Stoner wins MotoGP season-opening Qatar GP

Moto2 rider Stefan Bradl, from Germany, steers his Honda during the third practice session for Sunday's Spanish Motorcycling MotoGP Grand Prix at the Jerez racetrack Saturday, April 2, 2011 in Jerez de la Frontera, southern Spain.

Moto2 rider Stefan Bradl, from Germany, steers his Honda during the third practice session for Sunday's Spanish Motorcycling MotoGP Grand Prix at the Jerez racetrack Saturday, April 2, 2011 in Jerez de la Frontera, southern Spain. Photo by The Associated Press.

Pole-sitter Casey Stoner of Australia beat defending MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo under the lights Sunday to win the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

Stoner, the 2007 world champion, was 3.440 seconds faster than the Spaniard after 22 laps at Losail International Circuit, recording his 24th career win in his debut for Honda.

Stoner says "I think the bike is amazing. I am just happy at the moment."

Dani Pedrosa of Spain was 5.051 seconds off the pace in third.

Former world champion Valentino Rossi finished 16.431 seconds behind Stoner in seventh place in his debut for Ducati.

The next race is April 3 at Jerez, Spain.

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