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Spectacular Win for Rossi

Moto GP 2015

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Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi brought home a spectacular win in the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. Team Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso made it abundantly clear the GP15 will be a more potent threat this year, finishing in second-place. Dovi’s teammate, Andrea Iannone, finished in third. 

Dovi powered to the front of the pack from pole position, with Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, trailing in second and Iannone in third. The two Repsol Honda riders, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, who started from the front row got pushed back in the ranks through the initial turns. Marquez was put at a huge disadvantage, having to stand the bike up briefly and run off track. He returned at the back of the pack and was forced to fight up the field for the remainder of the race. Pedrosa fared much better, pacing in seventh during the early stages. Rossi was another to get pushed back in the field off the start, riding back in 10th on Lap 2. 

Dovizioso retained the front through the opening lap, but Lorenzo was keen to take the lead, which he did on the second lap. It was Dovi, Lorenzo, Iannone and Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez in the top-four through the first four laps, but Rossi was on a tear and flying up through the field. With 18 laps remaining the Doctor had passed Hernandez for fourth and from there the two factory Yamaha and two factory Ducati riders stretched away from the rest of the field. 

Marquez, meanwhile, was making up significant ground, getting to 10th-place after four laps. After seven laps he’d made it up to sixth and then with half the race complete Marquez passed Pedrosa for fifth. The leaders had stretched too far ahead for Marquez to catch them in the time left before the checkers however. 

The leaders waged absolute war on one another, with Dovi and Lorenzo trading multiple punches during the early stages. Dovi powered the GP15 past Lorenzo’s machine down the long start/finish straight more than once to regain the lead, with the Mallorcan quick to battle back later in the lap. Iannone was holding steady in third with Rossi in fourth, but then Rossi upped the pace again during the second-half of the event. 

With 10 to go Rossi had moved into third and Dovi and Lorenzo continued to swap positions back and forth in the lead. With 6 to go Lorenzo still commanded the front with Dovi and Rossi in tow, then two laps later Dovi was at the front, Lorenzo in second and Rossi third. At this point Rossi got an opening on Lorenzo and passed into second-place. 

The final laps saw Lorenzo drop to fourth as Iannone gained the final podium step. Dovi and Rossi were even more heated than Dovi and Lorenzo, with position changes through almost every turn. Rossi gained the upper hand on the penultimate lap and was able to keep the Ducati from drafting past into the final lap. From there Rossi was able to defend his position through the remaining turns, beating Dovi by one-tenth of a second at the line. 

Marquez ended the night fifth, with Pedrosa trailing in sixth. CWM LCR’s Cal Crutchlow finished seventh followed by Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro in eighth and ninth, respectively. Hernandez dropped to 10th by the checkers followed by the top Team Suzuki Ecstar rider, Aleix Espargaro, in 11th. 

Rossi carries the points lead to Round 2 at the Circuit of the Americas. Dovi sits second overall followed by Iannone and Lorenzo. 

2015 MotoGP Championship Points 
1. Valentino Rossi, 25 
2. Andrea Dovizioso, 20 
3. Andrea Iannone, 16 
4. Jorge Lorenzo, 13 
5. Marc Marquez, 11 
6. Dani Pedrosa, 10 
7. Cal Crutchlow, 9 
8. Bradley Smith, 8 
9. Pol Espargaro, 7 
10. Yonny Hernandez, 6

 
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