Rossi Takes Dominant Qatar GP Win

Valentino Rossi started his title defense campaign in 2010 in style, claiming victory in a place where he hadn't felt the taste of winning since 2006. The Italian rode to a solitary win in the season opening round of Qatar, winning his first race under artificial lights at the Losail International Circuit. His teammate from Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo, managed to come in 2nd place after a late surge in the final few laps, while Honda's Andrea Dovizioso completed the Qatar podium.

As you might have noticed, race favorite and main title rival for Rossi this year Casey Stoner is missing from this equation. The Australian rider got off to a perfect start on Sunday and was set to end yet another dominating weekend at Losail – having secured pole position on Saturday – but recorded his first DNF only 5 laps into the race, while in the lead, after sliding into the gravel.

By that time, Stoner had already passed Rossi and Honda's Dani Pedrosa. Once the path to victory was cleared, the Italian pulled a quick move on the Spaniard and got into the lead. The Honda rider was relegated soon after, as his very teammate Andrea Dovizioso passed him for 2nd place and even got to challenge his compatriot from Yamaha for the top spot by mid-race.

Dovi eventually got into the lead on the main straight of Lap 17 – thanks to Honda's superior straight line speed – but was re-passed by the Italian shortly after. However, although riding in a strong 2nd all the way until the final few laps of the race, the Italian rider failed to finish on that position, just as 3rd placed (at the time) Nicky Hayden failed to score his first podium for Ducati in 2010.

It was Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo who put an end to the dreams of those two, as the Spaniard passed them both during a surge that started in the penultimate lap. Hayden was therefore thrown into 4th place, ahead of compatriot and Tech 3 rookie Ben Spies. The North American rider finished almost 6 seconds ahead of Randy de Puniet, while Pedrosa and Colin Edwards had to settle for 7th and 8th respectively.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories