Nico Terol was in a class of his own as he cruised to a dominant victory in the Grand Prix of Qatar. The Bankia Aspar rider led from start to finish, with his advantage well over ten seconds by the halfway stage before he eased off in the closing stages.

The main focus in the race was on the three-way battle for second, between front row starters Sandro Cortese and Efren Vazquez, as well as the second Aspar runner Hector Faubel.

Their squabbling not only allowed Terol to make a break at the front, but also saw them fall into the clutches of Jonas Folger and Sergio Gadea. Faubel dropped out of the fight on Lap 14 after out-braking himself into turn one trying to pass Cortese. It became immediately apparent that he had a problem as he tumbled down the order, eventually finishing 11th.

With four laps to go, Cortese began to pull out a slight gap ahead of Vazquez, while Gadea had leapfrogged Folger into fourth.

On the penultimate lap, he repeated the feat to take third from Vazquez, and after the Avant-AirAsia-Ajo rider ran wide on the final lap, he claimed the final podium position.

Behind them, there was an equally entertaining tussle for sixth. Rookie Maverick Vinales had briefly held that position, before being shuffled back to ninth. Johann Zarco out-dragged Alberto Moncayo on the run to the line to take that sixth place, with Moncayo seventh, and Luis Salom eighth.

Danny Kent took points in the second Red Bull Ajo Motorsport entry. The Brit dropped behind Jasper Iwema and Simone Grotzkyj late on before re-passing the Italian on the final lap.

Danny Webb narrowly missed out on points for Mahindra Racing in 16th. He had earlier had a battle with rookie Taylor Mackenzie, who ran off track on Lap 11 before slipping back to 18th. The fourth British rider, Harry Stafford finished 25th.

Of course, with this race being the first of the 2011 season, the Riders’ Championship standings reflect the result of the first Grand Prix. So Terol leads by five points from Cortese.

Race Result (18 Laps)

Pos Rider Team Time/Gap Points
1 Nico Terol Bankia Aspar Team 38:28.687 25
2 Sandro Cortese Intact-Racing Team Germany +7.710 20
3 Sergio Gadea Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris-Hilton +9.147 16
4 Efren Vazquez Avant-AirAsia-Ajo +9.514 13
5 Jonas Folger Red Bull Ajo MotorSport +9.698 11
6 Johann Zarco Avant-AirAsia-Ajo +15.260 10
7 Alberto Moncayo Andalucía Banca Civica +15.352 9
8 Luis Salom RW Racing GP +15.696 8
9 Maverick Vinales Pev-Blusens-SMX-Paris-Hilton +15.910 7
10 Miguel Oliveira Andalucía Banca Civica +27.396 6
11 Hector Faubel Bankia Aspar Team +42.563 5
12 Jasper Iwema Ongetta-Abbink-Metaal +43.772 4
13 Danny Kent Red Bull Ajo MotorSport +44.001 3
14 Simone Grotzkyj Phonica Racing +44.272 2
15 Louis Rossi Matteoni Racing +50.030 1
16 Danny Webb Mahindra Racing +50.424
17 Niklas Ajo TT Motion Events Racing +1:01.545
18 Taylor Mackenzie Phonica Racing +1:02.931
19 Zulfahmi Khairuddin AirAsia-Sic-Ajo +1:05.192
20 Luigi Morciano Team Italia FMI +1:05.273
21 Marcel Schrotter Mahindra Racing +1:05.396
22 Alessandro Tonucci Team Italia FMI +1:12.458
23 Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta-Centro-Seta +1:30.629
24 Daniel Kartheininger Caretta Technology Forward Team +1:30.792
25 Harry Stafford Ongetta-Centro-Seta +1:30.798
26 Giulian Pedone Phonica Racing +1:54.387
27 Francesco Mauriello WTR-Ten10 Racing +1:54.548
28 Adrian Martin Bankia Aspar Team +4 Laps


Not Classified:

Joan Perello Matteoni Racing +9 Laps
Hiroki Ono Caretta Technology Forward Team +11 Laps