Monday, March 10, 2008

MotoGP Qatar - Stoner Wins Hard Fought Race

CASEY STONER - 1st - Ducati Marlboro
"That was a fantastic race and I really enjoyed it - it was like being back in 125s! The first few laps were really hectic, there were guys bashing fairings and I just tried to stay out of the way. When I got my chance to get through I took it and from there I just focused on setting my pace. Jorge rode brilliantly - it wasn't an easy race by any means, especially at the start. Over the first few laps I was struggling a bit for grip but then the tyres got up to temperature and improved. We knew we had a pretty good package for the race but obviously we couldn't be sure that things would go as well as that. I want to say thanks to everybody at Ducati for a great job, my team, the guys at Bridgestone... Thanks everybody."

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2nd - Fiat Yamaha  “For sure I couldn’t have expected a better debut than this and I am very, very excited to be on the podium. Second place is an amazing result for me and I had great fun. The start and first few laps were a bit crazy and really a bit of a scary time for me, but anyway I managed to make it through and get past some riders to get to second. I started to go with Stoner but after a while I became very tired and I started to have a lot of pressure and pain in my arms, so I really couldn’t push any more! Anyway he was faster than us and I want to say congratulations to him because he deserved to win tonight. I think if I could have got a better start, maybe I wouldn’t have got so tired later on and I would have been able to keep a better rhythm, but anyway I don’t think I can ask for more than this tonight. I want to thank Yamaha and Michelin for all the hard work they have put in over the winter to get me to this point, and of course my team for all of their work. I don’t want to start talking about the championship yet because this is only my first race, and now we will go to Jerez and do our very best again there and see what happens!”

Dani Pedrosa, 3rd - Repsol Honda Audio
“Tonight’s result is unbelievable, we didn’t expect this, so I’m very happy.  Seven days ago I was almost last in the tests here but my team have worked really hard, bringing both 2007 and 2008 bikes here and making many changes, they’ve been fantastic. For the first time I understand the meaning and the legend of HRC and I’m so proud to be part of this. They gave me a competitive bike and the Michelin tyres worked really good and I did my best on track but without them I couldn’t have been able to make it. My hand was quite bad from the middle of the race to the end, I couldn’t brake perfectly because my hand was shaking all the time but I was able to finish the race and this is the most important thing because the hand should be in better condition at the next race. I made an unbelievable start, I couldn’t imagine getting a start like that. I overtook everybody on the way to the first corner and from there I pushed very hard. I couldn’t stay with Lorenzo and Stoner, so we still have to improve but since last week’s tests we’ve made an incredible step forward. Now we have a few weeks to recover full strength in the hand before Jerez.”