Defending champion Valentino Rossi got his season back on track with a stunning victory in this Saturday’s Qatar MotoGP.

The Italian, who was 14th in Spain last week after a crash, was made to battle all the way on his Yamaha by the American Nicky Hayden on a Honda.

Compatriot Loris Capirossi, the winner in Jerez, was third on his Ducati.

Australian rookie Casey Stoner was a creditable fifth after starting in pole position and Britain’s James Ellison was in the points in 13th place.

“I’m very happy,” Rossi told the crowd of reporters.

“Together with my mechanics we fought a lot, we had a lot of problems, but today the bike was OK.”

Starting sixth on the grid in gusty desert conditions, the Italian moved swiftly through the field and was quickly in pursuit of Stoner, who at 21 was bidding to be the youngest ever winner of a MotoGP.

As Stoner began to struggle, Rossi saw his chance and moved into the lead for the first time on lap nine of the 22.

He was tracked by Hayden, who swept past the Yamaha to briefly hold the lead with four laps to go.

But a lap later the Italian was back in front, Rossi turning up the heat with his fastest circuit of the race.

Hayden stayed in touch but could not get back on terms, finishing ahead of Capirossi, who retains the overall championship lead.

Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo fended off Italian Andrea Dovizioso in a thrilling finish to the 250cc class for his second win in two races this season.

In a dramatic last-lap duel where the lead changed hands twice, the 18-year-old Aprilia rider pipped Honda’s Dovizioso by 0.077 seconds at the finish after starting on pole position.

Roberto Locatelli of Italy finished third on an Aprilia, 19.287 seconds behind the winner.



Spain’s Alvaro Bautista riding an Aprilia won the 125cc race in the Motorcycling Grand Prix of Qatar at the Losail International Circuit.

Bautista clocked 38 minutes, 56.548 seconds, ahead of KTM rider Mika Kallio of Finland in second, 6.765 seconds behind.

Bautista’s team mate and compatriot Sergio Gaeda finished third 8.327 seconds adrift.


Qatar MotoGP Results
1. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 43min 22.229secs
2. Nicky Hayden (Usa) Honda 43:23.129
3. Loris Capirossi (Ita) Ducati 43:23.723
4. Sete Gibernau (Spa) Ducati 43:26.867
5. Casey Stoner (Aus) Honda 43:29.804
6. Daniel Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 43:33.049
7. Marco Melandri (Ita) Honda 43:34.013
8. Toni Elias (Spa) Honda 43:41.710
9. Colin Edwards (Usa) Yamaha 43:45.149
10. Kenny Roberts Jr. (Usa) KR211V 43:56.515

MotoGP standings (after two races):
1. Loris Capirossi (Ita) Ducati 41
2. Nicky Hayden (Usa) Honda 36
3. Daniel Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 30
4. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 27
5. Toni Elias (Spa) Honda 21
6. Casey Stoner (Aus) Honda 21
7. Marco Melandri (Ita Honda 20
8. Shinya Nakano (Jap) Kawasaki 14
9. Kenny Roberts Jr. (Usa) KR211V 14
10. Sete Gibernau (Spa) Ducati 13

250cc RESULTS:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Aprilia 41min 29.946secs
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 41:30.023
3. Roberto Locatelli (Ita) Aprilia 41:49.310
4. Hector Barbera (Spa) Aprilia 41:49.344
5. Hiroshi Aoyama (Jap) KTM

250cc standings (after two races)
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Aprilia 50
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Honda 36
3. Roberto Locatelli (Ita) Aprilia 25
4. Hector Barbera (Spa) Aprilia 24
5. Hiroshi Aoyama (Ja) KTM 21

125cc RESULTS:
1. Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Aprilia 38min 56.548sec
2. Mika Kallio (Fin) KTM 39:03.313
3. Sergio Gadea (Spa) Aprilia 39:03.323
4. Mattia Pasini (Ita) Aprilia 39:04.875
5. Pablo Nieto (Spa) Aprilia 39:11.099

125cc standings (after two races):
1. Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Aprilia 50 pts
2. Mika Kallio (Fin) KTM 33
3. Mattia Pasini (Ita) Aprilia 29
4. Sergio Gadea (Spa) Aprilia 25
5. Lukas Pesek (Cze) Derbi 20



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