2010 Qatar MotoGP Race Result - Thrilling Season Opener Full Of Surprises

Results and summary of the MotoGP race from Qatar:

Valentino Rossi has emerged victorious from the first MotoGP race of the season, in a thrilling and incident-packed race. The Fiat Yamaha rider took a superb start to lead into the first corner, while Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa had an even better start to dive up to 2nd. With Nicky Hayden ahead of his Marlboro Ducati colleague - and the man who has dominated practice so far - Casey Stoner, everything looked to be in place for Rossi to take advantage of others holding up Stoner, while he tried to escape.

That strategy didn't last long, for Stoner was past everyone by the start of lap 3. The Australian proceeded to make his customary escape, but an uncharacteristic mistake saw Stoner crash out of the lead at Turn 4, early on lap 6.

This left Valentino Rossi with the lead, with Dani Pedrosa sitting in 3rd. But the handling problems which have plagued the Spaniard throughout the pre-season saw Pedrosa slide back down the field, eventually finishing the race in 7th.

For most of the race, the podium looked like being settled between Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, but as the laps ticked down, Jorge Lorenzo started to close the gap to the front. Dovizioso challenged Rossi a couple of times, even getting ahead at one point along the front straight - the Honda's strongest point - but Rossi held Dovi off on the brakes to retain the lead.

As the race wound down, Hayden and Dovizioso engaged in a vicious dogfight, allowing Lorenzo to close. With a couple of brutal and audacious passes, the Fiat Yamaha rider dispatched first Hayden, then Dovizioso to get into 2nd. On the final lap, Nicky Hayden launched an inspired attack on Dovizioso to take third, but Dovi's strength out of the final corner meant that the Repsol Honda man just pipped Hayden over the line by eleven thousandths.

Monster Tech 3's Ben Spies crossed the line in 5th, ahead of LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet and Dani Pedrosa. Spies teammate Colin Edwards finished in 8th, ahead of Loris Capirossi and reigning 250 World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama.

This was not the result we were expecting by far, and makes for a fascinating start to the season.

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 42'50.099  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 42'51.121 1.022
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 42'51.964 1.865
4 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 42'51.975 1.876
5 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 42'54.002 3.903
6 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 42'59.421 9.322
7 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 43'06.607 16.508
8 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 43'09.966 19.867
9 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 43'10.992 20.893
10 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 43'11.199 21.100
11 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 43'21.737 31.638
12 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 43'22.672 32.573
13 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 43'30.879 40.780
Not Classified
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 41'25.290 1 lap
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 13'53.062 15 laps
  27 Casey STONER DUCATI 9'48.964 17 laps
  36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 4'08.133 20 laps
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Fantastic race. Great to see more contenders than just the aliens. Definitely the best season opener in a while.

Great opener. It seems like it's been a while since the top five were within four seconds. Too bad Stoner wasn't in the fight (assuming he wouldn't have run away with it and ruined it).

I thought Spies was going to get in the mix for the podium, but it looked like maybe with about three laps left he decided he'd best take his 5th and be happy. Until then, though, it looked like he was coming with Lorenzo.

Pedrosa and Puig can't be happy campers right now.

Great start...let's hope there are more like this one!

First it was the Ducati, to hard to ride
Then the kawasaki was not up to it..
Now the Honda must be a shit box or is Melandri destined for superbikes..

There's a monster called Moto2 and it's gonna feast on the Marcos.

No Greseni in the big class next year, too I bet.

It's a ferocious beast.

Can say that I haven't been talking to the screen like today for a few years. Great to see racing at the top level again, and have to say I thought the Moto2 class race looked pretty good, although having said that I think anything was better than the factory 250cc class with 5 bikes that could and 3 riders that did win.
Great to see Nicky back riding at the limit, and better yet to see a healthy Dani and his world class gang of never will be's who through the years (5) now can set up and create 800cc class with no budget limits be so far off with a race set up and be handed his ass by his teamate Dovi.
Alberto Puig who for some reason or another is God in gp racing ? for a guy who won 1 race and displaced Doohan at HRC, perhaps now Honda can realize this sack of moaning shit is not the answer with DP his hand puppet turning the throttles. I never got it, perhaps HRC now will.
Sad to see Stoner chuck away 25 points that way but thats racing and pace will never be a Stoner problem as he will bounce back in Japan I am certain. Nicky's back, Dani is gone, and Ben Spies ahead of some fast company looks like a good reason to follow Motogp

Actually I'll have you know that Alberto Puig is a fantastic gentleman and wonderful ambassador of the sport...sorry I couldn't keep going with a straight face. Puig is a turd. From Honda's view though they gambled everything on him and Dani so why not stay on board until the ship sinks fully. Funny though that Nicky will be the last one to take a title home to HRC for likely many years and he was the one basically booted out.

