MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 01: Qatar GP > Race Results
MotoGPQuatarMarch 9, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 01
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail Race Results

Dani Digs Deep To Score Podium Finish, Dovi Fourth

Qualifying >>

Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner (Ducati) ran away with this race when he took the lead at mid-race distance of this 22-lap encounter. Rookie and poleman Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) was second and the injured Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) a gritty third.

Dani Pedrosa Dani Pedrosa


Dani Pedrosa


Dani Pedrosa


Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) made a stunning start to his premier class career too with a fourth place he stole from senior rider Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). This year’s new intake of 250 riders has made its mark early.

Dani got the holeshot from row three making a fantastic getaway from eighth on the grid. He simply steamed past Stoner who looked most likely to enter turn one heading the pack. Yamaha men James Toseland and Colin Edwards were the other fast men off the grid.

Rookie Lorenzo wasted no time in catching up with the leaders and by lap three Rossi too had got on terms, passing Lorenzo to take third place as Toseland and Edwards fell off the pace slightly. Dani was flying, setting a fastest lap of 1m 56.270s as he carved out a 1.4 second lead over his rivals. But it didn’t last.

Stoner then began to close in ominously as Rossi stole the lead from Dani and Lorenzo then passed his sworn Spanish rival for second. Stoner held fourth on lap six with Dovi moving rapidly up the field too to fifth.

At the midway point a seven rider group held sway at the sharp end, this still included Toseland and Edwards with a six second gap back to Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) in eighth, with Hopkins and then Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) who was never really on the pace here tonight.

His team-mate was. Dani suffered a knock to his injured hand in a qualifying crash and a podium was a very acceptable result for a man who missed most of winter testing with that injury to his throttle hand.

Stoner then upped the pace reeling off a series of fastest laps as he moved away from the opposition just as he had here in 2007. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V), Hayden and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) now lay tenth, 11th and 12th with Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) just behind.

Stoner stretched his advantage over Lorenzo to 5.3 seconds at the flag with Dani a similar distance behind his ‘fellow’ Spaniard Lorenzo. If the podium places were settled before the last lap, the action for fourth was anything but relaxed.

Dovi was working on Rossi on the penultimate lap, sizing up the multiple Champion before making his pass, only to have fourth snatched away from him again as the old master slapped the impudent student down.

But Dovi was in no mood to pay too much respect to his elders and on the last lap he tried the same pass, Rossi responded again but ran wide into the next turn and the rookie seized his opportunity like the racer he is and slipped inside to hold the lead to the flag by just seven thousandths of a second as they tried to out-drag each other on the straight.

The night-time race was a success itself, but equally encouraging has been the strong showing from the class rookies. The World Championship order is as per race order after only one race.


250cc Grand Prix

Mattia Pasini won his debut 250cc Grand Prix in fine style from Hector Barbera (both Aprilia) with KTM rider Mika Kallio third. Pasini is the first rider since Honda star Dani Pedrosa to win first time out after stepping up from 125cc competition.

Former 125cc World Champion for Honda Tom Luthi (Aprilia) took control of the race from the front into turn one but almost as soon as he established himself as the man to beat he was forced to take a ride through penalty for a jumped start. This wrecked his race entirely.

Alvaro Bautista led with Hector Barbera second and Pasini third with Alex Debon (Aprilia) fourth. Barbera held a 2.313 second lead over his rivals on lap 13 of this 20-lapper, but by lap 16 a four-way dice for the lead had developed with Kallio closing up in fourth as Debon took the lead.

The penultimate lap was vintage 250 racing. Debon lost out in the fight as Pasini took advantage when he and Barbera ran wide while battling for position and the Italian man held it to the flag. Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) rode a fine race to fifth while Honda’s other representative in this class Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing RS250RW) scored points with 13th.


