Legend Rossi wins sensational MotoGP opener in Qatar

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Valentino Rossi won the opening round of the MotoGP season under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar after a fantastic duel with Andrea Dovizioso.

Valentino Rossi surged to a thrilling race win at the 2015 MotoGP season opener with the seven times MotoGP champion battling it out with Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso down to the last corner to take a sensational victory at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar with Andrea Iannone taking the final step on the podium on the second factory Ducati.

Following a tough battle from 10th position at the start of the 22 lap race, Rossi overcame the gap to the leading Ducati pair who streaked away at the front with Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo who was also battling for the lead with Dovizioso for two thirds of the race only to fall off the pace at the end to finish in fourth place. 

Dovizioso led the opening lap from Lorenzo, while fellow front row starter Marc Marquez ran off the track at the first corner, dropping to dead last. Works Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa also wasted his front row starting slot by plummeting to ninth on the first lap.

Dovizioso snatched the lead with four laps to go, with Rossi further demoting Lorenzo to third. Rossi then hit the front with three laps remaining, but Dovizioso appeared to have a straightline speed advantage. Rossi led around the final lap, and Dovizioso put his faith in his Ducati's top speed, but didn't quite have enough.

Marquez eventually finished ahead of Pedrosa while LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow had a tough race under the floodlights but finished in 7th and ahead of Tech 3 pairing Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro. The top ten was rounded off by Pramac Ducati's Yonny Hernandez who was fighting for fourth early on.

 Pos   Rider   Bike   Time/Gap 
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 43:35.717 
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.174
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati 2.250
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2.707
5 Marc Márquez Honda 7.036
6 Daniel Pedrosa Honda 10.755
7 Cal Crutchlow Honda 12.384
8 Bradley Smith Yamaha 12.914
9 Pol Espargaró Yamaha 13.031
10 Yonny Hernández Ducati 17.435
11 Aleix Espargaró Suzuki 19.901
12 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 24.432
13 Scott Redding Honda 32.032
14 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 33.463
15 Héctor Barberá Ducati 33.625
16 Stefan Bradl Yamaha Forward/Yamaha 33.944
17 Nicky Hayden Honda 38.970
18 Eugene Laverty Honda 46.570
19 Mike Di Meglio Ducati 59.211
20 Alex de Angelis ART/Aprilia 1'14.981
21 Marco Melandri Aprilia 1'48.143
22 Loris Baz Yamaha Forward/Yamaha 3 Laps
 Retirements
  Karel Abraham Honda Retirement
  Jack Miller Honda Retirement
  Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Retirement

 

 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Bradley Smith , Eugene Laverty , Marco Melandri , Hector Barbera , Alvaro Bautista , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Alex de Angelis , Cal Crutchlow , Stefan Bradl , Scott Redding , Aleix Espargaro , Dani Pedrosa , Karel Abraham , Marc Marquez , Yonny Hernandez , Danilo Petrucci , Loris Baz , Pol Espargaro , Andrea Iannone , Jack Miller , Maverick Viñales
Article type Race report