Camel Yamaha enjoy again a victory
Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi returned to the top
step of the podium after a stunning ride in today’s Grand Prix of
Qatar. Rossi’s 54th career MotoGP victory was sealed with a
perfectly timed run in the second half of the race, passing early
leader Casey Stoner (Honda) on lap 10 of 22 and holding off a
late attack from Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Loris Capirossi
(Ducati), who completed the podium. The win brings Rossi’s
premier-class tally level with that of Mick Doohan, with only the
legendary Giacomo Agostini now ahead of him on 68 victories.
`That was a great race – it was hard but that is what made it
such fun. My M1 worked really well today - as the race went on
the grip went down and the vibration completely disappeared,
so I was able to go fast at the end´, recognises the Italian rider.
` Also I set the fastest lap of the race on lap three, so this
shows how well my M1 was working. This win is important for
the championship but even more so from a mental point of view
for me and the team. It was windy but the grip was good and I
was able to chase Stoner, who was very fast at the start. When
his tyres went down I was able to pass him and I thought I
could escape but Nicky stayed with me. Then I looked back and
saw Loris was coming too so I began to get worried about the
last few laps. Anyway, I pushed hard and managed to hold on.
`It is great to be level with Mick Doohan, now only Giacomo
Agostini is ahead of me. Records are not the most important
thing but they are always nice! This feels like the start of the
championship for me. Jerez was a nightmare but here we woke
up! Big thanks to Jeremy and all the guys because they stayed
focused during a difficult time and this is their reward´.
Colin Edwards endured a difficult afternoon after front-end
problems that appeared throughout the weekend returned to
haunt him in the race. The American started from eighth on the
grid and made a good start, moving up to sixth place by lap
five, but he was unable to maintain the fast and consistent pace
he showed in practice and he eventually dropped to ninth.
Rossi’s victory moves him up to fourth in the championship,
fourteen points behind early leader Capirossi after two rounds of
`I made a good start and over the first five laps I felt fine – the
bike was good and I was able to ride aggressively´, said
Edwards. `I thought: ‘okay, let’s go for it.’ Then on lap six I lost
the front three times in a row and I almost crashed on each one
of them. I thought it was a bit early in the race for that to
happen so I pushed on and got going again but the front kept
going and I had to ride slower and slower. In the practice
simulation I ran a 1’57.2 on my last lap but in the race it was
three seconds slower so clearly something is not right.
Thankfully we have a test tomorrow to find out what it was and
make sure that we are in better shape for Turkey´.