Lorenzo Begins Title Defence with Qatar Victory


Jorge Lorenzo got his MotoGP championship defence off to an ominous start with a comfortable victory in Qatar. The Spaniard was involved in a five-way battle at the front before taking the lead shortly before half distance and ultimately easing away with Andrea Dovizioso beating Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi to second.

The theme of 2015 saw Lorenzo often take a first-lap lead before storming off into the distance but the phenomenal straight-line speed of the Ducatis ensured he couldn’t check out this time. Before the end of the opening lap, Andrea Iannone had breezed through into the lead while Dovizioso also used the horsepower of his Desmosedici GP to grab second on lap two.

Any Ducati masterplan began to fall apart on lap six as Dovizioso took the fight to Iannone, diving past into turn one. The younger of the two Italians snapped straight back to regain the lead but when Dovizioso edged ahead again at turn six, Iannone’s response was a high-speed crash at turn thirteen which eliminated him from the battle.

Lorenzo inherited second as a result and despite Marquez and Rossi shadowing him, the world champion had eyes only for the lead and under braking for turn four on lap nine, Jorge eased past Dovizioso to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. Dovizioso came under further pressure in the latter stages but despite a last corner lunge from Marquez, the Ducati rider maintained second with Rossi a tenth of a second further back in fourth.

Dani Pedrosa won a race-long scrap with Maverick Vinales for fifth while Pol Espargaro outdragged Tech 3 teammate Bradley Smith on the run to the finish line to snatch seventh. Hector Barbera was ninth, three seconds clear of Scott Redding in tenth but Cal Crutchlow failed to register any points after crashing on lap seven.

 

2016 COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR (RACE RESULT)

PosRiderConstructorTeamTime/GapPts
199. Jorge LORENZOYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP42:28.45225
24. Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiDucati Team+2.01920
393. Marc MARQUEZHondaRepsol Honda Team+2.28716
446. Valentino ROSSIYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+2.38713
526. Dani PEDROSAHondaRepsol Honda Team+14.08311
625. Maverick VINALESSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+15.42310
744. Pol ESPARGAROYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+18.6299
838. Bradley SMITHYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+18.6528
98. Hector BARBERADucatiAvintia Racing+21.1607
1045. Scott REDDINGDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich+24.4356
1141. Aleix ESPARGAROSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+35.8475
1250. Eugene LAVERTYDucatiAspar MotoGP Team+41.7564
1319. Alvaro BAUTISTAApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+41.9323
1443. Jack MILLERHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+41.9822
1553. Tito RABATHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+54.9531
NC6. Stefan BRADLApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+11 Laps
NC76. Loris BAZDucatiAvintia Racing+14 Laps
NC35. Cal CRUTCHLOWHondaLCR Honda+16 Laps
NC29. Andrea IANNONEDucatiDucati Team+17 Laps
NC68. Yonny HERNANDEZDucatiAspar MotoGP Team+21 Laps
NS9. Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiOcto Pramac YakhnichInjured