Lorenzo Dominates MOTOGP Season Opener
Jorge Lorenzo has started the defence of his MotoGP championship in the best possible fashion with victory at the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.
After qualifying on pole, Lorenzo got an excellent start to lead into the first corner and was never headed, crossing the finish almost six seconds ahead of Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi.
"Before the race I felt nervous and had to concentrate as I knew it was very important to get a good start," Rossi said.
"I had to try to build a good gap and after a good start I pushed more than 100%, but in the first laps it was hard to get away. Little by little it got easier and I was finally able to get away."
Track temperatures were cool for the race with all riders opting for the softer rear Bridgestone slick to ensure maximum edge grip. Despite the less than ideal track conditions, the overall race time was five seconds faster than last year.
"The softer rear slick still offered enough durability for a race distance and it was pleasing to see that despite the less than ideal track conditions, the overall race time was almost five seconds quicker than last year," said Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department.
"Overall, I am happy with tyre performance over the first race weekend of the season and it was excellent to get the season started with such an exciting contest."
Mixed Fortunes For Kelly Brothers
It was another steep learning curve for the Bridgestone-backed Nissan Motorsport team at Symmons Plains in Tasmania with the Kelly brothers battling for points in the V8 Supercars Championship.
Both brothers managed a top placing of 16th through the five races of the weekend with Todd finishing the Tasmanian leg in 15th place in the Championship standings ahead of the next race in Auckland.
"The whole aim coming to Tassie was to try and get through with straight cars ready to go to New Zealand," said Rick.
"We knew it was going to be a struggle and we had to just get as many points as we possibly could.
"We fixed the car and got it to go round the corners really well - we've just got to get it to go up the straights."
Holden teams dominated the weekend with Jamie Whincup's solid weekend seeing him take top spot in the championship standings.
The teams now travel to New Zealand for next weekend's Auckland 400.
1. Jamie Whincup (Holden) 439 points
2. Will Davison (Ford) 382
3. Craig Lowndes (Holden) 349
16. Rick Kelly (Nissan) 189
28. Todd Kelly (Nissan) 38