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Qatar MotoGP Results

Honda’s Casey Stoner rode from pole position to victory in the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP series at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Finishing second, and breaking up a long string of Hondas, was defending champ Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha). Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa finished third. In his debut aboard the Ducati, multi-time champ Valentino Rossi finished in seventh position, just behind Ben Spies (Yamaha). For additional details, results and points, visit the official MotoGP site.

50 Comments

  1. jimbo says:

    “Just read an article released by Yamaha/Spies about the race. Spies said his start was fine but he got bumped by Rossi or ? and knocked off line and then stuck behind slower riders and couldn’t get around quick enough…”

    Source is Yamaha (Lorenzo-Spies Fan HQ), so take the bias into account. “…stuck behind slower riders and couldn’t get around quick enough…” translation: “Riders in front of Spies had more skill and performance so all Spies could do was take riding lessons behind them.”

  2. jim says:

    One race and all the fanboys think Honda has it wrapped up? Really?

    • monsterduc1000 says:

      Not honda, Stoner. Not wrapped up, but if the others can’t find some extra oomph, he is going to be top 2 (and most likely top 1) every race barring crash, injury or mechanical failure; of which these things unfortunately have a big bearing on the final outcome.

      Stoner was always a threat on a lesser machine and now that he has got this bad boy, look out.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “but if the others can’t find some extra oomph”

        and therein lies the rub. if we all think back, the grand quest for “oomph” out of 800cc’s of swept volume has already occured. THAT arms race was initiated by the helicopter shot of the GP7 (armed with desmodromics) repeatedly laying waste to everybody down the straight at either the second or third round in that first year. remember, both honda AND yamaha went into “in-season testing mode” and initiated major (read, costly) top end overhauls of their designs converting them to F1 style pneumatic valves to ensure they could both increase revs and maximize V/E. as such, the R&D for all that has taken place and been spent over the past 3-4 seasons. it’s part why the honda is the missile it is here in 2011. bottom line, there is no more “oomph”. the only way they’re going to get more “oomph” out of an 800 at this point i’m afraid (and stay within their engine limit)…? is to scrap ‘em and set about the task of building 1000′s.

  3. monsterduc1000 says:

    Unless the other teams find something to improve their bikes fast, this is going to be Stoner’s season with maybe Lorenzo and the odd other battling him every once and a while. It was like Stoner was toying with them. Once he got a comfortable lead, he showed some maturity and didn’t ride the bike balls out to the finish line like he did with the Ducati so often. If Stoner shows this type of composure all season, he will be nearly impossible to beat every race.

    Unfortunately, being a big fan of Ducati, Hayden showed how weak the bike really is. It took the hurt genius of Rossi to place it 7th. I was hoping the improvements they were making late last year would carry over, but nope. Going to be a long season for team red.

    • Norm G. says:

      word is hayden’s clutch took a dump (pun intended) at the start. sadly, that pretty much wrote the tale of his race from that point on.

    • Ruefus says:

      This is March. The season ends in what…October?

      Lots and lots and LOTS of things can happen. Formula One is a prime example, many cars that start out competitive early on – even with top teams – become merely competitive mid-season.

      No one will sit still. The question is – can Honda develop the bike fast enough to remain in front.

      If history is any indication the answer is not likely. But will it remain the class of the field long enough? With the number of Hondas on the grid, probably. But it is NOT a foregone conclusion Stoner will win the title and that Ducati will be a mid-packer.

  4. Ruefus says:

    One race does not decide a championship. Hayden, Pedrosa – crash, it was supposed to be over. Rossi still lost.

    Jorge was so excited because supposedly the Honda was going to disappear into the distance regardless of rider. In the end – only Stoner could check out, and even then it wasn’t any more than Stoner had done on the Ducati when it ran well. 1st to 2nd means at least for now, close in points. “Fastest bike” – but win by a .001 sec or by 100 sec, it’s 5 points 1st to 2nd.

    Stoner can throw any brand into the weeds. Elia was merely imitating Stoner on the LCR – which Stoner tossed spectacularly and frequently before moving to Ducati.

