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Starting where he left off, MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo charged to victory at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.
A late decision saw Jorge Lorenzo switch to the softer rear Michelin tyre just half an hour before the start of the first race of 2016. Lining up in pole position for the 62nd time in his career, 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. Patience paid off for Lorenzo as Iannone fell and 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.
With each circulation Lorenzo went faster and faster, setting a new fastest race lap record of 1’54.927s on the 20th lap of 22. He would eventually end the race 2.019s ahead of Dovizioso in second, Lorenzo producing one of the best races of his career after a number of new technical rules presented a world of unknowns for the MotoGP™ World Championship on race day. Lorenzo has started his title defence in a faultless way: pole position, a race win and the fastest lap of the race.
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.”
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