Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi has opened the 2014 MotoGP season by taking his second consecutive second place finish at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar this evening.
The nine-time world champion made strong start from tenth on the grid, quickly closing down and passing several riders to take fifth by the end of the first lap. With rival Dani Pedrosa in pursuit, Rossi kept the pace up over the following laps, eventually passing Bradley Smith for fourth on the brakes going into turn one with 17 laps to go. Alvaro Bautista was the next to go as a determined Rossi moved up to third, keeping pole man Marc Marquez in his sights and engaging in the first of many fights with the young Spaniard.
One lap later race leader Stefan Bradl crashed out, promoting the two battling riders. Rossi then took the lead with a pass on Marquez on turn 15. The two remained less than half a second apart, with Marquez regaining the lead with nine laps remaining. He was unable to shake his rival off, Rossi keeping within a couple of tenths until the final laps where he made several attempts to snatch glory. A final move on turn four on the penultimate lap was quickly taken back by Marquez, leaving Rossi to cross the line in second, just 0.259 seconds behind.
The result gives Rossi 20 points and second place in the standings as the championship starts.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo had a disastrous start to his 2014 Championship tonight, crashing out of the Qatar Grand Prix on the first lap. Lorenzo made a trademark stunning start from fifth on the grid to grab the holeshot into turn one, leading the GP pack. His luck was not to last, a cold front tyre causing a low side crash just a couple of turns later and ending his race. He was luckily able to walk away without any major injuries and will be fit and ready for the next round in Texas in three weeks time.
|1.||Marc Marquez (SPA)||Repsol Honda Team||42’40.561|
|2.||Valentino Rossi (ITA)||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+ 00.259|
|3.||Dani Pedrosa (SPA)||Repsol Honda Team||+ 3.370|
|4.||Aleix Espargaro (SPA)||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||+ 11.623|
|5.||Andrea Dovizioso (ITA)||Ducati Team||+ 12.159|
|6.||Cal Crutchlow (GBR)||Ducati Team||+ 28.526|
|7.||Scott Redding (GBR)||Go&Fun Honda Gresini||+ 32.593|
|8.||Nicky Hayden (USA)||Drive M7 Aspar||+ 32.628|
|9.||Colin Edwards (USA)||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||+ 39.547|
|10.||Andrea Iannone (ITA)||Pramac Racing||+ 43.360|
|11.||Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN)||Drive M7 Aspar||+ 46.595|
|12.||Yonny Hernandez (COL)||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||+ 46.688|
|13.||Karel Abraham (CZE)||Cardion AB Motoracing||+ 50.581|
|14.||Danilo Petrucci (ITA)||Came Iodaracing Project||+ 1’03.127|
|15.||Brok Parkes (AUS)||Paul Bird Motorsport||+ 1’14.386|
|16.||Michael Laverty (GBR)||Paul Bird Motorsport||+ 1’32.593|
|17.||Mike Di Meglio (FRA)||Avintia Racing||+ 1’36.085|
|18.||Alvaro Bautista (SPA)||Go&Fun Honda Gresini||Not classified (2 laps)|
|19.||Bradley Smith (GBR)||Monster Yamaha Tech3||Not classified (4 laps)|
|20.||Pol Espargarò (SPA)||Monster Yamaha Tech3||Not classified (5 laps)|
|21.||Stefan Bradl (GER)||LCR Honda MotoGP||Not classified (14 laps)|
|22.||Hector Barbera (SPA)||Avintia Racing||Not classified (18 laps)|
|23.||Jorge Lorenzo (SPA)||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Not classified (0 laps)|