2013 Qatar MotoGP Race Result: Dominant Victory Ahead of Breathtaking Battle For Podium

Results and summary of a gripping MotoGP race at Qatar:

Jorge Lorenzo has got the defense of his 2012 MotoGP World Title off to the best possible start, winning the 2013 season opener in dominant fashion. But the Qatar race will be remembered most of all for the battle for the podium, which saw a battle between a resurgent Valentino Rossi and the young upstart Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo led the race from start to finish, leading away at the lights, building a gap, and then driving home his advantage and managing the gap to the riders behind. He was never under threat, but the attention was all on the battle behind him.

Dani Pedrosa had got in behind Lorenzo, with a surprising Andrea Dovizioso taking 3rd, with Cal Crutchlow slotting into 4th after a mediocre start. He was soon bumped down to 5th by Valentino Rossi, the factory Yamaha man getting a much better start from the third row than Crutchlow from the second. The group was soon also joined by Marc Marquez, who had made good after a difficult start.

With Pedrosa chasing Lorenzo, Rossi attempted to join the hunt, trying to pass Andrea Dovizioso going into Turn 1. He tried a little too hard, perhaps, running wide and dropping several places, leaving Crutchlow and Dovizioso to chase Pedrosa. Dovizioso's fast start would not last, the Italian dropping slowly back through the field as the race progressed.

Marc Marquez was on the opposite trajectory, and had soon joined the battle for 2nd, stuck behind Crutchlow, who was stuck behind Pedrosa. Crutchlow was all over the back of Pedrosa, but could not find a way past, suffering every time the bikes headed down the front straight. In the end he would fall prey to Marc Marquez, the Spaniard using his light weight and better drive out of the final corner to motor past along the straight. While passing Crutchlow was easy, getting past Pedrosa was a massive problem for Marquez. It did not prevent him trying, but after spending ten laps trying, he eventually outbraked him going into the first corner.

Pedrosa's pace had meant he had been holding the group behind him up, and that had allowed Valentino Rossi to catch the leaders. The way in which he did so was impressive, pounding out lap after lap in the 1'55s, the fastest man on the track for a while. Once he caught the group behind Marquez, he then had to try to get past, and his first target was Crutchlow. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha put up a very brave defense, but the battle on the brakes saw Crutchlow run out first, and run wide and drop out of contention. 

Pedrosa was Rossi's next target, and within a lap, he was also past Pedrosa, unleashing the most thrilling battle of the race, between Marquez and Rossi. Neither man was minded to give the other any quarter, nor interested in asking for any, and after brutal passes by both men, Rossi's experience winning out in the end. He held off attacks on the final lap of the race to pip Marquez to the line. For Marquez to get a podium on his debut confirms the extraordinary talent of the Spanish youngster.

Dani Pedrosa came home in 4th, finally unable to match the pace of the riders ahead of him, while Cal Crutchlow took 5th, unable to make up the ground he'd lost after running off in the battle with Rossi.


Pos No Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 42'39.802
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 5.99
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 6.201
4 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 9.473
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 18.764
6 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 22.148
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 24.355
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 24.92
9 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 37.124
10 11 Ben SPIES Ducati 44.908
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 49.809
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 56.495
13 8 Hector BARBERA FTR +1'09.599
14 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ ART +1'10.742
15 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR +1'13.600
16 71 Claudio CORTI FTR Kawasaki +1'29.444
17 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM +1'34.341
18 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter +1'34.683
Not Classified
  5 Colin EDWARDS FTR Kawasaki 7 Laps
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter 10 Laps
  6 Stefan BRADL Honda 14 Laps
  38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 18 Laps
  67 Bryan STARING FTR Honda 21 Laps
  17 Karel ABRAHAM ART 0 Lap
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That was quite a good race, good fights for the podium. I'm happy to see Rossi back on a good bike, one more rider at the front is good for the sport. Lorenzo looks unbeatable though.

Because I'm not a Rossi fan however, I can look objectively at this race. The main reason Rossi finished second is because the Hondas dropped their pace significantly after about midrace distance. I can only think they suffered sever tyre wear way too early. Props to Marquez for keeping up with Rossi those last few laps, his bike was all over the place.

This is quite worrying, Honda have a lot of work on their hands to make sure Jorge doesn't run away with this.

