Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez may have provided the entertainment, but reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo
delivered the unadulterated race-winning pace in Sunday's Qatar season opener.
The Factory Yamaha star retained his pole position into turn one, then reaped the benefits of pounding out winter race simulations - when most others elected not to - as a merciless mix of speed and consistency wore down the opposition.
Lorenzo, who confessed to nerves before the race, set his best race time on lap two - the first of seven consecutive laps under the 1m 56 mark. Early rival Pedrosa only set one sub-1m 56s lap during the same period.
Lorenzo had edged four-seconds clear by the midway point of the 22 laps and went on to win by nearly six-seconds.
“Half an hour before the race I felt nervous. I had to concentrate a lot to relax on the grid because I knew the start was important,” revealed Lorenzo. “I knew it would be hard to open a gap but I had to try. I made a good start, pushed more than 100 per cent.
“In the beginning it was hard to open the gap as Pedrosa didn't want to let me get away, he tried to stay with me but after six or seven laps I opened the gap which made me more confident to keep my pace.”
Returning team-mate Valentino Rossi
rode through the field from seventh to second place, while 2012 title runner-up Pedrosa slipped back to fourth.
“I'm very happy for Yamaha and happy for Valentino as he has now passed two difficult years,” said Lorenzo.