    • Norm G. says:

      yup lorenzo does have at least a chip in the game heading to jerez (the 1st of 5 home rounds). though it wasn’t quite the “orange crush” they had hoped (or maybe it was?), honda did “block the box” denying points back to the top 5. :( while we fans whip ourselves into a frenzy chatting on about the rider’s championship, it’s easy to forget, it’s the manufacturer’s title that honda covets.

  5. brinskee says:

    Okay, so I can’t wait until I get home to serve up the dish I have from being in the paddock and hearing people talk (disclaimer – this is all hearsay, and for entertainment purposes only):

    - A certain legendary someone WHO DOES KNOW said, “The Ducati is a dinosaur”. It’s going to be a very, very tough season for them. However, they will remedy this in the upcoming season.

    - LCR Honda is extremely unpleased about Elias’ crash. Apparently the crash totaled the bike and it will be €1 million to replace, if they can beg HRC to lease them another machine. Bad news for those guys.

    - Speaking of HRC, they are FURIOUS at Dani Pedrosa – seems he was actually in pain to the point of being in tears post race – his shoulder problems (that he was supposed to have taken care of) are back, and in a big way.

    - I only just found out over the weekend, but it seems that the rules about moving to 1,000CC work like this: In order to keep everything fair for all the teams that don’t have all the cash some of the others have (example Honda vs. Ducati), each of the bikes developed for the 2012 season must be sold on demand at the tune of €100k each. In other words, anyone could walk to the paddock, lay down the cold, hard cash, and say – I’ll take that bike – and by the rules, they must sell the bike. Of course this is ludicrous and will almost certainly change, but for now, that’s where it’s at.

    Another rumor I hear was that the only reason they moved to 880CC was because Dani wanted it that way, and back in the day Honda thought they had a champion in him, so they pushed their considerable weight against those who make the decisions, and that’s how it turned out. HOWEVER, they don’t see Pedrosa as the golden boy anymore, so they’ve tossed in the towel and are conceding to the switch back. Interesting season this is going to be…

    • John A. Kuzmenko says:

      Being able to supposedly buy a works bike for 100 Euros kinda’ sounds like the AMA claiming rule from the 1970s.
      Don’t think it would have cost as much or been paid in Euros back then, though. ;)

    • Norm G. says:

      by the powers invested in me i hereby bestow upon you the title of “steely-eyed motorcycle man”…! good to see you had a great time under the lights. no better way than to “support the sport”. :) let us know if you have opportunity/means to make it to any others.

    • Washington Hogwallop says:

      Interesting stuff, though it sounds like ax-grinding in parts.

      Hard to believe HRC would be “FURIOUS” at Pedrosa for a podium. Now, if the shoulder is an issue that causes him to finish off the podium regularly or skip races, I might see that; but his performance on Sunday was gutsy.

      The idea that the move to “880cc” was done for Pedrosa is a strange fantasy; HRC may have pushed it, but it was because of Kato’s death. Everyone now says the move was a mistake, but here’s what Rossi said at the time: “For me, it is a good idea. If not, the bikes become too fast, too dangerous. Every year, the bikes become faster and faster. Four-stroke development between 2002 and now has been incredible: speed, acceleration, power. It is never-ending.” Even Rossi said it was done for safety, not that they turned out any safer or slower.

      Re the rules, the engines that will be available for €100k will be for the second-tier Claiming Rule Teams only. Hell, we might see factory 800s come the roll outs of some of the 2012 factory machines at Mugello.

      • brinskee says:

        No axe to grind! All just for entertainment value. :)

        I can understand Honda’s furiosity (furiousness?) at Dani – he was supposed to have taken care of it. If he was in tears post-race, and this is the start of the season, do you really think soft tissue damage will get better with more stress? I understand how bones work (I broke my femur) and how they can heal with time, but soft tissue damage needs rest…

        Of course Rossi said the change to (I meant to say) 800CC was okay. He needed a new challenge! hahaha

        And the wheel keeps turning…

        And thanks Norm G.! I will be at Laguna Seca for sure (I live in San Francisco) and possibly Silverstone this season. I’ll keep ya posted with updates!

