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Old 03-30-2015, 05:00 AM   #1
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Rossi It was one of the best races of my career

The Italian puts himself and his team at the top of the Championship standings

MOVISTAR Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi battled with his previous Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso to take the MotoGP season opener victory in Qatar on Sunday.

Rossi started from eighth on the grid and was shuffled back to tenth, however it only took a few laps for the Italian to get grips with what he needed to do before ploughing through the field to fifth.

Placing fifth saw him battle with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa which didn’t take long as the Spaniard was suffering with severe right arm-pump issues which hampered his overall performance.

Rossi soon passed Hernandez to take fourth and continuing to bridge the 1.5 second gap to the leading group of Andrea Dovizioso, team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, and Andrea Iannone, which led to an incredible battle between the two factory teams with the leading rider chopping and changing numerous times.

The Doctor refused to give in and hold enough of an advantage to take the win by 0.174s – his first season opener win since 2010.

“In the last three seasons I always rode solid races and arrived on the podium but to come back with a victory is another thing,” said Rossi.

“I am so happy because we suffered a lot during the practices and also the tests, but we worked very well for the 22 laps race and I was very strong.

“First of all you have to be lucky, but especially the work that we do with the team during the weekend makes the difference for my pace in the race.

“It was definitely one of the best races of my career, considering where we were yesterday. I really have to thank all my team, my engineers and all at Yamaha because I think today we did something amazing.”

The Italian's win earns him first place in the Championship standings with 25-points and thanks to the addition of his team-mate Lorenzo's fourth place and 13-points, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP have taken the lead in the teams' Championship with 38-points.

The next round will be held at the Circuit of the Americas, US, in two weeks' times.

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