Motor Sports

2009 MotoGP Qatar

Casey Stoner took a dominant victory in the opening round of 2009 MotoGP World Championship and his third in consecutive years at the Grand Prix Qatar in tonight’s rescheduled race under the floodlights of Losail. With torrential rain forcing the postponement of the original contest last night, the riders returned to the track today for a 20-minute warm-up ahead of the race.

The nervous wait didn’t seem to affect the Australian, who launched from pole position to lead the entire distance, maintaining his searing pace in the second half of the race to keep the chasing Valentino Rossi at bay.

casey-stoner-motogp-09

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo also put in a strong opening showing, finishing second and third. 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.

Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), “I’m so pleased with this victory because it is fruit of the hard work done by everybody at Ducati over the winter. It has been difficult to work in such short sessions here this weekend and going into the race last night we took a gamble with a setting change that we weren’t sure about, but we got the opportunity to try it in warm-up and it felt great, so thank you to the team that worked really hard during the whole week-end. That gave me more confidence ahead of the race. We knew this circuit is demanding for fuel consumpionts and I had to adapt my style a little to keep the pace up and hold the advantage over Valentino but finally we didn’t have problems at all with it. My wrist felt 100% tonight but I still need to work on my overall fitness after the down time over the winter and I’m sure we can keep progressing.”

MotoGP Qatar Results
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’59.701
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 7.771
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 16.244
4. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 24.410
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda + 27.263
6. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 29.883
7. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 33.627
8. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing + 34.755
9. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 39.481
10. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP + 42.284
11. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda + 48.526
12. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team + 48.883
13. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando + 52.215
14. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team + 56.379
15. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team + 1’00.286
16. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1’14.978
17. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing + 1’15.028

NOT CLASSIFIED: Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 15 Lap

MotoGP 2009 Championship Standings
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 25
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 20
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 16
4. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 13
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda 11
6. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 10
7. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 9
8. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing 8
9. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 7
10. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 6
11. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 5
12. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 4
13. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando 3
14. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team 2
15. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team 1

Leave a Reply