MotoGP 2007 - Losail, Qatar - Race Results

MotoGP 2007 Round 1

Losail, Qatar
March 10, 2007

Race Results - Stoner Takes First Win on Ducati
Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi finished second in the inaugural Grand Prix of the 800cc era today after losing out in a close battle with Casey Stoner (Ducati), who took his first MotoGP win.

After starting from pole position for the 46th time in his career, Rossi got a good start but surrendered his lead to the eventual winner as they crossed the line at the end of the first lap with Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and John Hopkins (Suzuki) in close contention.

From then on seven-time World Champion Rossi stalked the Australian youngster with both showing their strength in different parts of the track; Rossi's Yamaha was generally faster in the corners whilst the Ducati claimed the advantage on the straights.

With four laps to go Rossi made his move and passed but Stoner passed him back over the line and Rossi was unable to stay with him in the final few laps. Stoner eventually took the checkered flag 2.8 seconds clear of Rossi with Pedrosa just holding on for third ahead of Hopkins.

After being consistently fast throughout the practice sessions and also starting from the front row in third, today was not to be Colin Edwards' day and a small slide off the start line saw him lose his grid position into turn one before dropping to seventh by the end of the first lap. The Texan had a few problems during the race and was unable to make it back up to the front group, settling into a best position of fifth before Marco Melandri (Honda) eventually relegated him to sixth with three laps to go.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd; Time: +2.838: "It was a great race today and a good battle, although of course we would have preferred to start the season with a win! After the practice this morning we were a little bit scared because we had some problems with the tire, but we understood what to do and I definitely made the right tire choice with Michelin, so I am happy for that."

"I got a great start and my M1 worked very well, I could ride it how I wanted on the limit and keep pushing. I wanted to push Casey and try to take the fight to him more, but in fact he was perfect today. He didn't make a single mistake as far as I could see and he rode very well; he deserved to win so congratulations to him. I could see that he was faster on the straight and so I knew that if I got in front I was going to need to make a gap from him, but in fact he was too strong!"

"In the last few laps we were getting faster and faster and I thought I still had a chance, but then he kept on going and my tire started to slide a little bit so I wasn't able to stay with him to the finish. Anyway, we only waved the white flag right at the end so I am happy about this! Of course it's not perfect but my team have worked very hard and it's much better to have 20 points like this than two like last year! Now we need to find a little bit more horsepower, but Yamaha is working very hard and I am confident that we will continue to improve."

Kawasaki MotoGP Team - Jacque In The Points As De Puniet Crashes Out
Olivier Jacque was the sole Kawasaki survivor in today's opening race of the season in Qatar, bringing his Ninja ZX-RR home in twelfth place after his young teammate, Randy de Puniet, crashed out of contention after just seven laps

Jacque was forced to change his riding style after one-third distance, after the hard compound rear tire he opted to use in the race started to slide under acceleration. Despite the lack of traction, the 33-year-old Kawasaki pilot maintained a consistent pace to close onto the back of Kenny Roberts and Toni Elias at the start of the final lap.

Jacque waited until the final corner to slingshot past the two Honda powered machines to steal a hard fought twelfth place finish at the line, and to claim Kawasaki's first championship points of the new season.

De Puniet managed a good start from the third row of the grid, but lost one place as the leading riders fought for position into the first turn, and then lost another as former teammate, Shinya Nakano, passed him on the next short straight.

The 26-year-old Frenchman then found himself chasing reigning World Champion, Nicky Hayden, but despite being able to close right onto the back wheel of the American, de Puniet didn't have the outright top speed to put in a clean pass on the main straight.

Instead, the Kawasaki pilot was forced to try and carry more speed though the turns, and it was while pushing hard to make up ground that he lost the front of his Ninja ZX-RR in the final turn and ended his race without injury in the gravel trap. The Kawasaki Racing Team will remain at the Losail International circuit for a one-day test tomorrow, where they will focus on a tire evaluation program set by Bridgestone.

Olivier Jacque - 12th place: "Considering how hard the practice sessions were, I was not expecting to finish like this. Twelfth position is not where I want to be, but the rhythm and the fight have been satisfying. Following my team's advice, I took it easy at the beginning looking for my pace. I felt good and had a nice fight with Elias and Roberts. On the last lap I was behind Elias and he surprised me, making me go wide. Roberts overtook me but at the last turn I braked later than them and exited the corner faster, allowing me to finish in front. It was great to come back to racing and understand the bike better."

2007 MotoGP Qatar Results - Losail Circuit, Doha

Race 1 - 22 Laps

Temp: 29

Weather: Dry

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time

1 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 43'2.788

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0'2.838

3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0'8.530

4 John Hopkins Suzuki USA 0'9.071

5 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 0'17.433

6 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0'18.647

7 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 0'22.916

8 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 0'23.057

9 Alex Barros Ducati BRA 0'25.961

10 Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 0'28.456

11 Alex Hofmann Ducati GER 0'35.029

12 Olivier Jacque Kawasaki FRA 0'42.948

13 Kenny Roberts KR212V USA 0'42.977

14 Toni Elias Honda ESP 0'42.989

15 Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 0'51.639

16 Makoto Tamada Yamaha JPN 0'57.853

Best Lap

Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time

Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1'56.528

Rider Standings - March 10, 2007

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points

1. Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 25

2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 20

3. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 16

4. John Hopkins Suzuki USA 13

5. Marco Melandri Honda ITA 11

6. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 10

7. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 9

8. Nicky Hayden Honda USA 8

9. Alex Barros Ducati BRA 7

10. Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 6

11. Alex Hofmann Ducati GER 5

12. Olivier Jacque Kawasaki FRA 4

13. Kenny Roberts KR212V USA 3

14. Toni Elias Honda ESP 2

15. Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 1

Team Standings

Pos. Team Points

1. FIAT Yamaha Team 30

2. Ducati Marlboro Team 25

3. Repsol Honda Team 24

4. Rizla Suzuki 22

5. Honda Gresini 13

6. Pramac D'Antin 12

7. Konica Minolta Honda 6

8. Kawasaki Racing Team 4

9. Team Roberts 3

10. Tech3 Yamaha 1

Manufacturer Standings

Pos. Manufacturer Points

1. Ducati 25

2. Yamaha 20

3. Honda 16

4. Suzuki 13

5. Kawasaki 4

6. KR212V 3

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