Lorenzo’s late lunge secures victory in Qatar
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made a superb late charge to win the first race of the season ahead of the Repsol Honda pair of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.
Starting from pole position, Lorenzo led for the first lap before succumbing to an attack from Stoner on lap 3 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 and with the Australian suffering from arm pump, Lorenzo seized the advantage to take the race lead and streaked away to take the checkered flag.
Completing the top five were Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso respectively on their Monster Tech3 Yamaha’s, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards led the CRT bikes across the line in 12th place.
All riders except Michele Pirro selected the extra-hard front tyre for the Qatar race, while with the exception of Alvaro Bautista, Mattia Pasini, James Ellison and Danilo Petrucci, all riders went with the harder rear option for the race.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“I’d like to congratulate Jorge and Yamaha for a well deserved victory. I am very happy to have witnessed such an exciting contest with close racing between the top three riders, and also for fourth and sixth place. The performance of the CRT bikes in their first appearance was also encouraging and our new specification tyres performed well over the race distance, so overall it was a most positive race for Bridgestone.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This race was very exciting and a very positive first competitive outing for our 2012 specification tyres. 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. In particular, Lorenzo completed every lap of the race in the 1 minute 56 bracket so this is quite encouraging.
“Some riders opted for the softer rear option and in particular, Alvaro Bautista’s good performance showed that this was a viable option for some riders and shows how well the asymmetric construction worked around the Losail circuit. It was a very good race for Bridgestone and an exciting race for the fans and I overall I am very pleased with how our tyres performed in Qatar.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“This was maybe one of the greatest races in my whole career. 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. I want to thank Yamaha for the wonderful bike they’ve given me and their hard work over the winter and we need to continue this way as though we’ve won here in Qatar it’s a very long championship”