MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi wins opening race in Qatar

Tuesday 31 March 2015, 14:14 PM by

Showing his class and stature at the highest level, MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi took out a page from his success book to win the opening race of the season at Qatar on March 29th, 2015. Racing for Yamaha, Rossi turned on the style under floodlights at Losail as all podium places were taken by Italian riders.

Surprisingly, Rossi started eighth on the grid while the pole position was taken by Andrea Dovizioso, who eventually finished second with a difference of 0.174. Dovizioso’s Ducati teammate Andrea Iannone finished third, making for an all Italian photo finish at the podium. Double world champion and Honda rider Marc Marquez managed fifth position after he was forced out at the first corner. Rossi, 36 years of age, notched up the 109th Grand Prix win of his career and 83rd in motorcycling’s highest division. The Italian was ecstatic and expressed his excitement after winning a close race. "I said this a lot of times, but for me this is one of the best," the nine-time world champion said.

MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi wins opening race in Qatar |
MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi wins opening race in Qatar

The race was initially led by Dovizioso but Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo overtook the former for lap two. In the end, the race proved to be a contest between Yamaha and Ducati as Honda was eliminated. Rossi showed great maturity during the race and stayed calmly in fourth place till the halfway point, after which he shifted gears and went on the offensive to take the lead. Yamaha’s team principal Lin Jarvis, in an interview to BT Sport, said, "That's Valentino Rossi at his best. A sensational comeback from eighth place at the beginning...he did incredibly well."

The win by Rossi also spilled water over the dreams of Ducati, who are yet to win in MotoGP for a period of around five years. Dovizioso’s pole position was a great chance for Ducati but Rossi came along and turned the tables. The Ducati rider spoke about the race and said, “On the last lap I pushed really hard but I didn't have any more grip on the edge and it was impossible to try to attack Valentino. Anyway, second position in the first race is really good."

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