Bridgestone: Lorenzo dominates MotoGP season opener at Qatar

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Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard; Rear: Medium & Hard (Asymmetric). Weather: Dry. Ambient 22-22°C; Track 23-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo led from start to finish at the Qatar Grand Prix to start the defence of his MotoGP™ title in the best possible fashion.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Starting from pole, Lorenzo got an excellent start and led into the first corner and was never headed, going to cross the finish line 5.990 seconds ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi who made a valiant charge through the field to claim second place. The final rider on the podium was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the MotoGP™ rookie losing out to Rossi by just 0.211 seconds. Claiming CRT honours at Qatar was Power Electronics Aleix Espargaro, the reigning CRT champion placing eleventh ahead of his teammate Randy de Puniet.

Track temperatures were cooler again today with a peak of 23°C and though the wind reduced in intensity compared to yesterday, there was still a significant amount of sand on the tarmac. As track conditions were quite dusty for the race, all riders opted for the softer rear slick to ensure maximum edge grip in the tricky conditions, while all but two riders – Bautista and Pesek – selected the harder front slick. Despite the less than ideal track conditions, the overall race time was five seconds faster than last year and Marc Marquez’s quickest race lap of 1'55.445 was just three-tenths short of the race lap record.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“The tyre combination that was most popular during practice and qualifying proved to be the best choice for the race, with all but two riders selecting the harder front slick paired with the softer rear. The track temperature was cooler than yesterday and this combined with the dusty track made the softer rear slick the option that would ensure the best combination of edge grip and rear drive. The softer rear slick still offered enough durability for a race distance and it was pleasing to see that despite the less than ideal track conditions, the overall race time was almost five seconds quicker than last year. Overall, I am happy with tyre performance over the first race weekend of the season and it was excellent to get the season started with such an exciting contest.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner

“Before the race I felt nervous and had to concentrate as I knew it was very important to get a good start. I had to try to build a good gap and after a good start I pushed more than 100%, but in the first laps it was hard to get away. Little by little it got easier and I was finally able to get away. This was a very good result for me, for my teammate Rossi and for Yamaha.”

Bridgestone Motorsport

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Race report
Tags aoki, bridgestone, lorenzo, losail, motogp, qatar