        • Washington Hogwallop says:

          Pedrosa did take care of it as far as was reasonable (a medical specialist OKed it and he was fine in tests, but it flared up in race conditions that are impossible to reproduce in the pre-season). Is Ducati pissed off at Rossi? After all, he finished far behind Pedrosa, on an injury that’s even older.

          So, the dish your serving is stale stuff from people that don’t like Pedrosa. Almost all the rider have their detractors — I’d suggest taking rumors with a big grain of salt, especially when they don’t make sense.

          • brinskee says:

            Okay, keep your head in the clouds, and believe what you like. I can go to my doctor and be told I’m fit – or inversely not fit – for just about anything, with some persuasion. That’s no proof either!

            Sorry you don’t care for my dish. At least I’m serving something…

  6. rapier says:

    Is this whole year a Mulligan because of the upcoming formula changes in 2012? Why develop bikes that are going to be history display pieces next year? Sort of a shame for Rossi because the calender is running down for his career now I’d guess. Not too good for fans either. Come to think of it how much racing goes on anymore at the front of Moto GP anymore?

    • Norm G. says:

      i don’t know what “mulligan” means, but i like it…! :) yes, this is a transistion year during the worst recession we’ve seen in 80 years. honda may be the only one’s ballsy enough to campaign 800′s against the new 1000′s for a year. should they bag both the riders and contructors championships, can’t even say they’d be crazy for doin’ it…?

    • Chris says:

      Was 2006 a mulligan year then since they were switching to 800cc in 2007? I bet Rossi and Yamaha were trying hard to win the last 990cc championship.

  7. Mickey says:

    Chris no “expectations” for Kawasaki to be there, only wishful thinking. MotoGp would be better with more team participation. I know Suzuki tried to be there, but pinning all your hopes on 1 machine and 1 rider is tenuous at best.Would also LOVE to see BMW, KTM, Triumph, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and whoever else could field a couple of bikes in the fray. Better for the sport, better for the fans.

    As it is now with 7 Ducati’s 6 Hondas and 4 Yamahas it’s kind of mundane,

    • Chris says:

      I agree completely. But MotoGP is crazy expensive. For motorcycle racing anyway…

      The move to 1000cc with a max bore of 82mm (I think) for a 4 cyl machine is “supposed” to help keep costs down… I doubt it, but we’ll find out soon enough.

      • Norm G. says:

        while it won’t be the cost of going club racing…? LOL yes, it will be exponentially cheaper for private/non-factory teams (think tech 3, pramac, gresini) to enter under this new category.

        one thing that the FIM never made clear when this new 1000cc rule was first proposed, was that they were talking gp bikes open to production engines. it was only after suter showed their CRT/Moto1 prototype last year using a BMW engine from an S1000 did it begin to make sense. it’s basically the Moto2 format @ 1000cc’s, but instead of a control engine, anybody (you/me/us) can run down to our local dealer and buy a half dozen gsxr1000′s then cannibalize them for their ready-made power. so long as it’s no more than 4 pots, no more than 1000cc’s, and meets the bore limitation (which yam, hond, suz, kaw, bmw & apr all do), then it’s open season.

        i suspect they all may start some kind of “crate engine” program…? the only notable factory that doesn’t currently have an engine in their line-up within these specs is ducati. the bore limitation (81mm) deliberately rules out the D16RR. as such they are building a 1000cc proto. probably just using a de-mothballed 990 or overboring the 800 as starting point.

    • Rick Hermanns says:

      Mickey, you forgot to mention Norton! They plan on fielding a MotoGP Team……..someday!

  8. Pablo says:

    Its good to see Lorenzo was competitive and its understandale that he was excited to finish second when you saw how easily the Hondas’ smoked him down the strait. Yamaha will defiently need to find some more HP for Lorenzo and Spies if they wan’t to remain competitive. Go Casey!!!

