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Qatar MotoGP Results

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Brilliant racing marked the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP series in Qatar today. It is hard to determine which is the bigger story.  Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi won the race … declaring it one of his greatest victories ever in 20 years at the GP level. But it was Ducati that really stunned by taking the other two podium steps with Andrea Dovizioso (who was narrowly beaten to the line by Rossi) in second and Andrea Iannone in third. As if to finally answer the question of whether a Ducati could go the race distance without massive performance degradation (as frequently happened last year from the middle of the race forward), Dovizioso did his fastest lap of the race on the last lap.

The factory Hondas had a bad day. Dani Pedrosa ran in fifth position for most of the race, but his lap times fell off as he suffered from arm pump and he finished sixth. Defending champ Marc Marquez left the track at the first corner and had to recover from last place. Marquez made it to fifth position, where he finished, before his lap times also fell off. Below is the final finishing order, without listing those riders who were unable to complete the race (including rookie Jack Miller).

Looking forward, it is hard to argue with the fact that the Ducatis beneath Dovizioso and Iannone will continue to get better … the GP15 has only been tested a month, or so. Given where Marquez came from, he still appears to be the rider to beat in future rounds, as he passed rider after rider to arrive at the checkered flag in fifth position just 7 seconds off the leader.

For additional details, results and points, visit the official MotoGP site.

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 166.7 42’35.717
2 20 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 166.7 +0.174
3 16 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Ducati Team Ducati 166.5 +2.250
4 13 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 166.5 +2.707
5 11 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.2 +7.036
6 10 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.0 +10.755
7 9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR CWM LCR Honda Honda 165.9 +12.384
8 8 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.8 +12.914
9 7 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.8 +13.031
10 6 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Pramac Racing Ducati 165.5 +17.435
11 5 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 165.4 +19.901
12 4 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 165.1 +24.432
13 3 45 Scott REDDING GBR EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 164.6 +32.032
14 2 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 164.5 +33.463
15 1 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 164.5 +33.625
16 6 Stefan BRADL GER Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 164.5 +33.944
17 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 164.2 +38.970
18 50 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 163.7 +46.570
19 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 162.9 +59.211
20 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Octo IodaRacing Team ART 161.9 +1’14.981
21 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 159.9 +1’48.143
22 76 Loris BAZ FRA Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward 141.2 3 Laps

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79 Comments

  1. Provologna says:

    At 2014 COTA MotoGP, of all fans wearing clothing adorned with a particular racer’s name, I estimate about 60% were Rossi fanatics.

    Wonder how much blue and yellow we will see this year?

  2. robert liddiard says:

    Sounds like a great race. Wouldn’t know though since Fox 1 had NASCAR on instead of Moto GP. Where did everyone watch it? And yes I subscribe for the up rated sports package to get Fox Sports 1 where they said the races would be shown when Fox Sports bought out Speedvision. Do I have to spend for another sports package?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Fox Sports 2, I believe. A better option is to get it through the MotoGP website, especially if you can pump it to your TV.

    • TexinOhio says:

      Yeah got a little nervous myself when I didn’t see the race showing up on the schedule for FS1 on my tv. Had to look on-line to find out that FS2 was showing the race.

      Great race, and thrilled that VR got the win.

      • Robert Liddiard says:

        I can also get Fox Sports 2 for ANOTHER SUBSCRIPTION fee on top of the extra I’m already paying. Fox Sports out and out lied when they bought Speedvision. Guess I’m the only one who finds the backhanded way Fox is extorting extra for programming we already pay for to be F’d up!

        • Hot Dog says:

          Extremely poor coverage on Moto GP by Fox. Abandon them and purchase the Moto GP package, you won’t be disappointed.

        • dino says:

          I think I saw Fox Sports 1 had the race listed at Monday evening.. So 24 hours of spoiler alerts!

          That MotoGP option seems good option, if you want the Whole Monty!

      • Brian says:

        I saw something that said the rest of the season will be on Fox Sports 1. no need for upgrades again.

