After dominating in most of the IRTA MOTOGP Tests, Jorge Lorenzo showed a masterclass performance at the Losail International Circuit where he maintained his lead and defended his Title by winning the first race into the 2016 season.
Lining up for his 62nd career pole more than any other rider on the grid just one ahead of Valentino Rossi, Lorenzo made a near perfect start to lead the opening lap of the Qatar GP. Both Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) blasted past the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP man on the straight as the Ducati proved almost unmatchable, but Lorenzo remained calm and focused. His choice of a Hard Front and Soft Rear tyre options sure worked good for the Spaniard and with Ducati’s Andrea Iannone falling after loosing the front of his Demo16GP, Lorenzo got promoted the Majorcan to second. Then with 14 laps to go he smoothly slipped past Dovizioso and worked on increasing his gap with each lap.
The reigning MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo also set the new fastest race lap record of 1’54.927s on the 20th lap of 22 and equally became the only rider since Casey Stoner to win the first race of the season after winning the last one of the previous season. With a pole position, a race win and the fastest lap of the race, Jorge Lorenzo is well on a perfect start to defending his coveted MotoGP crown from rivals
Jorge Lorenzo: “We are there, in first position, without struggling and suffering and riding in the perfect way. For me, over all laps, this race has been one of the best of my whole career and that was why I was able to win and could make this little difference in the last three laps that gave me the victory. It was a little down and up with the tyres. We made the decision to put on the soft rear tyre, because with the hard one we couldn‘t be so fast. The harder compound should become better and better, but I think what happened was the opposite. The softer tyre should get worse and worse, but it was faster and faster so this little difference was the difference between me and Dovizioso and Marquez.
“I was surprised how fast my pace was towards the end of the race. I was sliding so much, but at the same time I was very smooth and concentrated and made no mistakes and that‘s why even with the pressure from Dovizioso, when I was at a margin of 0.4, .03, 0.5, I didn‘t get nervous and kept riding better and better. I feel very proud of my riding and my race and also the work of the team, because we put together the electronics and the setting of the bike in a very good way.”