Honda hero loses out at Losail
OLE JORGE: Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo (centre) celebrates his win at the 2012 Qatar MotoGP with Honda's second-placed Dani Pedrosa (left) and Casey Stoner (third) at the Losail International Circuit. Image: AFP
Losail, Qatar - Spain's 2010 World champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) won the season-opening Qatar MotoGP under floodlights at Losail on Sunday for his first elite class victory at the desert venue.
Lorenzo finished ahead of Honda Spain's Dani Pedrosa and 2011 World champion Casey Stoner of Australia after a roller-coaster of a race.
The Spaniard started from pole but lost the lead after three laps to Stoner who looked on course for a fifth victory in the MotoGP class in Qatar.
Stoner maintained his lead until the closing stages of the 22-lap race but his advantage began to be eaten into by the charging Spanish duo as the Australian's decision not to test over a full race distance in the winter began to prove costly.
With just over three laps left, Lorenzo snatched the lead and kept his advantage to win by 0.832sec from Pedrosa with Stoner finishing almost three seconds off the pace. "I put everything I had into attack and I won," said Lorenzo.
Stoner said his pace slowed after he began to suffer from “arm pump”, a crippling condition caused by struggling to cope with braking pressure which causes spasms in the forearms.
"We were by far the fastest out there but after four laps I was started to get real arm pump, my arms were shaking off the bars and I was holding on with two fingers," said Stoner who had been two seconds ahead at one stage.
"I couldn't grip and I couldn't use the brakes. Without that there was no problem to win, we're really happy with the speed of the bike. I've got two weeks to go away and train and we can come back again."
He added: "I felt like a back-marker at the end, but I couldn't hold on to the bike, I couldn't do anything - but if we sort it out, we will be OK."
MOTO 2 AND 3
Lorenzo was the third Spanish winner of the night.
Maverick Vinales (FTR Honda) won the Moto3 race ahead of Italy's Romano Fenati (FTR Honda) and Germany's Sandro Cortese (KTM).
Compatriot Marc Marquez (Suter) won the Moto2 race with Italy's Andrea Iannone (Speed U) second and Spaniard Pol Espargaro (Kalex) third.
Result of the 2012 Qatar MotoGP on Sunday
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 42min44.214
2 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 42min45.066
3 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda - 42min47.122
4 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha - 43min01.328
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha - 43min01.634
6 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati - 43min12.627
7 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda - 43min12.660
8 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda - 43min13.678
9 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati - 43min15.598
10. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati - 43min17.879
11 Ben Spies (US) Yamaha - 43min41.121
12 Colin Edwards (US) Suter - 43min42.302
13 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia - 43min54.864
14 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Kawasaki 44min00.157
15 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia - 44min10.947
Rders’ points standings after Sunday’s MotoGP
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 25
2 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 20
3 Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda - 16
4 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Yamaha - 13
5 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Yamaha - 11
6 Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati - 10
7 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Honda - 9
8 Stefan Bradl (Germany) Honda - 8
9 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati - 7
10 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Ducati - 6
11 Ben Spies (US) Yamaha - 5
12 Colin Edwards (US) Suter - 4
13 Randy de Puniet (France) Aprilia - 3
14 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Kawasaki - 2
15 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Aprilia - 1