MotoGP: Lorenzo takes first victory of 2016 

 

Lorenzo took first blood of 2016. Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo began a strong title defence as he won the opening race of the season at the Losail International circuit.

Starting from pole position the Movistar Yamaha rider got a strong start and led the way into the first corner. Ducati duo of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso slotted in behind Lorenzo, with Valentino Rossi moving up into fourth.

By the second lap of 22 the Ducati factory team led the way with Iannone securing first ahead of the Yamaha and Repsol Honda team-mates.

For the opening five laps it was a tense six rider battle as Iannone pushed to take the lead, and was locked in a fight with compatriot Dovizioso. Slipping down into second position, the Italian crashed out of the race at turn 13 and out of a race winning fight. 

Lorenzo was able to fight Dovizioso for the victory and it wasn’t long before he took the lead and from there he never looked back. Despite behind challenged by Dovizioso for the majority of the race, Lorenzo crossed the line over two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

The race wasn’t over for second position however as it came down to the final corner between Dovizioso, Marquez and Rossi. It was Dovizioso who crossed the line in second, clearly disappointed not to secure the race win ahead of Marquez.

Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa finished a distant fifth position and a stunning 14 seconds back as he held off Maverick Vinales in sixth.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith finished the opening race in 7th and 8th amid the speculation of their future next season. Smith quashed any rumours early on as he announced before the Moto3 race he has signed to ride for KTM in 2017.

Eugene Laverty had an impressive start to his season, securing a top 12 finish aboard his Aspar machine.

Click here for a full list of results.

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