Lorenzo kicked off the defence of his title in the best possible way while teammate Rossi proved he still hasn’t lost his magic.
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo kicked off the defence of his title tonight in the best possible way, delivering a flawless ride under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit to take a perfect victory in the Grand Prix of Qatar. Lorenzo put the hammer down from pole position, taking the hole-shot into turn one and never looking back. He remained untouchable throughout, dispatching the 22 laps in isolation with trademark efficiency to claim his first victory of the season and add 25 Championship points to his 2013 title bid.
Jorge Lorenzo - 1st
“Half an hour before the race I felt a little bit nervous so I had to really concentrate and relax on the grid. I knew it was going to be difficult to open a gap but I had to try, I made a good start and pushed more than 100%. In the beginning it was hard to open the gap as Pedrosa didn’t want to let me get away, he tried to stay with me but after six or seven laps I opened the gap which made me more confident to keep my pace. I’m very happy for Yamaha and happy for Valentino as he has now passed two difficult years.”
""Valentino Rossi - 2nd
“I’m more than happy, very happy indeed because it was my dream to come back with Yamaha. To arrive on the podium at the first race was my target from November and I put all my effort to arrive at the maximum here. It was a difficult weekend, especially yesterday in qualifying, but I know I had great pace so I tried to recover in the beginning but I made a mistake and I lost time. I had to do a great second part of the race and step by step I came close to my podium. In the end there was a great battle, especially with Marc for the second place. I’m so happy for me, for my team, for my friends and all my fans who stay with me through two difficult years and also for Yamaha, to start the season with first and second place is not so bad!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“What a terrific start to the season, we are of course very pleased with the result. There are 17 races to go and it looks like it will be a fantastic season. The first race is always quite important to get a little advantage and have a good feeling. To have your first win for Jorge and of course second with Vale is great for the team and for the spirit because it will be a long season as we know so for everybody it's a big boost. We go to Austin now where we struggled a bit in the test but we have improved the bike already quite a bit. Hopefully we’ll be able to close the gap and have a good race there as well.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“I have to say that this weekend started very well and finished even better. We couldn’t expect anything more. We won the race with a big gap and we finished second with Vale after he made an incredible comeback. I think the team did a really great job since Sepang test one, making the bike better and better and I thin this result is the icing on the cake. Everyone put in a lot of effort so I have to make a big thank you to then all. This is the best way to start the season and we won’t give up to until the end.”
Yamaha Factory Team