Stoner grabs first MotoGP of the season

AFP Photo / Karim Jaafar
Former MotoGP champion Casey Stoner has won the rain-delayed Qatar Grand Prix for the third year running.

The in-form Australian secured pole position on Saturday, but was stopped in his tracks the next day as showers forced organizers to delay the race.

The riders started anew on Monday, and Stoner never faced any real threat and exercised full control of the race.

Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi lost control of his bike. Luckily, the Italian escaped uninjured after crashing into the gravel trap.

While Stoner was comfortably ahead, there was a tight battle between the Fiat Yamaha teammates for second-place. Current champ Valentino Rossi gained the upper hand, beating Jorge Lorenzo by fractions of a second. America's Colin Edwards was fourth on the day.

Spanish Hector Barbera won the 250cc race and Andrea Iannone triumphed in 125cc.