And its go go go

A week late but the premier international motorsport season is underway with Moto GP kicking off its season yesterday in Qatar.

For those of you unfamiliar with grand prix motorcycle racing, it is essentially Formula 1 on bikes. Contested between 4 manufactures: Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki (who are only fielding one bike which failed to make it to the grid as sole rider Bautista crashed in free practice) the series is a world championship of matching man and machine. The grid is a little light this year with only 16 bikes contesting the 2011 world championship, however next year with the new 1000cc engine class we expect to see a few new entries to contest the manufactures title.

The Hondas of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa have looked extremely fast pre-season. In fact Honda bikes were 4 of the top 5 but reigning world champion Lorenzo had a big battle with first Stoner and then coming out top with Pedrosa to finish second. It’s a big boost for the world champion who still has a bit to prove with winning his championship by staying on the bike (last year Rossi was injured, Pedrosa was injured and the Ducati’s were normally to be found in a gravel trap after low-siding). It does show us that the Hondas are beatable but Casey Stoner looks very in-tune with that bike and has to start hot favourite for the title this season.

The only thing with the series that it’s a little hard to follow in terms of liveries and riders which change a lot season to season and even race to race. Teams don’t have to field 2 bikes with the same colour scheme making it very hard to figure out sometimes whos who. Furthermore the boys at the front have all changed seats with Rossi’s big move to Ducati.

Results - 22 laps:

Pos  Rider             Team/Bike         Time/Gap
 1.  Casey Stoner      Honda           42m38.569s
 2.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha            + 3.440s
 3.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda             + 5.051s
 4.  Andrea Dovizioso  Honda             + 5.942s
 5.  Marco Simoncelli  Gresini Honda     + 7.358s
 6.  Ben Spies         Yamaha           + 10.468s
 7.  Valentino Rossi   Ducati           + 16.431s
 8.  Colin Edwards     Tech 3 Yamaha    + 26.293s
 9.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati           + 27.416s
10.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Gresini Honda    + 28.920s
11.  Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha    + 34.539s
12.  Hector Barbera    Aspar Ducati     + 34.829s
13.  Karel Abraham     Cardion Ducati   + 37.957s


     Toni Elias        LCR Honda          18 laps
     Loris Capirossi   Pramac Ducati        1 lap
     Randy de Puniet   Pramac Ducati       0 laps

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