Casey Stoner Wins Opening Round Of 2009 MotoGP Season

Billy SextonAnalyst IApril 13, 2009

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 05:  Casey Stoner of Australia and the Ducati Team turns out of a bend during the Australian MotoGP at the Phillip Island Circuit on October 5, 2008 in Phillip Island, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Casey Stoner, the 2007 MotoGP world champion, made it a hat-trick of wins at the Losail Circuit in Qatar earlier this evening.

Stoner, who started from pole, steamed away at the start of the race, and with rival Valentino Rossi slipping down to fourth, it was easy cruising for the Australian.

But as always with The Doctor, he clawed his way back upto second position and put Stoner under pressure as the race reached half distance, cutting the lead to just 1.9 seconds.

Tyre usage took away any chance of a Rossi win though, and he fell off Stoner's pace rapidly toward the end of the race.

Furthur back on the circuit, Rossi's team mate, Jorge Lorenzo, and Honda new boy Andrea Doviziosohad a good scrap for third place, both reliving memories of their days in the 250cc class.

Having improved greatly over the winter and pre season testing, Suzuki's shine was smudged when Loris Capirossi came off his bike on lap 14 of the race when he came under increasing pressure from Colin Edwards, who had a good race to fourth place. His British team mate, James Toseland suffered though; he finished outside the points in 16th place, a result of going into the gravel at turn one.

Other riders who had bad days were Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa. Nicky had suffered a big crash in Saturday's qualifying session where he was flipped over the handlebars and wasn't feeling 100 percent.

Pedrosa has been suffering from pre season injuries to the wrist and knee... which wasn't helped when Alex de Angelis ran into him whilst scrapping for position. Both riders are under investigation.

Despite a Ducati win, Yahama lead the constructor championship with a quality two-three-four finish. After Stoner, 8th place Mika Kallio was the second Ducati to cross the finish line: an impressive debut.

Many expect to see Nicky Hayden running closer to the front when he's back to full fitness, however 12th place was a good result considering the circumstances and he still remains my tip for the championship.

Full result from Qatar:

1. Casey Stoner (Aus) Ducati
2. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha
4. Colin Edwards (US) Yamaha
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Honda
6. Alex de Angelis (Smr) Honda
7. Chris Vermeulen (Aus) Suzuki
8. Mika Kallio (Fin) Ducati
9. Toni Elias (Spa) Honda
10. Randy de Puniet (Fra) Honda
11. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda
12. Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati
13. Sete Gibernau (Spa) Ducati
14. Marco Melandri (Ita) Kawasaki
15. Yuki Takahashi (Jap) Honda
16. James Toseland (GB) Yamaha
17. Niccolo Canepa (Ita) Ducati
DNF. Loris Capirossi (Ita) Suzuki

I hope you liked this report guys and girls, if we have enough interest, maybe we could get a specific Moto GP section put on the site. Join me soon enough for some more Moto GP editorials and reports.