But Rossi finished second because he passed everyone but the winner! If you look at their lap times Marquez and Pedrosa did not slow down, they were in the 56s nearly the entire race. Rossi got some open track turned a few 55s and closed the gap. That's racing! Give credit where it is due.



Ah you are right, I was under the impression Marquez and Pedrosa managed 55s for a while longer there.

Oh well, more kudos to Rossi then, good pace to catch those guys!

Still worried about the Hondas race pace then, if Rossi hadn't made that mistake he would've been out of sight.

Mmmm... The Hondas didn't drop their pace, from lap 10 onward they were both constantly on 1'56''.5 but from that moment Rossi was the fastest man on track for most of the laps (certainly Jorge wasn't pushing as hard). Also, marquez bike wasn't "all over the place" that's how he rides, even early on on the race he was doing Moto2 slides.

WHAT a race! I guess all the short-memory folks proclaiming Rossi's decline have been promptly silenced. And it's truly incredible that Marquez is indeed living up to his tremendous hype. Lorenzo looked happy, but worried...this really may be the best season ever!

Trojan, you forgot to add the little disclaimer of: incredibly skilled and talented motorcycle racer if on the best bike in the field, Yamaha.

Because on a Ducati he is simply ordinary. Or have you forgotten that he ran mid pack for the last 2 years?

It was a good race by Rossi and I have him down for the Championship this year but lets not erase history. The Yamaha's were 0.5 sec quicker bike today.

Honestly, at this point, trying to argue that Rossi is less than incredibly talented is just voluntary blindness. It actually reveals quite a lot about the people who do so, and is quite sad.

Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo...they are all fantastic. I'm sorry you can't just appreciate that and feel the need to vindictively criticize. You're missing out.

The point is... Rossi s on a bike that allows him to ride like Rossi. And when that happens, it's amazing to watch. The two years at Ducati have seemed to erase his 7 premiere class titles for you. Or Barcalona 2009, which is arguably the best race is GP history. Only Rossi could have pulled that move and I suspect we might see some of that this year.

And there I thought Rossi was 2nd because he overtook everyone except Jorge. Luckily most of us aren't sore loses. Great race for 2nd, utterly composed by Jorge but the rossi marquez laps the best fun and the majority of experts getting the Vas out. All in all a good night. Note to self- lose the smugness.

I couldn't remember I got excited this much for several years now. Brilliant racing! I believe Rossi wanted to fight with JLo, should he didn't make that mistake. Seems like he would have done just that, too. And boy, Marquez is real! This season has every reason to be terrific! I can't wait the next race at the State side.

And Rossi... I've been waiting for this for last two years almost every weekend. Welcome back, Doctor! You've been sorely missed.

...a shoe in for third ( easier to say after the race ) but what would have been if rossi made that pass on Dovi instead of almost running into pedrosa?

Lorenzo was great, Marquez had a brilliant start, but, Vale was the best rider despite of his 2nd place. He was involved in a almost crash by some bikes suddenly braking and if not, no doubt would "fight" for the 1st. He´s old but 34 is just a mater of numbers ´cause he´s fire still burns. See you next race!

...that the win was going to be set in the first 4 laps and that's the reason of the risky tactic (that didn't pay unluckily for him).
I found the #46 and #93 battle iconic the old champion and the new one, a sign of times.
I had higher expectations for Cal, but he gave us a great show and can only be grateful for that.
All in all a good start of the season, great result for Marc, Vale and Jorge hopefully Dani will come back and so Cal.

Now THAT was a race!
If you ever thought the Doctor was gone..think again!
What I found interesting, was that
-Marc Marquez was the fastes overall in lap 3 with 1:55.445.
-JLo in round 2 with 1:55.596 and
-Rossi in round 16! with 1:55,756.
This shows the quality of VR once again.
He was the fastest at the very end of the race when everybody else was paying tribute to the tires and the mental challenge a MotoGP-race finally is.
He was not only 7th once, but twice!
AND made it to second place!
If he had not done this very much human mistake with Dovizioso at the beginning, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have beaten JLo no matter what.
This is the season of the century.

