Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies come away from Qatar pleased with their individual finishing positions and performances. The Yamaha duo rode beyond what was expected of them in a race packed with battles all through the field.
Jorge Lorenzo started well, taking the lead for a few laps before the Honda’s of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa took the lead back. Lorenzo didn’t give up and eventually took back 2nd place, with a ride that saw him push the M1 to the limits.
After the race, Lorenzo said, “I think maybe I am more proud of that podium than a race victory, that's how I feel tonight.”
He continued, “I feel very proud of myself and my team who never gave up and worked to give me the best bike that they can. I put everything I have inside into my riding on the track for the race from the start to the end and was on the limit every lap. I almost crashed on one corner but I managed to stay on the bike and finished in second position which is the best that I could do.”
Ben Spies had a good start to his factory Yamaha career. After getting bogged down in the pack at the start and slipping down to 8th, the American fought through the field to engage in a battle with Ducati’s Valentino Rossi and eventually came out on top to claim an impressive 6th place.
After the race, Spies was rueful of his start, “That's the first race of the year done and dusted, it wasn't picture perfect and I got pushed out a bit in turn one, getting trapped behind Barbera and Rossi the first few laps. They were fighting together which meant I lost touch with the guys in front.”
He continued, “Other than that it was a good race, I struggled to get by Valentino for a while, he was riding really well and he's not an easy guy to get around! Once we were able to get past we set fast lap times and the bike was feeling good. It was just the first part of the race that didn't pan out, I didn't get a lucky break on the start. We race in two weeks so I'm happy to get back on it at Jerez. It's the first race of the year, I didn't make top five but we got some points so I'm happy.”