Motorsport Wrap for Monday 11th April 2010
PERFECT START FOR ROSSI
World MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi has made the perfect start to his title defence with victory at the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.
However, the news wasn't so good for Australia's Casey Stoner. The Ducati rider - who had taken pole position on Saturday using the softer of Bridgestone's supplied tyres - crashed out of the race while leading.
Stoner had been seeking his fourth consecutive win under the floodlights at Qatar but lost the front end of his bike on the fifth lap.
Rossi, on a Yamaha, won by 1.022sec from teammate Jorge Lorenzo while his Italian compatriot Andrea Dovizioso, riding a Honda, finished third. Rossi's victory was the 104th of his career, and he admitted it had been hard work.
"Stoner was incredibly fast and I thought he was going to win so when I saw him make a mistake I knew we had to continue to push," Rossi told BBC Sport.
"Dovizioso was taking half a second a lap from me on the straight so I had to ride very hard on the infield.
"It is a bonus 25 points with Stoner not finishing and it is a great start to the season for us."
The teams now head to Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix on April 26th.