What were Rossi's lap times in comparison to Jorge's? IF Rossi hadn't run wide at turn 1, is there a possibility he could have hung onto Jorge? Dont think he could have beaten him, but hung onto him. The Honda's were sliding all over the place, with Marq almost losing the bike a few times. Hell'eva first race!

Good race...interestingly Lorenzo's fastest lap came so early - so I'm really curious how he would have fared if there was someone pushing him all along.

My humble opinion, Rossi really didn't have the setup to fight with Lorenzo even if he had managed to stick with him from from lap one.

Right now he is in a class of his own and uses his equipment far more effectively than anyone else. He is comfortably at the limit.

Watch out for Rossi when the show reaches the european tracks. There are at least three reasons: one being, just the miles on the bike which will make Rossi more comfortable, and two, there are a lot of 'Rossi tracks' out there, and three, Burgess will refine the setup further.

It would be very difficult to stop Lorenzo though. The new qualifying system works to Lorenzo's advantage since he can make a fast lap right out of the pits. Right now Rossi is not good with a fresh tire.

Though Rossi's pace was indeed commendable, it was quite the gamble seeing how he ran out of fuel on the cool down lap. The fuel consumption I think is still a problem for the Yamahas (remember Cal at Motegi last year when he rode alone for a long time and then ran out of fuel as he fought with Bautista). Lorenzo was aware of this and therefore could not risk faster laps once he had no one behind him to reduce his drag. Rossi probably took a risk with the mapping to get where he did and that shows what racing is all about. And so all in all a brilliant race by him.

That was the best GP for a long time. Rossi was incredible to make up such a gap and make those passes, especially the two on Marquez!

Marquez is the real deal, and if the Hondas are on par with the Yamahas at the other races then why can't he win races and challenge this year? Dani I'm sure will get it together, but that must have hurt - not Rossi passing him, but being beaten by his teammate - passed and out-paced.

It's a little bit frustrating to see Lorenzo already sailing toward the horizon unchallenged, especially knowing that the only man alive who can beat him is on a lake somewhere in the outback. But whatever - total respect for Lorenzo; he's perfection, calmness personified.

Can't wait for Texas - surely Marquez will be the man to beat there.

Too bad for Ducati - Hayden was 6th here last year, now Dovi was 8th. (edit: 7th)

Google Rossi v Lorenzo Catalunya 2009. Rossi can and will beat him. Lorenzo is a great racer but the past few years of relatively unchallenged victories have not made him any cagier.

My thoughts exactly! At the last lap, there is nobody better than Valentino Rossi.

And even if he gets beaten by somebody, you can be sure that at the next race he will push you down the corcscrew (Stoner) or runs you into the gravel (Gibernau).
He so gets the edge over the other at the next last-lap-duell by pure fear of the opponent, who tries to avoid an accident in advance because he remembers the last time he dared to challenge VR.

In other more scientific words: He (VR) operates inside the OODA-loop (Observation,Orientation,Decision,Action) of his opponents
(google Col.John Boyd and OODA).
I believe his orientation phase is shorter than the ones of his enemies, because he grew up in an era where a Biaggi pushed you in the gravel and you answered by showing him the finger or beat him up on the way to the press conference and makes no diplomatic fuzz mentally about who is an enemy and who is not.

Those were different times and it was more an open war than it is today.
Marquez and Lorenzo have no clue how it used to be.
For Vale it is still nothing but war and he has no worries like the others.
He is a brand name with an unbeatable reputation.
He can focus solely on fighting, where others must think about what their sponsor is saying about their behavior.
What makes him extra dangerous this year as well, is that he will try to buff out the 2 years that did indeed left some marks at his otherwise flawless career.

I´m sure when the day comes and he needs to show Lorenzo what dirty tricks he has in his inventory, he will not flinch AND he will have the backing of the managers in the pits.

Its not fair, but that`s the way it is.
War is defined by the absence of rules.
MotoGP has many rules, but VR is operating outside of them whenever he can.

not disputing anything else ( matter of perception or personal opinion ) but corkscrew moment needs to be inspected again - look at more than few photos and probably more than one footage - from top of Corkscrew , when VR overtake CS , his back wheel was all the time in front of CS's front wheel ; so - no way anyone pushes anyone there
they were few more disputing moments in that race , but Corkscrew isn't one
that was aggressive but fair race , from both sides ... except whining after it

I mentioned the corkscrew incident only as an example for the mental maneuver warfare that is part of Valentino´s way of racing.