    • ChrisP says:

      Bought the subscription at Motogp.com. Can watch all practice, qual and warm-up and race live. Or any time I want. Same for Moto2 and Moto3. Totally and completely worth the cost if you love MotoGP as much as I do (and I assume you do as well…)

    • Take your cable back to basic, tell them to keep that digital box you rent, spend the savings on MotoGP, Netflix, and Hulu.

    • Curly says:

      Seriously all you folks that love MotoGP but watch it on cable consider this. The cost of a season subscription to the MotoGP website feed is the price of a Shinko rear tire for your sportbike. That’s only $108 now that the dollar is so strong against the Euro. Not even a Michelin tire people. You can plug your laptop into your TV and see it all on the big screen too like I do with my HTPC. For your measly $108 you get 18 race weekends times three races, all the practice and qualifying live and on replay anytime you like. Oh, and no commercials or inept American commentators. $6 bucks per weekend that’s all. Get it and stop complaining about your cable company.

  3. hipsabad says:

    I’m a big fan of the old guy Rossi but was not Jorge leading when his helmet (!) malfunctioned blocking his vision and sending him back to fourth place. Modify the race events just slightly and we could have had Marquez first, Lorenzo second, Rossi third, Dovizioso fourth, Pedrosa fifth — not too different from last year.

  4. V says:

    Even if Marquez had gotten the holeshot and lead the race at the beginning, he could not match the pace made by Rossi and the Ducatis. I don’t think he would have won anyway.

    • MGNorge says:

      It’s a BIG if? I have a feeling MM would have been in the hunt. We’ll soon see as the season moves forward.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “he could not match the pace made by Rossi and the Ducatis.”

      well they all ran together as a group. this means their towing each other around and running in each other’s draft. a factory 213 with marcus aboard should be able to do that as a minimum.

  5. dave911 says:

    Great racing. Gonna be tough for the governing bodies to continuing monkeying with the rules to keep multiple brands in the front group.

  6. Vrooom says:

    Wow, that’s a happy podium! Nice job Mr. Rossi, way to stand up for old guys and kick some butt!

  7. Hot Dog says:

    And the Angels sang! Whew, was that a great race to watch! I bought the (streaming)Moto GP package and it’s got fantastic coverage. I highly recommend purchasing it.

    COTA is a fast horsepower track, the Hondas and Ducs will be shooting it out whilst Yamaha sniffs their exhaust.

  8. Jeremy in TX says:

    Wow! Was that a great start to the season or what? Rossi followed by not one but two Ducatis on podium, and a great race to the end. I guess VW/Audi would not settle for all of that mid-pack nonsense. Those Ducs showed some massive power, though I suppose that may be reigned in a little once their fuel capacity gets clipped. And watching Marquez gobbling up the lesser man-machines on his way back to the front was impressive. Splendid, all three races.

    Looking forward to COTA for both GP and MotoAmerica.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Those Ducs showed some massive power, though I suppose that may be reigned in a little once their fuel capacity gets clipped.”

      are they even availing themselves of the extra fuel…? dunno.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “are they even availing themselves of the extra fuel…?”

        I dunno either. The way those things were gobbling up track when the line straightened out has me leaning towards “yes”. If not, then very impressive display of power.

        • Dave says:

          For the time being, they also have the privilege of eating up engines, though I have to believe that they knew they’d be this competitive by the middle of last season, which would mean they’re already prepared to transition to Factory Team rules.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “very impressive display of power”

          VIDOP, yes this was an often used acronym for DESMO back in the late 80’s. guys, how cool is it that #2 remembered this…? 🙂

      • Curly says:

        There already running only 22 liters even though they were allowed 24 so that’s not going to slow them down.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Wow. Those things are making some crazy power then. This was an interesting match between the Yamahas and the Ducatis. I imagine COTA will test Ducati’s mettle against the Hondas as it seems that track favors outright power to anything else.