Awesome start to the season and Spies fulltime MotoGP career. Days like today make all us MotoGP fans so glad that this time of year has finely come. I can't wait to see how this season plays out.

The big Victor in this race has to be Spies, just 3.9 seconds behind Rossi on his first regular season race, with a satellite team no less! Awesome ride Ben! And Hayden is back in the hunt. This is looking to be a great season for the Americans.

Another thing in Spies favor imo is that when the top speed situation of the Yamaha is sorted out for Rossi and Jorge I would expect the Tech3 team to also gain a bit more which may not help Spies against the two guys previously mentioned but against everyone else a couple m.p.h. on the straight could make a big difference.

That was a great race to start the season. Too bad about Stoner but he's a big boy and he'll be back. I agree with the above comment about Honda, they seem to think that just building a honda and putting a fast rider on it will win them a championship. But then how does Suzuki feel right now about not giving Spies a ride in either WSBK or Motogp two years ago. I was really pulling for Nicky at the end, scared the wife and dog when he passed Dovizioso to get into third. It's all ok though, Nicky looks good and hopefully he's coming to grips with the Ducati. Great start to the Motogp season, looking forward to a dogfight of a season.

Asesome racing today. Too bad Casey muffed it but that sometimes happens when you ride so close to the edge of mortality. Good on Nicky and Ben for staying with the GOAT and his friends.

Can't wait till the next race already!

I think his first few lap challenge was great. For being dog horrible from testing through qualifying it was fantastic to see him showing them that he isn't going away. When they figure out the suspension he'll be up there like the rest through out. Hayden had some nice words in the post race interview. It was the first time I've heard him and not been embarrassed to be an American. It would have been nice to see him on the podium.

Found the old Nicky vs Dani article brought out into the light of day by the worlds greatest gift to Motogp Alberto Puig, better racer than any former champion, better at set up and design than Jerry Burgess,and capable of of more jaw dropping flat stupid nonsense than Max Biaggi. I for one cannot wait to hear what comes out of that side of the HRC garage after Qatar, my guess is that HRC are plotting against Dani and giving all the good set up data to Dovi and Randy




The once proud HRC ship Spencer, Gardner, Lawson, Doohan and Rossi + Hayden built is taking on a lot of water?? Gee would seem that Gerry Burgess was around for a lot of the success and seems he is still doing alright at Yamaha? To think that HRC figures the rider has little to do with winning championships..

My friend, there is no way Nicky finds himself in Superbike next year. Everyone knows in the paddock if he can ride that beast of a Ducati he can ride anything and he is more talented than 75% of the current field. If Ducati decides to let him go he will find another ride in GP without a doubt. Let's see....Melandi, Caparossi or even (sorry) Edwards! Nicky will safely land a two year contract. I personally would love to see Hayden and Spies in the same garage. I do want to say though that Nicky appeared hungry today and looked like a completly different rider. I can't wait to see what the next race holds for us.

- Stoner- never saw the accident, but it's surely the last time we'll see that for a while. He seems to need to smash the opposition with a 7 second win- but 1/1000 is all you actually need.

- Rossi- I really can't read him too well. One minute he looked great, then his tyres looked like they went off and I though third looked likely.

- Dovizioso- Honestly- do we think he'll run up the front for the rest of the year? Like to think so. That Honda had oodles of noodles though. He was able to gap Hayden down the straight and hold Rossi.

- Hayden- Really, really good to see him up the front. I heard hi say he's learning to ride like Casey rather than try to adapt the Ducati to him. That might be the secret that Capirossi, Maleandri et al missed. I'm sure MM readers noticed his lack of top end speed- Are Ducati in strife with consumption? Engine longevity? I refuse to believe that Honda and Yamaha have found more power- instead it seems that Ducati have dialled it down. If Hayden's not running out of fuel on the warm down- then they ought to dial back in some speed- or have an engine map to swap to for the last lap/s.