If somebody has an "obstruction" to understand that he is the greatest Champion there is, he will teach him with utter determination and in every possible fair or unfair way so that at the next race in similar circumstances he will always have the upper hand.
Nobody has yet withstand the pressure Valentino is able to deliver when sitting on battle ready equipment.

More than Rossi beating Lorenzo, I wanted to see battles. And boy did we get a lot of those. It was absolutely fantastic to see the riders go at it. Dovi, Rossi, Cal, Marquez, Bradl and Pedrosa. I was secretly hoping for a race like this where Rossi comes from behind and mixes it up with the top runners. Haven't felt this excited watching a gp race in a while. Marquez is an absolute dart on then track and a treat to watch. Lorenzo Rossi and Pedrosa have a real threat on their hands as Marquez gets more comfortable on the Honda.

It is going to be one heck of a season. How badly I wish Stoner hadn't retired and Marco was still with us. Great race...and cheers to a wonderful start to the season.

Flawlessly serene perfection from Jorge, what can you even say? But, oh man, was The Doctor ever flying! Amazing racing for a great start to the season!

Ill dottore is back, and just in time to prove (needlessly) that he's still Valentino Rossi 46 multi world champion of the world, in all sizes all categories, so he couldn't do it on a Ducati? Too bad, that would've been a reward and a treat to all of us and him to have won on everything, no hard feelings, it goes just to show "what if I have never tried it" always works, sometimes good sometimes bad, but can't accuse the man for not trying, at least he's giving us all of his years, good ones and bad ones, welcome back my friend, I personally missed you a lot...

Great race, for all the reasons already mentioned above.

One thing that struck me was Marquez - In Moto2 you would never, ever see him sit behind another rider for 10 laps, waiting. He would be pulling all sorts of moves in no space to get in front. Is this new maturity, or respect for his established team mate/new team ? Either way, he is gold for the Premier class.

And I'm not a huge fan of VR46 but - what a performance to ride from that far back and take 2nd, and pulling some beautiful, hard+clean passes on Dani then Marc. MotoGP is back!

Marc said that he was on the edge to just get there. So he settled down once he got behind Dani.

To be honest, I think that what we saw in Moto2 was other riders not on pace with Marc. In GP it's different.

Personally I interpreted Marquez's behavior as respect/deference to Pedrosa, not only his teammate but also a riding hero of his.

Knowing the consequences of a bad pass (possibly taking them both out), not wanting to humiliate Pedrosa (while also being lionhearted enought to want to beat him), with the memory of their "incident" from the previous day still fresh....I bet all these factors came into play.

The kid is a prodigy and seems to be mature enough to realize that he needs to at least feign a little humility, lest he make enemies very quickly. Even if deep in his mind he believes that he's faster than ALL of them...and he may be right!

It's been a long time......

With all the buzz and excitement, you'd think Rossi had won. 46 bike always manages to steal the flame, thunder, limelight, show, etc...

He reminds us why he is who he is. What a show!

The pre-season hype has held true. What a race!

It's great to be a MotoGP fan!

Was posted yesterday:

"That is a shame, as Rossi's race pace is strong. But as Cal Crutchlow discovered last year, a strong race pace when you are already three seconds behind the leaders is never going to make up for lost ground."

Would you say that today David? I'd say that he made up the ground. And I wouldn't say never and Valentino Rossi in the same sentence, ever. 100+ wins comes from never giving up.

Maybe now some of the journalists will quit with the quick bash. I think the old man showed everyone today that he definitely still has it. In fact it never left.

It usually takes 3-4 races for Burgess and crew to solve the setup with any M1. Rossi said over the weekend and at the last test that he still isn't getting 100% out of the bike so when the crew and rider does he should be right there. Hopefully Marquez gets there in the same amount of time as well as Pedrosa and we can get races like this today but with a scrap for the #1 position.

It's gonna be a great season with 4 riders, possibly 5 with Cal, going at each other every race. Got my tickets for COTA already :)

"Would you say that today David? I'd say that he made up the ground."

If he'd caught Lorenzo then you might be correct.

Rossi finished nearly six seconds behind Lorenzo, after Lorenzo slowed down to conserve fuel and tyres.

