MotoGP »

Rossi delighted with first night race win

Having been caught and passed and by Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi's hopes of a first ever Qatar night race victory looked over for another year - but the Australian's lap six mistake put the reigning world champion into the lead of what turned out to be a thrilling race.

“I got a fantastic start but I wasn't quite fast enough and was suffering on the straight,” explained Rossi. “I lost some time passing Pedrosa and by then Stoner was quite far from me, I thought then that it was going to be hard to catch him! Then he made a mistake and crashed, which was bad luck for him but crucial for us.”

With Stoner out, Rossi could have been forgiven for thinking victory was in the bag - but the Fiat Yamaha star was hounded by the second factory Ducati of Nicky Hayden and Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso right until the closing stages.

The Doctor even lost the lead to Dovizioso along the home straight on lap 16, but got the advantage back on the brakes. The scare seemed to spur Rossi into action and he finally began to build a buffer in the following laps.

But by then team-mate and 2009 title rival Jorge Lorenzo had joined the fight and the Spaniard, riding with an injured right hand, burst past both Hayden and Dovizioso to finish just one second from Rossi at the chequered flag.

“After [Stoner's crash] I expected it would be easier but in fact it was very hard to stay in front of Dovizioso, who was very strong. We had a good battle and then I did three or four laps at the maximum and was able to stay in front, but it wasn't easy!” he admitted.

The victory margin may have been far closer than anyone had expected, without the dominant Stoner, but the end result was that Rossi finally ended his four-year run of first-race defeats.

“I haven't won at the first race since 2005 and these 25 points at this stage are like gold dust, it's a fantastic result for the team to make a one-two at race one,” he said.

“It's especially good to win here because it doesn't suit our bike, we worked very cleverly throughout the practices and this is the reward, so thanks to all my guys. We definitely have some work to do but this is a good base to start from.”

After the race, Rossi ran out of petrol on the slow down lap and had to get a lift back to the pits on a scooter.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Qatar MotoGP 2010
MotoGP rider line up, Qatar MotoGP 2017
MotoGP bike line up, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Moto2 rider line up, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Moto3 rider line up, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargrao, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Sam Lowes, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Zarco, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Miller, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Redding, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Abraham, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Baz, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Miller, Qatar MotoGP 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

notafanboy - Unregistered

April 12, 2010 10:50 AM

Whether he ties or beats Ago's record or not doesn't matter... Vale is the GOAT. Ago won nearly all of his premier class titles on Augusta which was pretty much the only serious manufacturer in the competition for a decade or so. Rossi's feats are greater considering the growth and development of the sport since then. I'm 35 and pretty confident I won't see another Rossi in my life time. And no, I'm not a fanboy :p

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.