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.
|16||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward/Yamaha||33.944|
|19||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||59.211|
|20||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1'14.981|
|22||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward/Yamaha||3 Laps|