  9. The Bear says:

    Ok. First off, I’ve only followed MotoGP closely for a short time. However, Why can’t Ducati dominate the sport?! Aren’t they supposed to be DUCATI – the Ferrari of motorcycles? For all of the techno-wiz there is this day in age and for all the hype surrounding Ducati (I drank the kool-aid and bought one 4 years ago and sold it last summer) shouldn’t they be dominating – EVERY YEAR? Yeah, first it was the engine, then suspension problems, etc. For a company like Ducati and a sport like motoGP with suppliers like Ohlins and Bridgestone to aid in building BIKE-SPECIFIC components Ducati, shouldn’t they be winning (or at least on the podium) weekly?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Aren’t they supposed to be DUCATI – the Ferrari of motorcycles? For all of the techno-wiz there is this day in age and for all the hype surrounding Ducati (I drank the kool-aid and bought one 4 years ago and sold it last summer) shouldn’t they be dominating – EVERY YEAR?”

      wanna know what’s even better than their bikes…? yup you guessed it, their marketing department…! LOL true story. the concept of nobody doing more with so little budget not only applies to their racing…? but ALSO to their advertising. nobody paints a bigger picture for YOU “joe consumer” than ducati. while perhaps misleading, this is nevertheless an essential part of all business (not just DMH’s) in order to keep the sales up. this of course allows them to keep the lights on so they can then continue bringing you the product innovations you demand. i don’t think it’s a stretch to say their brand image is the envy of all other manufacturers (you yourself are testament to this). to close, i will now sober you up further with my trademark phrase… “welcome to the niche business that is motorcyling”.

      • Mickey says:

        Norm, looking around I’d have to say Harley Davidson does a better job of marketing image than Ducati does, although for it’s size Ducati does a hell of a job, aided it seems by every moto journalist on the planet.

        • Norm G. says:

          touche. i overlooked the motor company. yes, i’d probably consider their brand image to be top o’ the food chain. i guess i was thinking more of the mfg’s who offer a full line-up. ie. sportbike, touring, adventure, standards/nakeds, etc. in addition to cruisers.

    • jim says:

      I don’t understand how you think Ducati has more money for R&D than Honda. Maybe I read you post wrong?

  10. oz-strom says:

    Good to see the yamaha and Ducati domination of the last 4 years getting challenged. But Jorge was still up there, and Spies needs to get started much better if he expects to win or even challenge for a podium

    • brinskee says:

      Spies HAS to work on his starting. I think he will, and he’ll do much better than 6th for the season.

      • jimbo says:

        Spies is way over-hyped as America’s great white hope. I doubt he’ll ever win a motogp championship (it’s accurate to say this about most racers). Spies was spoiled at AMA SB where he had really only one competitor, Mladin, considerably older and who couldn’t keep up with Spies after Mladin had already won what, seven champs in a row? More competition in WSB and Spies barely eked out #1…didn’t it take to the last race of the season? Wasn’t Spies ten seconds behind Jorge on the same factory spec in this race? What’s ten seconds at 170mph…1/2 a mile? That Spies beat Rossi (by one place) says more about dear Rossi’s health and the Ducati’s performance.

        This is the first series in which I’m OK with Honda winning, because I like Casey and dislike Jorge. Rather see Rossi stick it to em again but not much chance as of this writing.

        All my useless, worthless opinions only.

        • Gary says:

          “Spies barely eked out #1″ That’s true but he did it in his first season in WSBK on a brand new bike (crossplank R1) on pirelli tires he has never been on and he raced on tracks that he had never been on. Also he broke a record for the number of superpoles in 1 season. That’s talent. Over-hyped? No. He has earned it. You just watch, he’ll get better with each race. And wait til next year when the switch to 1000cc. He’ll feel right at home and win the championship.

  11. Gary says:

    I have to admit I was waiting for Stoner to lose the front end and toss his victory away but then I remembered he’s not on the Ducati anymore. I thought Lorenzo was overly excited for 2nd place. I have read Pedrosa already has an excuse for his fading performance, sudden loss of feeling in his arm, sounds good to me. I am bummed about Spies 6th place. If not for his start I think he would have been fighting for 3rd. Last season he consistantly batteled with Dovi and Simoncelli. Spies and Houseworth need to get better starts out of that Yamaha. I feel bad for Rossi. It’s going to be a long season and he should be able to get the Ducati to improve. RIGHT? If not, it will be very sad to watch the G.O.A.T. on a noncompetative bike. HEY BRINKSEE, you were there so I’m looking for a behind the scenes report.

