Today starts the 2012 season for MotoGP with the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. Jorge Lorenzo takes pole position with Casey Stoner right behind him. A pleasant surprise brings Cal Crutchlow to starting in the third position, his best-ever MotoGP qualifying. Crutchlow is a mere 0.167s behind Stoner, which should make for an interesting race. Ben Spies is starting fourth with Nicky Hayden behind him.

In this morning’s 20-minute warm up sessions, Casey Stoner took the fastest lap building the pressure onto Jorge.

Valentino Rossi is starting 12th today but made it into the top 10 in warm up so hopefully Rossi can make something magical happen.

This year is the first year to allow CRT bikes.

Lorenzo made a great start but it was Pedrosa that came from 7th into 2nd position by the end of lap 1. Stoner sits in third while Crutchlow dropped back to 5th. Rossi makes his way up to 10th at the end of the 1st lap.

Stoner took the lead in lap 3. Meanwhile Rossi looked to be struuggling a lot with either the front end of his tires. The last 4 laps raised the level of excitement. It looksed like Stoner was having tire management issues.

Pedrosa passed Lorenzo to take over 2nd position with 3 laps to go. Lorenzo forces his way back into second. Lorenzo takes over 1st place with 3 laps to go and drops the hammer. Stoner was fighting to maintain 2nd position but coulnd’t hold it and Pedrosa took over 2nd.

In the middle of the field Nicky Hayden fought his way up to 6th place behind Dovitzioso and then Cal Crutchlow.

What a great opening to the 2012 Word Championship!