125cc Grand Prix

Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) won this 18-lap opening race of the season from Joan Olive (Derbi) with Stefan Bradl (Aprilia) rocketing through from fifth at the final turn to steal across the line in third ahead of Mike di Meglio (Derbi) and star rookie Scott Redding (Aprilia), who finished fifth.

Bradley Smith (Aprilia) led into turn one from pole, the former Honda rider set the early pace before slowing on lap two with a temporary machine problem, dropping to 16th. Reigning Champ Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) dropped out of the running for the lead altogether on lap 14.

Again the rookies shone brightly. British rider Scott Redding was a revelation and Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) made a steadier start with 25th place.

Andrea Dovizioso Yuki Takahashi


Andrea Dovizioso


Yuki Takahashi


MotoGP:
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
"Tonight's result is unbelievable, we didn't expect this, so I'm very happy. Seven days ago I was almost last in the tests here but my team have worked really hard, bringing both 2007 and 2008 bikes here and making many changes, they've been fantastic. For the first time I understand the meaning and the legend of HRC and I'm so proud to be part of this. They gave me a competitive bike and the Michelin tyres worked really good and I did my best on track but without them I couldn't have been able to make it. My hand was quite bad from the middle of the race to the end, I couldn't brake perfectly because my hand was shaking all the time but I was able to finish the race and this is the most important thing because the hand should be in better condition at the next race. I made an unbelievable start, I couldn't imagine getting a start like that. I overtook everybody on the way to the first corner and from there I pushed very hard. I couldn't stay with Lorenzo and Stoner, so we still have to improve but since last week's tests we've made an incredible step forward. Now we have a few weeks to recover full strength in the hand before Jerez."

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 4th.
“I’m very emotional for this first race. I never thought I would be so quick to finish so near the front and also become the first Italian rider home, which is great! I never really thought of the podium, as I seemed to start off not so good on the grid. Immediately after the start I pushed hard and tried to concentrate on the job in front, I was aiming at the train of riders just in front of me. Perhaps I asked a little too much of my Michelin tyre combination which behaved very well in the race. I want to thank the team for the fantastic job that they did over the weekend. We struggled a little in qualifying, but came out in a very good way when it was time for the race. We have shown that we are ready to do well in MotoGP with Honda and I look forward to the next race..”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 9th.
“At the first corner of the race I had a big front end slide and again at the second corner so I was not so confident and I took it a little easy for the first couple of laps and a lot of riders passed me. When I got into my rhythm I could run mid 1m 56 second laps. But when I caught Capirossi I could get passed him but on the dirty part of the track where it was slippery and the front end wanted to turn in. If I passed him he could out accelerate me – it was very difficult. Towards the end of the race my rear tyre was sliding quite a lot. But the biggest problem for me was the first two laps, if I had not had the slides a top six finish was possible. Now we go to Jerez and I hope to get into the top six.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 10th.
"It wasn't pretty for sure. We wanted more than just top ten but we struggled here from the time we rolled out at the tests. We haven't really made much progress and it hasn't been for a lack of effort, these guys have worked really hard. We got beat bad today so we've obviously got a lot of work to do. I got a decent start but I couldn't push the way I wanted to, couldn't be aggressive and couldn't make anything happen, so I kinda went backwards then I went forward again. I was spinning a lot, which definitely didn't do the rear tyre any favours, I really think we just missed the setup and worked the tyre way too hard so I was spinning way too much. It honestly wasn't the most fun race but there's still a lot of racing to go so we'll try and brush this one off and definitely try to move up at Jerez."

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 13th.
“We knew after free practice and qualifying that this was going to be a tough race for us. I lost a few positions at the start but started to make up ground after a few laps. By the end I was battling with the group in front and I reached the 13th place. This isn’t the result we were hoping for so we have to improve next time. I’m confident for Jerez – we’ve tested there and we have a lot of good data to work from.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: dnf – crash.
“I’m really disappointed with the today’s race because it seems my bike was slower than the others on the straight, and I kept getting passed by riders coming out of my slipstream and overtaking me on top speed. Throughout the whole race I didn’t manage to get back on the pace I’d set all weekend here and in the tests a week ago and that’s disappointing because I’m sure I could have fought with the group in front. It’s a shame we didn’t come away with a result but we at least know we have potential.”


