Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo wins season-opening Qatar MotoGP Grand Prix

At the Losail International Circuit on Sunday, the season-opening Qatar MotoGP Grand Prix was won by Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo who snatched the lead off Australia's Casey Stoner - the defending MotoGP title holder - with only three laps left, to sail past the victory post.

With his Sunday win, Lorenzo, from Spain, has claimed his sensational first premier class Grand Prix of Qatar victory. Taking the lead right form the start, Lorenzo held off Stoner - who has recorded four wins at the night race during the past five years - for the first few laps before he finally conceded the lead.

In what was Lorenzo's 18th win, the 2010 champion finished the race 0.8 seconds ahead of fellow Spaniard and Stoner's Honda team companion, Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner was overtaken by Pedrosa during the final stages of the race, and had ultimately ended in the third spot in the floodlit event. The defending champion, who emerged victorious at ten races last season, later revealed that his defeat was a result of a muscular contraction in his right arm which made the gripping of the throttle and steer very difficult for him.

Terming the race as an "amazing" one, Lorenzo said that Stoner, despite being strong in the beginning of the race, struggled towards the end and dropped his pace, seemingly due to the problem in his hand. About his victory, Lorenzo said: "I put everything I have, all my energy into the track, this victory is because I never gave up, kept pushing and trying."