Lorenzo wins MotoGP opener
Lorenzo had his first elite class victory at the desert venue after a three-way battle with Stoner and his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
The Spaniard had started from pole position but lost the lead after three laps to Stoner who looked on course for a fifth victory in the MotoGP class in Qatar.
But, with just over three laps left, Lorenzo snatched the lead and kept his advantage to win by 0.832sec from fellow Spaniard Pedrosa with Stoner finishing almost three seconds off the pace.
“I put everything I had into attack and I won,” said Lorenzo.
Stoner said his pace slowed after he began to suffer from ‘arm pump’, a crippling condition caused by struggling to cope with braking pressure and which causes spasms in the forearm.
“We were by far the fastest out there but after four laps I was started to get real arm pump, my arms were shaking off the bars and I was holding on with two fingers,” said Stoner who had been two seconds ahead at one stage.
“I couldn’t grip and I couldn’t use the brakes. Without that there was no problem to win, we’re really happy with the speed of the bike. I’ve got two weeks to go away and train and we can come back again.”
He added: “I felt like a backmarker at the end, but I couldn’t hold onto the bike, I couldn’t do anything. But if we sort it out, we will be OK.”
Lorenzo was the third Spanish winner of the night.
Maverick Vinales, on a FTR Honda, won the Moto3 race ahead of Italy’s Romano Fenati, also on a FTR Honda, and Germany’s Sandro Cortese, on a KTM.
Compatriot Marc Marquez, on a Suter, won the Moto2 race with Italy’s Andrea Iannone, of the Speed Up team, in second with Spaniard Pol Espargaro, of Kalex, in third.
09 Apr 10:18 AM