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No shock upset for Lorenzo, Doohan in ROC

17 December 2012

Motorcycle stars Jorge Lorenzo and Mick Doohan were unable to cause a shock upset over the four-wheel specialists in Sunday's Race Of Champions in Bangkok.

Both were drawn in the same opening Group, which also contained reigning double F1 champion Sebastian Vettel and local Thai competitor Tin Sritrai.

Vettel, who won the Nations title with fellow German F1 star Michael Schumacher on Saturday, unsurprisingly romped to three wins out of three in his heat races - leaving the others to battle over the second qualification spot for the knock-out stage.

That place went to former five-time 500cc champion Doohan, who defeated reigning double MotoGP champion Lorenzo in their heat race.

Doohan then lost out to seven time F1 champion Schumacher in the quarter-finals. Vettel was also eliminated in the quarter-finals, by fellow F1 driver and eventual event winner Romain Grosjean.

On the Saturday, Doohan (Team Australia) and Lorenzo (All Stars) both got as far as the semi-final stage in the Nations ROC contest.

When not on track Lorenzo was seen out on the roads of Bangkok leading a procession of Thai Yamaha riders through the streets.

Commuters where more than a little surprised as the Spanish rider pulled up next to them at the traffic lights on a YZF-R1.

"It's been a fantastic experience to be here in Thailand again," said Lorenzo.

"The people are so friendly and warm; it is always a pleasure to be here. I have really enjoyed the Race of Champions; the drivers are so talented and it's a real challenge to try to keep up with them.

"I would like to come back next time and maybe bring some motorbikes for them to try! I want to thank all my friends at Yamaha Thailand for making me feel so welcomed, I hope to come back and see them again next year."

Thailand is hoping to hold an F1 Grand Prix in the near future, although the mooted Bangkok street circuit would be unsuitable for MotoGP.


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