After a thrilling race, decided in the final three laps, the Repsol Honda Team started the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with a double podium at Losail circuit, with Dani Pedrosa in second place and Casey Stoner in third.
Stoner, who took his 16th successive podium, managed to lead the race from the third lap and after recording the fastest lap on lap four, opened up a two-second gap over Jorge Lorenzo and Pedrosa at one stage.
Pedrosa performed one of his incredible trademark starts, jumping from seventh to second by the first corner and managed to match the pace of Stoner and Lorenzo in the opening laps. However, the current World Champion began to suffer from severe arm pump which affected his race greatly and finally he was unable to ride to his full potential. With four laps to go, Lorenzo passed Stoner and took the lead followed shortly by Pedrosa, and Stoner retained third position.
Dani Pedrosa: "I'm very happy with this result because we have been able to turn around all the problems we had during the weekend. After a good pre-season we got here and everything went wrong: I had flu and a fever, I crashed on Friday, then the qualifying practice was a disaster… So, it's very good to leave here with this podium, even if I feel little bit sad because I thought I could win this race, I had it in my hands for a while. The team did a fantastic job and we saw things very differently after warm up; then I managed a perfect start which was a key moment in the race, and I was able to stay with Casey and Jorge. In the end, with four laps to go I tried to take the lead, but Lorenzo was cleverer than me this time and chose a better strategy. I passed him but he overtook me immediately and also Casey, then I was behind Casey for one lap and lost contact with Jorge. Anyway, it's a good start to the season and we will try to do better in Jerez."
Casey Stoner: "It wasn't really the way we wanted to finish the race weekend here, after FP3 and Qualifying it was always going to be a tough race for us but in the end it came in the wrong areas. The bike was working well for us, I definitely had the package and the pace to lead the field which was really positive. However, I suffered from really bad arm pump. After three or four laps I felt it but it gradually got worse, I tried to pull a little gap from Jorge and Dani and put in the minimal effort possible to retain the gap and try and win, but as the race continued it got worse and worse and eventually the muscles had nothing more to give. I couldn't hold onto the handle bars properly and it made things really difficult so it was a disappointing race for this reason, but for many other technical reasons it was very promising."