MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar 2015 Results: Winner, Standings and Reaction

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2015

Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team steers his bike during a final session of the Moto GP World Championship at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, March 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
Osama Faisal/Associated Press

Valentino Rossi proved he still has the magic in his wheels as he came from eighth to win the MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar in an exhilarating race. 

The Italian drove his Yamaha to perfection as he tactically picked off the field, and wrote his name in history once again, against an impossibly strong grid.

MotoGP confirmed the podium results:

Here are the final standings for the race:  

MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar 2015: Final Standings
1Valentino RossiMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha42'35.717
2Andrea DoviziosoDucati TeamDucati+0.174
3Andrea IannoneDucati TeamDucati+2.250
4Jorge LorenzoMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha+2.707
5Marc MarquezRepsol Honda TeamHonda+7.036
6Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda TeamHonda+10.755
7Cal CrutchlowCWM LCR HondaHonda+12.384
8Bradley SmithMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+12.914
9Pol EspargaroMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+13.031
10Yonny HernandezPramac RacingDucati+17.435
11Aleix EspargaroTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki+19.901
12Danilo PetrucciPramac RacingDucati+24.432
13Scott ReddingEG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda+32.032
14Maverick VinalesTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki+33.463
15Hector BarberaAvintia RacingAvintia+33.625
16Stefan BradlAthina Forward RacingYamaha Forward33.944
17Nicky HaydenAspar MotoGP TeamHonda+38.970
18Eugene LavertyAspar MotoGP TeamHonda+46.570
19Mike di MeglioAvintia RacingDucati+59.211
20Alex De AngelisOcto lodaRacingTeamART+1'14.981
21Marco MelandriAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia+1'48.143
22Loris BazAthina Forward RacingYamaha Forward3 Laps

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 26:  Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP starts from box during the MotoGp of Qatar - Free Practice at Losail Circuit on March 26, 2015 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

The majority of the field chose the medium rear slicks to start the race as each team looked to get a sharp getaway off the line. 

Andrea Dovizioso, on the Ducati, shot off from pole position to take the early lead and stay ahead of the chasing pack.

But it was world champion Marc Marquez who ran off the track at the first corner of the race, subsequently falling to the back of the field.

The Spaniard took desperate measures to quickly get back through the field, but with a strong lineup, it was not a straightforward task on a fuel-heavy track.

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 26:  Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team rounds the bend
  during the  MotoGp of Qatar - Free Practice at Losail Circuit on March 26, 2015 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images
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Jorge Lorenzo was the man to give chase on his Yamaha to the leader after a strong start, and he posted a fastest lap of 1:55.428 to catch Dovizioso.

The pair exchanged the lead several times in the first half of the race, and the legendary Rossi caught up with the pair.

The performance of Yamaha surprised the whole field, as Rossi rolled back the years with power and guile. 

In the meantime, Marquez battled his way into contention, rising to fifth position with seven laps to go but making very little inroads to the times of the top four.

Osama Faisal/Associated Press

In the final laps, the front three continued to battle it out, with just a fraction separating them.

Rossi sat patiently behind the leading pair, but it was clear he was ready to race until the end.

The fight was a clear Yamaha versus Ducati battle, with Honda blown away by the pace. 

Dovi maintained the lead until the final laps, but Rossi made his move to grab the lead. But the 29-year-old Italian immediate took it back again from his superstar countryman.

Lorenzo began to fall off the pace as the front two bikes swapped the lead as they looked for an advantage.

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 27:  Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP  round sthe bend during the MotoGp of Qatar - Free Practice at Losail Circuit on March 27, 2015 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

But Dovi's straight-line speed was superior, and he jumped past the former world champion at will as Rossi overtook on the corners. 

The dogfight between the Italian pair was palpable, in what was a brilliant last two laps.

Rossi's experience was evidently in full effect, as Dovi continually pulled too wide on the turns.

But with the last few corners to go, Rossi gave the most vintage of performances to beat his younger opponent and grab the chequered flag for the win. 

DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 15: Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP poses in box with the helmet during the MotoGP Tests in Qatar - Day Two at Losail Circuit on March 15, 2015 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

The victory was a huge achievement for Rossi as he closes in on the all-time record for grand prix wins. 

The performance of Yamaha was outstanding, with their extraordinary race speed shocking the watching crowd. 

Marquez will be devastated after his early mistake cost him, and Honda, the race, but the credit must go to Honda and Ducati, producing a performance that simply has not been present in practice. 

The celebrations surrounding Rossi's win were electric at trackside in what represents one of the greatest MotoGP races in recent memory.

Race Reaction

Osama Faisal/Associated Press

Valentino Rossi described his win as one of the greatest of his career, per BBC Sport, and was delighted with the performance of his bike:

This was one of the best victories for me. The bike was fantastic, I never gave up but it was a real fight with the Ducatis and the Hondas who were really strong.

I'm so happy for me, for the team and for Yamaha. The second part of the race was really good and I'm very happy because we had difficulties in testing and practice but my experience helped today. This is a great, great victory but I had a good feeling this morning.

MotoGP tweeted a picture of the winner in jubilant form, after his win:

The next race of the season takes place at the Circuit of the Americas in the USA, on April 12.