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Lorenzo wins in Qatar from Rossi and Marquez
Lorenzo motors to victory under the lights in Qatar
Jorge Lorenzo has started his MotoGP title defense in the best possible way, winning Sunday’s Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. Valentino Rossi charged back from a mistake to second place as Marc Marquez picked up a podium on his debut.

The much-awaited start to the 2013 campaign came under lights as the Losail International Circuit celebrated its tenth MotoGP event. World Champion Lorenzo aimed to repeat his performance of last year by taking victory from pole position. Marquez’s much-awaited first race would begin from sixth on the grid.

As the lights went out, a scorching start by Dani Pedrosa saw the Repsol Honda Team rider shoot up into second place by Turn 1, hoping to challenge Lorenzo who began to pull away on his Yamaha Factory Racing bike. The same could not be said for Pedrosa’s teammate Marquez, who endured a slow getaway and dropped to eighth.

On Lap 2, Cardion AB Motoracing's Karel Abraham became the first retirement of 2013 as Marquez looked to recover. By Lap 4, the 20-year-old Spaniard and youngest rider in the field had already passed Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and then pulled a move on Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, at Turn 1. Lorenzo already led Pedrosa by 1.6 seconds and would eventually stretch his advantage by half a second per lap as those behind him became engaged in a dramatic battle.

By the halfway point on Lap 11, Marquez was very much involved in a duel with teammate Pedrosa, as Crutchlow looked to take advantage; it was at this point that Rossi’s charge took off. In his first race back with Yamaha, the Italian had run wide on the second lap and plummeted back to where he started - seventh place. Moves came on Dovizioso and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who proceeded to crash while chasing down the seven-time premier class title winner.

Also failing to make the finish were GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring, Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, who had been the lead CRT runner at Losail last year.

Marquez overtook Pedrosa on the 17th tour of the 22, leaving the latter to deal with Crutchlow as Rossi joined combat. The Italian stormed past the Englishman in a brave move between Crutchlow and the pit wall, only for the Tech 3 man to misjudge his braking point and run off-track at Turn 1. Rossi’s charge continued with maneuvers on Pedrosa and Marquez on Laps 19 and 20 respectively, only for the debutant to fight back as the pair went head-to-head.

Rossi would come out on top by just two tenths of a second, with Marquez becoming the first MotoGP rookie to seal a rostrum result in his first race since Lorenzo finished second position at Losail five years ago. Tonight, Lorenzo’s eventually winning margin was 5.9 seconds.

Pedrosa and Crutchlow completed the top five from Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden on the pair of Ducati Team machines, Pramac Racing newcomer Andrea Iannone and his teammate Ben Spies. Power Electronics Aspar won CRT honors, with reigning class Champion Aleix Espargaro finishing 11th overall and leading home teammate Randy de Puniet by 6.6 seconds.

Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera rose from 22nd on the grid to 13th, having suffered electrical problems in qualifying, as rounding up the 18 finishers were PBM’s Yonny Hernandez, Avanti’s Hiroshi Aoyama, Forward’s Claudio Corti, PBM’s Michael Laverty and Ioda’s Lukas Pesek who on Saturday had qualified 15th for his debut.

In two weeks’ time MotoGP will head to pastures new, as the 18-round World Championship travels to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.


Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Time/Gap
1 25 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 42'39.802
2 20 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +5.990
3 16 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +6.201
4 13 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +9.473
5 11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +18.764
6 10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda +22.148
7 9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +24.355
8 8 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +24.920
9 7 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati +37.124
10 6 11 Ben SPIES USA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati +44.908
11 5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART +49.809
12 4 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART +56.495
13 3 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR +1'09.599
14 2 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART +1'10.742
15 1 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR +1'13.600
16 0 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki +1'29.444
17 0 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM +1'34.341
18 0 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter +1'34.683
19 0 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 7 Laps
21 0 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 10 Laps
21 0 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 14 Laps
22 0 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 18 Laps
23 0 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 21 Laps
24 0 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 0 Lap

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