    • brinskee says:

      Oh I do have behind the scene reports… Also Colin Edwards’ boots from the weekend. Super nice guy! More to come later.

      • Gary says:

        How about that helmet autograph you were looking for?

        • brinskee says:

          Got it too! Ben Spies was awesome, a really good kid. He’s going to have a great season. Still in Dubai, will report back more when I get home.

          • Gary says:

            Just read an article released by Yamaha/Spies about the race. Spies said his start was fine but he got bumped by Rossi or ? and knocked off line and then stuck behind slower riders and couldn’t get around quick enough. Brinskee, congrats on the autograph.

  12. Mickey says:

    Looked like a Honda freight train didn’t it? LOL

    How would you like to be a Yamaha or Ducati engineer this morning?

    What in the world has become of Suzuki and Kawasaki? It’s so sad.Suzuki had a rider but was not there due to injuries….although he would not have been in contention anyway..and Kawasaki..the performance company? C’mon guys at least put one dog in the fight.

    • Chris says:

      Honda has looked solid during all the preseason tests, so the domination wasn’t too surprising. I had hoped that Yamaha and Ducati were holding something back… Wishful thinking I guess.

      2nd for the world champ isn’t too bad so I don’t think Yamaha engineers aren’t losing any more sleep than normal. Jerez favors handling, so I think they’ll be more competitive. Ducati on the other hand needs to make a big radical change to improve the front end. Otherwise with Rossi being less than 100% I think they’ll have problems cracking the top 5.

      Suzuki tried to get their bike in the race. Hopkins couldn’t get flights from the US to Qatar in time. The other rider they tried to get is in Japan… I had also read that Suzuki appraoched a few Moto2 riders (with MotoGP experience) to ride their bike. I am fairly sure that Hopkins will be riding for them.

      As far as Kawasaki not being there… They did drop out of the series a couple years ago… No rumors that they’d return this year. So I don’t know why you expected them to be there. ?? Might as well ask where BWM, Aprilia, KTM, Triumph, … are? Maybe when they go to 1000cc the MotoGP class will have more participation.

    • Norm G. says:

      Suzuki and Kawasaki? sadly suzuki’s only in grandprix for the branding, not the winning… hasn’t been for over a decade. k-heavy (unfortunately for us) could just a easily cease production of motorcycles tommorrow and it would prolly be 6 months before someone in accounting even noticed the missing income…? :( total revenues at team green from building aircraft, oil tankers, container ships, jet engines, bullet trains, robots and the like are somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 billion dollars (that’s billion with a B). if not for a sense of nostalgia, don’t think they’d have a problem finding something in their line-up (with tremendously better margins) to dedicate the freed up capacity to…? fingers crossed they never lose this appreciation for history (YIIIKKEESS!).

  13. samr says:

    This season Honda is reminding everyone who the big dog is.

  14. braaap says:

    Stoners been all over the ground, but he’s never been holding the cup at the end of the year, my $$$ is still with yamaha and Jorge.

    Honda got the jump, and stoner is one awesome rider when he keeps it rubber side down, but Yamaha will be able to make up the ground honda has 3 days into the season, and Dani is the name of my fave stripper down by the airport.

    • brinskee says:

      You must live in Orlando! That’s the name of my favorite stripper by the airport there too! :)

    • monsterduc1000 says:

      Are you sure Stoner has never held the cup at the end of the year? I distinctly remember him winning the MotoGP title not to long ago. I love it when he wins as we get to see more of his wife!!

  15. sam says:

    Oh Dani. always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

    • jimbo says:

      LOL…”Karma” for FLAT OUT REAR-END CRASHING HIS THEN-HONDA TEAM MATE HAYDN SEVERAL YEARS AGO, almost costing Haydn the championship.

  16. kpaul says:

    Now we know how bad the Ducati machine is compared to the other bikes. Honda seems to have it all. Stoner is the right guy for the job i.e. he’s been there done that.

  17. Honker says:

    Me thinks this is going to be a repeating theam this season