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Lorenzo Wins Season-Opener Race in Qatar, the Game Is On

The anticipations for the 2016 MotoGP championship are even higher after the first race of the season. Jorge Lorenzo claimed victory in the kick-off race, after battling a very fast Ducati factory duo, yet getting the better of both with his impeccable riding style.
Jorge Lorenzo wins in Qatar, 2016 21 photos
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The qualifying sessions saw Suzuki back in the first row of the starting grid with Maverick Vinales, who was flanked by Lorenzo, who also was in the pole position, and two-time world champion Marc Marquez. Still, it appears that Vinales needs a bit more experience to be able to make the best of his potential and that of his bike.

Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone led the pack in the early laps, and we could see how tremendously fast and powerful these bikes are on some track sections.

Watching Iannone and then Dovizioso passing Lorenzo on the start-finish line with such ease despite the fact that the Spaniard rode with the throttle open fully was almost incredible. Iannone, unfortunately, crashed early in the race, with both of his wheels apparently washing away from the white line. The exact conditions of this crash remain to be investigated, but the Italian was unhurt.

The DNF list also saw the names of Hernandez, Crutchlow, Baz and Bradl added, with no rider sustaining injuries.

Lorenzo passed Dovizioso, but was unable to open up a significant gap until the final laps. Dovizioso battled Marquez, with Rossi tailgating the Spaniard. However, Rossi's bike appeared to lack the extra power needed to get past Marquez and make it stick, and just missed the rostrum by exactly one-tenth of a second.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa was fifth, but with a 14-second gap from the leader, trailed by Vinales, who only looks like he is becoming stronger with each outing. The two Tech 3 satellite Yamaha followed, with Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith.

The top ten included two more Ducati bikes, surprisingly, one of the customer machines ridden by Avintia's Hector Barbera finishing ahead of the satellite OCTO Pramac Yakhnich bike that had Scott Redding at the helm.

With five riders out of the race and Danilo Petrucci still sidelined by his injury, all those who crossed the finish line in Qatar earned points. Outside the top ten, they were, in order, Aleix Espargaro, Eugene Laverty, Alvaro Bautista, Jack Miller, and Tito Rabat.

The next round of the 2016 MotoGP championship is on April 3, at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, in Argentina.

 
 
 
 
 

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