LORENZO WINS SEASON-OPENER IN QATAR
Yamaha Rider Jorge Lorenzo made a superb late charge to win the first MotoGP race of the season ahead of the Honda pair of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner in Qatar.
Starting from pole position on Bridgestone's hard compound tyres, Lorenzo led for the first lap before succumbing to an attack from Stoner on lap three with the reigning champ setting a strong pace to lead the race until lap 19.
Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa managed to keep in touch with Stoner before the Australian started to suffer from arm cramps. Lorenzo seized the advantage to take the race lead and streaked away to take the checkered flag.
"This was maybe one of the greatest races in my whole career," said Lorenzo.
"It was a very hard race but this victory happened because I never gave up and finally when Casey dropped off, I was in a position to profit from it."
Stoner said he was aiming to ensure there was no repeat of the problem before the next round at Jerez in Spain on April 29.
"We were by far the fastest out there but after four laps I was started to get real arm pump, my arms were shaking off the bars and I was holding on with two fingers," he said.
"I couldn't grip and I couldn't use the brakes. Without that there was no problem to win, we're really happy with the speed of the bike. I've got two weeks to go away and train and we can come back again."
Bridgestone engineers will also be using the next fortnight to prepare for the race at Jerez after a successful start to the season.
“This race was very exciting and a very positive first competitive outing for our 2012 specification tyres," said Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department.
"Yamaha and Honda both showed very good race pace and I am encouraged by the consistency of lap times throughout the entire field as it showed the predictable wear characteristics of our new specification tyres."