If Lorenzo's board had shown him that Rossi was gaining, Lorenzo would have dropped into the 1:55s again - game over. So I imagine that David would still say the same thing... it's pretty obvious.

He said "leaders" plural. And it can be done as Rossi has shone throughout his career and as Marquez show us twice last year. That was my point. It's not impossible and you got shown how today.

The rest you mention is speculation. I could say that Rossi could have been right with Lorenzo without the mistake and battled for the W but I will not because it's 'speculation' as is Lorenzo's doing this or that.

6 seconds is a great change compared to 20+.

The Rossi haters are going to need someone to hold them this year.

Actually I think that now Rossi has served his penance for trash-talking Stoner's achievements, most of his detractors will be glad to see him back at the front. I predicted a podium for him and Marquez and neither of them disappointed, but I had to wonder about Rossi's chances after he pushed his luck in the first few laps.

Fair enough about plural 'leaders', your point is made.

I wish I had a dollar for every time Rossi has come from mid-pack to the podium...

Congrats to Jorge and Yamaha for a well earned victory. I've seen a lot of racing over the years and this was truly an absolute delight to watch. Rossi, sans a couple of goofs, was brilliant once again and Marquez raced like a seasoned veteran. If we were honest with ourselves you couldn't help but think maybe Valentino lost a little the past few years. No doubt the Duc had issues but I wanted to see how Val responded today on the Yam and all I can say is wow! I was impressed. As well Marquez; what a bright star. After watching too many parades I'm jacked about Austin. Great to be a GP fan.

I'm honest and I've said all along he never lost anything. The only time he lost something was in 2010 as he raced the entire season with a jacked shoulder (sans Qatar). He said at the press conference this week that the leg wasn't a big deal, 50 days. The shoulder problems lasted well over a year.

I guess I was the least surprised person watching today. It was good to see some journalists get to eat some crow. "There is on old saying in the paddock to never count out Valentino Rossi. Maybe that time has passed" was written here not long ago. I've wondered over the past two seasons if some writers really know or understand who Valentino is. Forget the yellow, the 46 decals, the fancy helmets, the popularity, all the foo foo. The guy has the second highest win total in 64 years and he is the most successful premier class rider in the history of the sport. Perhaps some people need to be reminded of that. That kind of talent doesn't evaporate with a long injury or a finicky bike. He has always been and is an exceptional motorcycle rider. He was picking off champions today one by one like he did a decade ago and I just don't see much difference in his riding today versus then.

He also thanked Yamaha for allowing him back on the team at the podium interview.

Congratulations to Jorge Lorenzo for having the pace to clear off into the distance and making it look easy. Glad to see that Rossi and Marquez raced cleanly for 2nd. Rossi demonstrated that there's something to be said for experience. Like what David wrote, he had Marquez' every move covered over that last lap. Pedrosa never looked comfortable, with the bike twitching fairly early on in the race, maybe due to his crew not quite getting the right setup, and to the fast pace.
Great start to the season!

First race of the year. One couldn't wish for more as fan. Rossi is back, Lorenzo continues to be as phenomenal as always and of course, Marquez The PS3, because that's what I call him from now on since the only place I've ever seen in recent motorcycle racing a rider to come back twice from the back of the pack and onto winning a race as Marquez did in 2012, is a unrealistic world of PS3 Moto GP or any other racing. No where else are we able to see such performance, and are yet to be so lucky witness it again sometimes soon. Crutchlow is the man by all means regardless of loosing battle with Rossi. Pedrosa, well, Stoner left, but new, younger "Stoner" alike is here. Dovi did a great job, but as Hayden would have said, this is why Ducati end up in overall similar position race after race, 7-9 position, regardless of who's riding, whether is 9 times world champion, or anyone else. They got some work to do, and maybe instead of asking Yamaha ex-engineer, they could beg Stoner to reveal his secret now that he is retired. All in all, a fantastic race and excited about this season.

to see many more races like the one we just did - It was worth watching twice or more.. which I did. Though it was no cataluna 2009 - I enjoyed watching it a lot - I was an actual race....

Love him or hate him (I'm unabashedly the former) most of the actual racing for the last several years seems to occur around Rossi....

Soo much fun to watch - Bring on Texas..