250cc:
Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 5th.
“I am very happy because I didn’t think I would be so fast. I got a very good start and quickly gained some positions and made contact with the lead group. Halfway through the race my rear tyre started to slide and it was difficult to maintain my rhythm. This fifth place is very important for me, and I have to thank the team and my mechanics. On the last lap I lost my rhythm because I was tired as I have no completely recovered my physical condition . ”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG:
“I’m really happy, because we have done a very good job, and these three points are a good reward, especially considering the high level of 250cc class this year. The race was fast and tough, I made a good start and I attacked from the beginning to arrive as soon as possible into the points. After several laps behind Faubel, I realized that would be very difficult to catch him, but I kept a strong pace to insure my position. This is a good result that repays the great effort made by everybody who is involved in that project, and we just have to continue this way.”


125cc:
Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 25th.
“I learned very much this weekend and there is so much more for me to learn. I finished the race but I’m not happy with the result. In the first few laps with new tyres I do not have a good feeling with the bike but when the tyres start to wear and the bike moves about I am much more comfortable. When I found a good feeling my lap times were the same as in qualifying. The engine was good and the tyres but I have to learn how to go fast from the first lap to the finish.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 01
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail


line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER / Ducati Marlboro Team
2 Jorge LORENZO / Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Dani PEDROSA / Repsol Honda Team
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / JiR Team Scot MotoGP
5 Valentino ROSSI / Fiat Yamaha Team
6 James TOSELAND / Tech 3 Yamaha
7 Colin EDWARDS / Tech 3 Yamaha
8 Loris CAPIROSSI / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
9 Randy DE PUNIET / LCR Honda MotoGP
10 Nicky HAYDEN / Repsol Honda Team
11 Marco MELANDRI / Ducati Marlboro Team
12 John HOPKINS / Kawasaki Racing Team
13 Shinya NAKANO / San Carlo Honda Gresini
14 Toni ELIAS / Alice Team
15 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Alice Team



Dani Pedrosa
250cc
1 Mattia PASINI / Polaris World
2 Hector BARBERA / Team Toth Aprilia
3 Mika KALLIO / Red Bull KTM 250
4 Alex DEBON / Lotus Aprilia
5 Yuki TAKAHASHI / JiR Team Scot 250
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Mapfre Aspar Team
7 Karel ABRAHAM / Cardion AB Motoracing
8 Roberto LOCATELLI / Metis Gilera
9 Aleix ESPARGARO / Lotus Aprilia
10 Hector FAUBEL / Mapfre Aspar Team
11 Julian SIMON / Repsol KTM 250cc
12 Fabrizio LAI / Campetella Racing
13 Ratthapark WILAIROT / Thai Honda PTT SAG
14 Manuel POGGIALI / Campetella Racing
15 Thomas LUTHI / Emmi - Caffe Latte
 
125cc
1 Sergio GADEA / Bancaja Aspar Team
2 Joan OLIVE / Belson Derbi
3 Stefan BRADL / Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing
4 Mike DI MEGLIO / Ajo Motorsport
5 Scott REDDING / Blusens Aprilia Junior
6 Danny WEBB / Degraaf Grand Prix
7 Simone CORSI / Jack & Jones WRB
8 Pol ESPARGARO / Belson Derbi
9 Efren VAZQUEZ / Blusens Aprilia Junior
10 Nicolas TEROL / Jack & Jones WRB
11 Sandro CORTESE / Emmi - Caffe Latte
12 Gabor TALMACSI / Bancaja Aspar Team
13 Stefano BIANCO / S3+ WTR San Marino Team
14 Andrea IANNONE / I.C. Team
15 Michael RANSEDER / I.C. Team
 

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