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2009 MotoGP - Losail Photo Gallery
Rain in Qatar? It delayed the season opening race until Monday. MotoGP - Losail
Check out all the latest photos from the first round of MotoGP in Losail, Qatar.
The riders returned for the night race on Monday. Under the stadium lights sparks would fly and exhausts would flame in the start of the 2009 MotoGP season.
Casey Stoner sprung off the front of the grid to take the early lead. MotoGP - Losail
Stuck behind Capirossi, Rossi struggled the first few laps as Stoner widened the gap. MotoGP - Losail
Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner ended up with the win, followed by the two Fiat Yamaha riders, Rossi and Lorenzo. MotoGP - Losail
Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner looks strong after winning qualifying by a half-second over defending MotoGP Champion, Valentino Rossi.
Stoner wins the opening round of MotoGP in Qatar with a commanding lead over returning Champion and runner-up Valentino Rossi.
Casey Stoner made it a hat-trick win at the Losail circuit to kick off the MotoGP season in Losail
Stoner out front. That's three in a row for the Aussie at the Qatar venue. MotoGP - Losail
The young Australian took an early three second lead over Rossi and Lorenzo. Casey Stoner - MotoGP - Losail
From the 11th lap to the end of the race, Stoner steadily widened his lead to a margin of victory of 7.771 seconds.
'I’m so pleased with this victory because it is fruit of the hard work done by everybody at Ducati over the winter.' Casey Stoner - MotoGP - Losail.
It turns out the always quirky Valentino Rossi is left handed (seen here scribbling something before the race). MotoGP - Losail
Rossi being .... well, Rossi! MotoGP - Losail
Rossi made a valiant attempt to catch up to Stoner, but his bike just didn't have the traction to match Stoner's speed.
'This evening I am quite happy because at the test we were one second from Casey but now the gap is much less.' Valentino Rossi - MotoGP - Losail
'I knew I needed a good start in order to go with Stoner but unfortunately I didn’t get one and I lost some time fighting with Lorenzo and Capirossi and by then Stoner had already gone!' Valentino Rossi - MotoGP - Losail
'The middle part of the race was great fun and I made six or seven good laps to come much closer, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue in that rhythm, it was too risky for the tires and I decided it was more important to take the 20 points.' Valentino Rossi - MotoGP - Losail
Rossi celebrating after his second place finish in Qatar. He was followed in third by his Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
'I think that we can be back fighting again in Motegi. I am so glad we could race today after yesterday and I am satisfied to be leaving here having made a good start to the season – it is long!' Valentino Rossi - MotoGP - Losail
'We had a few problems, mainly in the hard braking areas where I didn’t have such a great feeling with the front tire, but apart from that it’s been ok.' - MotoGP Test - Losail
Jorge Lorenzo prepares for practice before the first round of the motogp season. - MotoGP - Losail
Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo will start the first MotoGP of 2009 from the front row after posting the third-best qualifying time. - MotoGP - Qatar
Lorenzo - proving he was the best of the rest in the desert. MotoGP - Losail
'The grip of the track was better tonight but my rear tyre was moving from the start, so this is something we need to address and improve.' Jorge Lorenzo - MotoGP - Losail
'I am so happy to be on the podium tonight, I really enjoyed some parts of the race when I made some good overtakes and felt confident enough to take some risks.' 3rd place Jorge Lorenzo - MotoGP - Losail
The Fiat Yamaha girls were in Qatar to root on 2nd and 3rd-place finsihing Rossi and Lorenzo. MotoGP - Losail
Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Colin Edwards has been riding well and is a podium threat from the sixth starting position. MotoGP - Losail
Fourth-placed Colin Edwards faired far better than his teammate James Toseland, who ran off into the gravel trap at the final corner on lap seven after a tangle with Toni Elias. MotoGP - Losail
'I thought I'd got a good start but the next thing I know is everybody flying by me. I was way down and it cost me the chance to fight for the podium really.' Colin Edwards - MotoGP - Losail
The Sunday race was cancelled after a rare downpour in Qatar. Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso cheered up the wet fans who tried to wait it out.
Doviziozo accompanied by the Respol Honda umbrella girl before the race in Qatar. MotoGP - Losail
'I didn't start well but I was able to overtake some riders and get into third position. During the first three laps the machine was performing really well - as it had during practice - and I tried to keep in contact with Valentino.' Andrea Dovizioso - MotoGP - Losail
'I started struggling with the front. It was folding entering the corners and, later, also mid-corner, so I couldn't turn as I would have liked. I had to slow down and compensate by turning with the rear tyre.' Dovizioso - MotoGP - Losail
The front wheel problem had never arisen during practice and qualifying, so the young Italian had some on the job learning. Dovizioso - MotoGP - Losail
Dovizioso managed his traction problems well to finish 5th in the race. He will have gained valuable experience and points heading into Japan. MotoGP - Losail.
