line. In his determination, Lorenzo literally nudged Pedrosa off onto the grassy sidelines in a ditch effort to over take Pedrosa, which paid off for him in the end.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
“I think maybe I am more proud of that podium than a race victory, that’s how I feel tonight. I feel very proud of myself and my team who never gave up and worked to give me the best bike that they can. I put everything I have inside into my riding on the track for the race. From the start to the end, I was on the limit every lap. I almost crashed on one corner but I managed to stay on the bike and finished in second position which is the best that I could do.”

Coming in 4th was Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso. The exuberant Italian expressed his disappointment in himself by not placing on the podium, but was very pleased with his set-up and good physical condition.
San Carlos Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli, cruised off the tarmac placing 5th and feeling good even after losing a fervent battle with Andrea Dovizioso and relinquishing a 4th position. The “big haired” Italian clearly showed his potential for a favorable race season by obtaining his fastest time on the final lap of the race and keeping a low margin to the front runner, Casey Stoner.

Marco Simoncelli (5th):
“I am delighted! I was a bit too nervous over the first few laps but it was so good to be racing at the front of the field that I almost didn’t finish the race! Joking aside I am really happy because I thought my pace would be in the 1’56″s but we were able to better it. At one point when I passed Dovizioso I thought I might be able to go after Lorenzo but I made a little mistake and it broke my rhythm. Then at the end in the battle with Dovizioso I was slightly slower than him on used tyres and I dropped off. Anyway, it was great to see the others so close up and I am sure this was my best race – maybe not the result but in terms of my consistency and the distance to the race winner. Now we need to take another step in the next race and have fun with the guys in the team, who have done a fantastic job.”

Another dynamic duo to vacillate for a 6th and 7th position towards the latter part of the race was Marlboro Ducati’s Valentino Rossi and Yamaha’s Ben Spies. The two charismatic riders gave it their all in the first race of the season by duking it out in an effort to overtake each other. At one point, Rossi almost lost it on his GP11 by nearly losing his balance and going into Spies. In the end Rossi resigned himself to the 7th spot and Spies took ownership of 6th.

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing
“That’s the first race of the year done and dusted, it wasn’t picture perfect and I got pushed out a bit in turn one, getting trapped behind Barbera and Rossi the first few laps. They were fighting together which meant I lost touch with the guys in front. Other than that it was a good race, I struggled to get by Valentino for a while, he was riding really well and he’s not an easy guy to get around! Once we were able to get past, we set fast lap times and the bike was feeling good. It was just the first part of the race that didn’t pan out. We race in two weeks so I’m happy to get back on it at Jerez. It’s the first race of the year, I didn’t make top five but we got some points so I’m happy.”

Valentino Rossi: Ducati
“For sure we’re not here to get seventh-place finishes, but there are also positive things from this race, starting with the times, because we were lapping pretty quickly. I had a great start, and that was a nice feeling because the horsepower that this bike has really helps it to launch. Then I made a small error in the first turn, which is a shame because I got stuck behind Barbera for a few laps. Otherwise I would have been closer to Simoncelli and Dovizioso, since anyway there was a period when I lapped with them. I wouldn’t have beaten them though, because at the end of the race, I’m no longer able to ride like I have to. I’m not referring to the Ducati because even last year, after I hurt my shoulder, I had the same problems in the latter parts of the races, and since the two bikes are so different, it means that it’s really a matter of me not being physically right. It’s not just that. We also have to improve the bike because the others have clearly made a step forward since last year. Still, I learned a lot in this test and in this race, and we’ve already given very specific instructions about what must be done in the long term, in order to improve for the second half of the season for example. In the near term, on the other hand, we’ll work on the setup, we’ll keep gathering experience, and I’ll continue exercising and doing everything I can to recuperate physically.”

LCR Honda’s Toni Elias did not have a good first race experience low siding with only 4 laps to go, the same corner that solo rider for Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista crashed in the FP rounds, leaving the Factory team without a rider for race day.
The newly appointed rider for Pramac Ducati, Loris Capirossi also did not finish after putting in one lap.

Final MotoGP Race Results, Sunday, March 20, 2011
Pos.PointsNum.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTime/Gap
12527Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda166.542’38.569
2201Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha166.3+3.440
31626Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda166.2+5.051
4134Andrea DOVIZIOSOITARepsol Honda TeamHonda166.2+5.942
51158Marco SIMONCELLIITASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda166.1+7.358
61011Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha165.9+10.468
7946Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati165.5+16.431
885Colin EDWARDSUSAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha164.8+26.293
9769Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati164.8+27.416
1067Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNSan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda164.7+28.920
11535Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha164.3+34.539
1248Hector BARBERASPAMapfre Aspar Team MotoGPDucati164.3+34.829
13317Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati164.1+37.957
Not Classified
24Toni ELIASSPALCR Honda MotoGPHonda162.84 Laps
65Loris CAPIROSSIITAPramac Racing TeamDucati142.421 Laps
14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPramac Racing TeamDucati0 Lap

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March 23, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, Qatar, Randy De Puniet, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha

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