12 Apr 2010

Rossi starts the season with a win

12:37 pm on 12 April 2010

World champion motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi has launched his title defence with victory at the floodlit Qatar Grand Prix after bitter rival Casey Stoner crashed out early on.

The Italian took the lead on the sixth of 22 laps when the Australian Stoner, who had started on pole position and was chasing his fourth successive Qatar win, fell while holding a two second advantage.

From there Rossi controlled the pace, pulling clear of the pack only in the final few laps to win the night race at the Losail circuit by 1.022 seconds.