      • Re: the extra fuel – we will know on the long front straight at COTA. Looking forward to watching this play out.

  9. Oz says:

    Kagato, the Ducs are not running v-twins. The Ducati Desmosedici GP15 is a v-4.

  10. Brian says:

    It was great to see a battle to the wire like this again!
    I feel for Dani though. He’s going to miss the next race and perhaps even more of the season if he gets surgery for his forearm.

    I wonder. May just how Ducati has Michele Pirro race as the back up when someone is out ill, etc on their bikes, maybe Honda can have their test rider substitute for a few races…

  11. Tim says:

    Marquez is still the wild card. I guess we will have to wait for the next race to find out what kind of power advantage this year’s Honda has. Still, this was great racing and what Moto GP can be like when you have a number of competitive bikes. This sort of race has been rare the past several years.

    Nice ride, Doc. It’s always great to see you on top of the podium.

  12. john says:

    Those Duc’s are also 4 cyl.

  13. Kagato says:

    Can someone explain why the Duc’s are making enough power to run with 4 cyl bikes? did the rules folks put “plate restrictors” on the 4 cyl’s? Not trying to be funny, I just don’t follow enough of bike racing to know. I can see a v twin powering out of a corner faster due to the torque advantage, but a 4 or a triple should be able to make up the deficit. or so I thought.

  14. xLaYN says:

    Possible subtitles for first photo:
    “And then the sea split in two”
    “The Great Orchestra director Rossini Rossi Ross”
    “Marc come give a hug to papa”

    Well, seems like this could be the beginning of Ducati-era.
    Some will say Direction decided to switch the winning brand.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Possible subtitles for first photo”

      see, fit the hard tyre and possible WIN…! (classic Italian Ross accent)

  15. VLJ says:

    Rossi is an effing god.

    Struggled in qualifying {again). Third-row start (again). Fell back to tenth, early in the race. Massive deficit both in grunt and top speed (again). Amazing racecraft sees him inexorably make his way to the front (again), where he rarely loses mano-a-mano duels.

    The guy simply shouldn’t be able to do this, not on a track that so clearly favors top-speed power, not on a bike that looked like an R6 racing against GSX-R1000s every time they hit the main straight, and definitely not at thirty-six years old, twenty of which have been spent in the ultimate pressure cooker that is Grand Prix racing. In MotoGP terms thirty-six years old has to be roughly the equivalent of, what, seventy-eight?

    This is like watching Wilford Brimley kick The Rock’s ass.

    I’m going to have to disagree here with Casey Stoner. Valentino Rossi’s ambition most definitely does not exceed his talent. The guy is a god.

    So, okay, how does this Ducati thing work now? They scored second- and third-place finishes, and the rules governing this convoluted series state something to the effect of one dry-race win or two second-place finishes or three third-place finishes removes the advantages they currently enjoy vs the Factory rides. Does this mean that they are one more podium away from having to compete on equal terms with Honda and Yamaha?

    Lastly, why on earth are the Yamahas always so down on power compared to the Hondas and Ducatis? After so many years, and knowing what the others always bring to the table, why can’t Yamaha produce competitive hp? If a relatively small manufacturer like Ducati can do it, why can’t Yamaha? It was flat-out painful, watching those red bikes swallow up the blue ones every time they hit the main straight. And it’s been this way for years and years.

    It has to sicken Rossi and Lorenzo, getting curbstomped every time they hit a straight, giving up everything they worked so hard to build during the rest of the lap. All the more reason to admire what Rossi and Lorenzo are doing here, race after race. How many of us would relish constantly having to show up at a gunfight with a really wicked knife? Sure, it’s the sharpest blade ever made, but it’s still just a knife going up against a bunch of guns.

    Crazy.

    Awesome first race. Those final few laps had me literally on the edge of my seat, and I jumped up and cheered like an eight-year-old every time Rossi made a late-race pass. That final run to the stripe had me holding my breath. Woooo…thank god MotoGP is back. This season looks like being the best in many a year.

