Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) won the first MotoGP of the 2011 season on Sunday at the Losail International Circuit, in Doha, Qatar.
Reigning Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) finished second with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) in third.
“I think maybe I am more proud of that podium than a race victory – that’s how I feel tonight. I put everything I had into my riding from the start to the end, and I was on the limit every lap.”
The 2011 MotoGP revs up for the first race of the season at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar this weekend. (Sunday 19:00 GMT)
It’s looking like the team to beat this year will be the Honda pairing of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. They have set the pace pre-season in the testing arena and look very strong.
Stoner said. “When the flag drops, we will see the true pace of all our competitors and know where we stand. I can’t wait.”
“I’m really looking forward to start the season. “We’ve been here for many days already and it’s time to start racing. Our expectations for the race are high after the results of the winter test. Both the bike and I are in good shape and I hope we can take this occasion to start the season strongly.”
Yamaha may provide their nearest challengers. Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo along with team-mate Ben Spies have both looked sharp pre-season.
Reigning Champion Lorenzo stated;
“The new season is here and I’m very proud to be able to start it with the number one. Our bike has been better and better from the first test but there is still room for improvement. Winning the World Championship last year was a great achievement but everybody starts the same this weekend with no points and the competition is very tough. I have been training very hard over the winter to be ready and I am excited to start.”
Of course, Valentino Rossi will have a say, for sure, and as he’s on Ducati this season he’ll be wanting a good start.
“My debut with Ducati brings a lot of motivation, and Sunday will definitely be very emotional. We probably won’t yet be at our best by Sunday, but we’ll give it our best effort.”