'It was a very hard fight today, and I'm satisfied that we learned a lot here in practice and during the race. Now we'll analyze the data and work hard for the next one in Japan.' Jorge Dovizioso - MotoGP - Losail
Alex de Angelis passed Persol Honda's Dani Pedrosa on the 11th lap after he ran wide, slamming into Pedrosa's left side and leg. MotoGP - Lasail
After the controversial pass on Pedrosa put De Angelis in seventh, he went on to steal sixth from Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) two laps later. MotoGP - Losail
San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alex De Angelis made a late run at Dovi and closed to within 1.6 seconds at the stripe. MotoGP -Losail
'I'm so happy with this result because I think we deserve it after working so hard this weekend. I didn't get a great start but I knew my pace was okay, so I just tried to stay calm, pass as many people as possible and make up positions. Alex de Angelis - MotoGP - Losial
Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen started the Grand Prix race from the third row after finishing the qualifying round eighth-fastest. MotoGP - Losail
'It was not really the start to the weekend that we wanted. We have a limit on tires and didn't really want to use any of the hard front tires that we will be using for racing.' - MotoGP - Losail
'It was a bit frustrating that we couldn't go as fast as we have been round here, but I still have all my hard front tires left and hopefully the speed will come back when we put that in.' - MotoGP - Losail
'Today everything went quite well. I made it to be really constant and this gives me a lot of trust for Sunday's race.' 8th place Mika Kallio - MotoGP - Losail
Toni Elias gave the San Carlo Honda Gresini squad a double top ten finish by taking ninth. But the Spaniard wanted more in his return to the team he last rode for in 2007, especially since he was racing a factory supported Honda RC212V.
Elias was the first of three Hondas to finish in order. Behind came LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet and Pedrosa. MotoGP - Losail
Toni Elias on his ninth-place: 'Taking into account where we started from and the problems we had this weekend, this is a decent result for us and I'm satisfied.' MotoGP - Losail
De Puniet playin' it cool before the race in Qatar.
Randy De Puniet finished in 10th place and said: 'I am a bit disappointed because I expected a better result after my performances in the practice sessions. MotoGP - Losail
'I made a good start and after that I thought that the race was easy for me. But suddenly I started to suffer grip problems on my front tyre. It was a bit dangerous and did my best to manage the race like this.' 10th place Randy de Puniet - MotoGP - Losail
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa waiting to race on a rainy Sunday in Qatar before the race was moved to Monday.
Alex De Angelis ran wide in lap 11, slamming into Pedrosa's left side and leg. Pedrosa slid off the left side of the saddle as his RC212V skated along the rumble strips, but managed to stay upright. MotoGP - Losail
Pedrosa commented on being hit by Alex de Angelis,'The collision was avoidable I think because he could have passed me cleanly. My knee was giving me a lot of pain by the end and my left arm was pretty tired too.' MotoGP -Losail
Pedrosa was a valiant 11th and said: 'Overall I'm happy because of my progress over the weekend. I improved in every session and I'm glad to have come here and scored five points.' MotoGP - Losail
Hayden had a rough start to his Ducati career. MotoGP - Losail
Ducati's Nicky Hayden is still acclimating to a new bike with new tires and recovering from a huge highside in qualifying. MotoGP - Losail
Nicky Hayden gets ready to turn laps under the lights in Losail. - MotoGP - Qatar
Hayden spent a good portion of the weekend in the gravel. MotoGP - Losail
Nicky Haden had a hard opening round of MotoGP. After a nasty highside that left three stitches in his chest and a very sore back he managed to edge out Sete Gibernau for 12th.
'Time has gone so fast today, forty-five minutes are really not enough for a completely new rider like me. We will need much more time to find the best feeling with the bike and to find the best method of work.' - MotoGP - Losail
In his MotoGP debut, Yuki Takahashi finished 15th and said: 'Don't forget that this is my first race in the MotoGP class. Not only that, but I never did a long run before. I'm satisfied.' MotoGP - Losail
James Toseland MotoGP - Lasail
British rider James Toseland shadowed Randy de Puniet and Mika Kallio in the early stages, but just as he closed in for an attack, he ran off into the gravel trap at the final corner on lap seven after a tangle with Toni Elias. He would finish in 16th. MotoGP - Losail
'For the first practice it was not too bad, but we did struggle a bit with the setting. In the recent test it was not perfect so we tried a new one and this didn't work as well so we will use some stuff from that and go back to the old one.' - MotoGP - Losail
Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi posted the fifth-fastest time of the night and will start on the second row.
Suzuki's Capirossi said of his disappointing crash, 'I feel really sorry for the whole team, because all winter we have worked so hard and have gone quite well so this was hard to take.'
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