-Spies- by God he looked smooth. Really smooth. The scalpel like way the M1 handles seems to really work with the Texan. He'll be rewarded at circuits where that style is best (Tilke and Tilke-style circuits for example), but I wonder if the Casey Stoner fast n wild style is the only way to win?

Riders I've written off for the season: Pedrosa (will podium, but not win), Edwards (will get beaten in 90% races by his team mate, but continue to sell R1s to the US market), Capirossi and Melandri.

Completely agree on the hayden front, I forget where, but didn't either Casey or Nicky say that with the change of the big bang engine, they traded stability into/out of the corners in exchange for top-end speed?

Even the commentors were hinting that Dovi could afford to let Nicky pass him at the end because he'd just outsprint him on the flat, seems a weak way to me but them's the breaks. I guess I just don't like it because of HRC's politics of the past couple years, oh and dovi's constant stupid mugging at the cameras.

That Kallio threw the bike away isn't alone a reason enough to write him off. But his tendency to whine and blame everything around him (Spies early pass, et al) for his problems doesn't bode well. He played the crying game last year even when he clearly was at fault. Remember the t-boning of Melandri? He won Rookie Of The Year on an off-year for rookies and while he shows a bit of speed at times, he displays almost no ability to own up and learn from mistakes. My bet: Kallio won't finish in the top ten and won't get a factory offer. And 50-50 odds that he is out of MotoGP by 2011.

Kalliokaze squandered his allotment of Good Will last year by clobbering-and-blaming several other riders, most notably Melandri at Brno. I honestly wonder if he's got some sort of eye problem that results in a lack of peripheral vision? I didn't catch Mika's run in with the Pie Man*, but his whining suggests his stuck-up attitude has carried over from 2009. IMO, Pramac needs to trade in Mika for someone like Toni Elias ASAP!

* 'Pie Man' tm2010 by Geonerd.
The Pie Man is a character from an as-yet-unnamed MotoGP themed horror film currently in production. "He's coming for you, Valentino! You can run, you can scream, you can play your silly mind tricks, but you can't escape you fate! The Pie Man is coming to kick your ass! " LOL!

i love how nobody told spies you cant make passes like that in motogp. nobody tell him. brilliant! too bad nicky got drafted at the end. great race. great start. thank god the wait is over

I tuned in to watch the Qatar GP, but somehow a race broke out. Qatar 2010 reinforces what people love about Rossi. He does only what he needs to do to win, and he is generally bored with the prospect of clearing off in F1 fashion. He prefers to mess with his adversaries and see if he can force a mistake.

Gutted for Stoner b/c he was so far in front this weekend, but without that crash, this race probably would have been quite boring.

This season is looking really interesting at this point. The revs have been chopped on all bikes and it appears that Yamaha may be at a disadvantage with the I-4 engine in regards to reliability and aerodynamics.

Crazy to see Nicky at the front. He says he's been working on his riding style and his mental approach to the sport. Quali was legitimately poor, but could he have been hiding his speed on race tires?!

That was the best season opener since what, 2006?
Stoner really dropped 25 points behind, hopefully it'll be the last time we ever see him doing that. Hayden put in a fight, I'm looking forward to seeing much more of that. Maybe he can make it to the podium quite a few times.

Spies was already great at Qatar last year. Let's see how he does at the other tracks.

I think with Rossi's top speed issues (slowest down the straight), Lorenzo's hand and the pressure on Dovi to sign a contract this year - it was the correct podium.

Would have been nice to see Hayden up there, but Dovi needs it more.

It will be interesting to see how much practice Rossi puts in during Motegi & Jerez if that engine is suffering...

Great racing as all the above have mentioned.

Thoughts on the new engine regs.

Were the Yams slow because they expect to maintain that pace for all races whilst others may have gambled by turning the wick up trying for an early season advantage?

As a contender do you run a new engine for each of the first 6 races in an attempt to gain an advantage (using "old" engines for the rest of the season)?

It's going to be several races into the season before we see how things are really panning out. Very interesting.



I wonder if after finally having a reason to stay up late, if you have warmed to night racing...or are you maintaining your luddite if God had intended MotoGP to be at night he would have given humans more rods...