    • xLaYN says:

      “If a relatively small manufacturer like Ducati can do it” I did ask the same, then someone here reminded me the almighty VW group it’s behind them, Wikipedia reference:

      Ducati is owned by German automotive manufacturer Audi through its Italian subsidiary Lamborghini, which is all owned by the Volkswagen Group

      • VLJ says:

        XlaYN, Ducati was outpowering Yamaha long before the Volkswagen group took over in Bologna. And Honda has always outpowered Yamaha. It was the same in WSB, where BMW and even tiny Aprilia always outpowered the Yamahas.

        Bottom line, imagine how these MotoGP races would look if Rossi and Lorenzo held a 15-20kmp advantage on the straights vs the Hondas and Ducatis, rather than that same deficit we see now. Imagine if they were at least equal in top-end power. I dare say that perhaps Marquez doesn’t have such an easy go of it in winning the championship these past two seasons.

        • mickey says:

          In qualifying here was the top speeds recorded

          Qualifying
          1. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 54.113s [Lap 5/6] 337km/h (Top Speed)
          2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 54.330s +0.217s [3/7] 340km/h
          3. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 54.437s +0.324s [2/7] 340km/h
          4. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 54.521s +0.408s [6/7] 339km/h
          5. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 1m 54.675s +0.562s [6/7] 346km/h
          6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 54.711s +0.598s [6/7] 332km/h
          7. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 54.732s +0.619s [5/7] 337km/h
          8. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 54.851s +0.738s [6/7] 333km/h
          9. Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP14.1) 1m 54.876s +0.763s [5/6] 343km/h
          10. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 55.004s +0.891s [6/7] 335km/h
          11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 55.035s +0.922s [6/6] 327km/h
          12. Cal Crutchlow GBR CWM LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 55.123s +1.010s [3/5] 335km/h
          13. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 55.246s 333km/h
          14. Scott Redding GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 55.428s 334km/h
          15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 55.604s 341km/h
          16. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14 Open) 1m 55.729s 340km/h
          17. Nicky Hayden USA Aspar (RC213V-RS) 1m 55.756s 330km/h
          18. Stefan Bradl GER Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 55.791s 332km/h
          19. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar (RC213V-RS)* 1m 55.848s 331km/h
          20. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RC213V-RS) 1m 55.892s 329km/h
          21. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 56.187s 325km/h
          22. Jack Miller AUS CWM LCR Honda (RC213V-RS)* 1m 56.287s 336km/h
          23. Loris Baz FRA Athina Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha)* 1m 56.454s 329km/h
          24. Alex De Angelis RSM Octo IodaRacing (ART) 1m 56.793s 326km/h

        • Spend very little time at top speed. May not be HP, but bikes ability to hook up sooner out of preceding corner.

    • Manny says:

      Yep, he’s a one of a kind, a legend in his own time.

  16. Provologna says:

    A heapin’ platter of crow for posters here who said our beloved Rossi would never win another MotoGP. You know who you are.

  17. Provologna says:

    Slaying dragons, taking no prisoners, at 36 years of age against men in their twenty’s. I picked a bad season to purchase WSbk video instead of MotoGP.

  18. mickey says:

    Awesome. that”s all

  19. Alex says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching that incredible race.

  20. dino says:

    The Doctor will see you now…

    Go!!!!

  21. Curly says:

    Wow, wow, wow was all I could say at the finish of the race. Rossi ain’t finished yet. The best MotoGP race we’ve seen in a long time and the first all Italian podium since 2006. Would MM have won had he not exited at the first turn, probably but he did and rode a brilliant race to get back to 5th. Still I wonder if a penalty isn’t in store for the way he duffed up Alvaro Bautista on his way through. So, cheers for Rossi and Ducati for bringing the fun back. Of course we may see “normal service restored” at COTA.

    • TimC says:

      I’m sure this is one of hundreds if not thousands of comments around the Internet mentioning what MIGHT have happened had MM not gone off.

