Qatar GP: Fiat Yamaha race report

Fiat Yamaha pair open account with double podium in Qatar Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo put in a strong opening showing for the Fiat Yamaha Team tonight, finishing second and third under the Qatar floodlights after the race was delayed 24 ...

Fiat Yamaha pair open account with double podium in Qatar

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo put in a strong opening showing for the Fiat Yamaha Team tonight, finishing second and third under the Qatar floodlights after the race was delayed 24 hours following last night's heavy rain. Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards brought his M1 home in fourth, making it three Yamaha's in the top four, with Casey Stoner taking the race win.

Starting from second on the grid, Rossi lost some ground at the start and was passed by Loris Capirossi and then Lorenzo. He had passed his team-mate back by the end of the first lap and on lap three he despatched Capirossi, but by that time Stoner was already some three seconds clear. The world champion set off in pursuit and after ten laps had closed the gap to less than two seconds, but the wear and tear from pushing so hard on his Bridgestone tyres was beginning to tell and he wisely chose to settle for the safe option and twenty points, crossing the line 7.771 seconds adrift.

His team-mate Lorenzo, who finished second here last year in what was his first MotoGP race, rode a spirited race from the third grid spot. He slipped down to sixth at one point but found his rhythm and fought back to pass Edwards, Capirossi and eventually Dovizioso to take the final podium spot, a further eight seconds behind Rossi.

Round two of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Motegi in Japan in just under two weeks time.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2ndTime: +7.771

"So I think it's definitely more fun to race on a Monday than test, like last year! Today the conditions of the track were quite different to before and this evening in warm-up we encountered a couple of small problems related to tyres, so our strategy had to change slightly tonight. It's a pity because I think last night we could have put up more of a fight, but anyway this is a good result to start the season, much better than last year. I knew I needed a good start in order to go with Stoner but unfortunately I didn't get one and I lost some time fighting with Lorenzo and Capirossi and by then Stoner had already gone! The middle part of the race was great fun and I made six or seven good laps to come much closer, but I knew I wouldn't be able to continue in that rhythm, it was too risky for the tyres and I decided it was more important to take the 20 points. Casey was very strong today but he is always fast here and I believe that our potential is very good; I think that we can be back fighting again in Motegi. I am so glad we could race today after yesterday and I am satisfied to be leaving here having made a good start to the season - it is long!"

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 3rdTime: +16.244

"I am so happy to be on the podium tonight, I really enjoyed some parts of the race when I made some good overtakes and felt confident enough to take some risks. The grip of the track was better tonight but my rear tyre was moving from the start, so this is something we need to address and improve. Apart from the result and the points it is clear we have some work to do because our pace tonight was too far off Rossi and especially Stoner. The gap is too big! After yesterday's crazy weather I am really happy we could race, it was very important for everyone and now we have got the season underway with a good result, my aim is to be much closer to the leaders in Motegi."

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"We didn't win but we can consider this a good start to the season, certainly much better than in 2008. Now we need to work to fix one or two small problems that we have. The middle part of the race was good, we were gaining on Stoner but in the latter stages he was in a better condition to push and Valentino was right to settle for second. It's a long championship and the points are important. We are confident that we will be able to battle with Stoner in Motegi."

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"We are happy with the result because we have started the season well and this is very important, especially with so many rule changes to get used to. It is clear that we have some hard work to do in order to close the gap on the leaders and that we need to improve our setting further, so this will be our target for Motegi. Well done to everyone for the effort to get the race run tonight, it was very important to have the chance to compete."

-credit: yamaha

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Davide Brivio