      Sure, that’s true. So’s the fact that MM DID go off and guess what – that’s racing AND that’s PART of THIS RACE. That’s right, the one that VR46 just won.

      • Curly says:

        But Tim, I’m a Rossi Yamaha man through and through.

        • TimC says:

          Didn’t say you’re not. Just this was the first comment I personally saw asking “what if” and “what if” isn’t “what happened.” 🙂

  22. Gutterslob says:

    Superb races in all classes. Great victory for Rossi.

    Still wonder how it would’ve turned out if Marquez hadn’t gone off – he fought back brilliantly (reminds me of that race Capirex won where Rossi went off and fought back to second), but sadly shagged all his rubber by the time he reached 5th place. Jorge and Dani probably feel older than Valentino right now.

    Great job by the two Andreas too. Have to say, after years of overly rounded bulbousness, that new Ducati sure looks sleek, especially under the floodlights. Crashpucks…. sorry, winglets kinda ruin the silhouette though…. and hey, it’s got a frame too.

    Oh, and DNF for Loris Baz. Perfect evening.

    • Gutterslob says:

      Oh wait. Baz didn’t DNF (didn’t see them send him out again) but finished 3 laps down. Even better!!

    • Dave says:

      re:”Still wonder how it would’ve turned out if Marquez hadn’t gone off”

      Given how far back he came from and how many riders he had to pass to get there, I think there can be no doubt that all the exciting racing we saw would’ve been for 2nd place.

      • VLJ says:

        IIRC, Rossi posted the fastest lap of the race, and Dovi was faster than Marquez in qualifying. I’d say there is plenty of doubt that Marquez beats either of them last night.

        • Dave says:

          The front 4 enjoyed track position with optimum tire condition that Marquez never did. By the time he got clear, it is pretty likely that he’d exhausted his bike’s best laps riding aggressively and making passes in the crowd.

          • VLJ says:

            And Rossi didn’t, starting from the third row and falling back to tenth before mounting his even more impressive charge? See, Rossi was passing the frontrunners, not the backmarkers.

          • Dave says:

            No, apparently he didn’t (and Marquez had to pass the same front runners, later into the race).

            Marquez explains in an interview:

            “Marquez, meanwhile, unable to outdo the times of the lead group, had reached the limit of his combination in 5th place, after passing teammate Dani Pedrosa. “The problem here is that if you push 100 percent all the race, you can overheat the tires, and that was the problem.” -From CycleWorld

          • VLJ says:

            Marquez had to pass the backmarkers and mid-pack guys, not the frontrunners. The frontrunners were Dovi, Crazy Joe, and Lorenzo. Those were the guys Rossi had to pass, and from the third row, ultimately ten positions back. In order to catch those guys, pass them, and stay ahead of them, he had to push his tires just as hard as Marquez did; the difference being, Rossi chose a hard front tire and so was able to make it stick at the end.

            Even your own quote states that Marquez was unable to outdo the times of the lead group. So, bottom line, there is no reason to say that Marquez definitely would have beaten everyone last night, not when Rossi had the fastest race-pace and the fastest lap, all on a hard tire.

          • Dave says:

            Read the Cycle World article..

          • VLJ says:

            I read it, and it confirms what we already knew: Marquez’s lap times were slower those of the front runners. He was faster than the backmarkers and mid-pack guys, but slower than the top four riders. Had Rossi also screwed up and found himself all the way at the back, he too would have scythed through the field on his way to a minimum of a fifth-place finish.

          • Dave says:

            It confirms *why* his lap times were slower, and why Rossi was able to reach the front without exhausting his tires the way Marquez had to.

            Back-markers aren’t as slow as they used to be. They aren’t as easy to pass (weren’t the top-18 bikes within 1 sec. in FP2?) as even a few years ago. Ask Bautista how this worked out for him..

  23. carl says:

    Wow what a race if this is an indication of season coming looks like a great season for racing. Looks like a real battle for podium!!