Capirossi wins opener
Italian Loris Capirossi has won the MotoGP season-opening race in Spain, while defending world champion Valentino Rossi crashed on the first corner.
Capirossi rode a superb race to win in 45 minutes 57.733 seconds, from local hope Daniel Pedrosa (46:02.108), who became the first debutante to finish on the podium in eight years, and American Nicky Hayden (46:07.729).
Australian Casey Stoner finished sixth in his debut MotoGP race for Honda.
Rossi had a nightmare start, sliding off the track on the first bend after he was clipped by Spaniard Toni Elias, but he got back on his back and managed to finish 14th.
"Elias took off as if it was the last race of the season and not the first," Rossi told AFP.
"I had a great start and I could have gone faster, then I felt a bump and fell. It happens. Toni made a mistake and I hope it's the last time."
"Today I could have made the podium. I started well and I got into a good rhythm straight away."
It is the first time in six years that Rossi has not won the season-opening race.
Elias went on to finish fourth, while Marco Melandri was fifth. Sete Gibernau was denied a challenge for the podium by his Ducati's engine, which broke down on the third lap while he was in second position.
Spanish MotoGP results:
1. Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 45:57.733
2. Daniel Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 46:02.108
3. Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda 46:07.729
4. Toni Elias (Spain) Honda 46:07.868
5. Marco Melandri (Italy) Honda 46:17.280
6. Casey Stoner (Australia) Honda 46:18.970
7. Shinya Nakano (Japan) Kawasaki 46:19.105
8. Kenny Roberts Jr. (USA) KR211V 46:30.147
9. John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki 46:30.392
10. Makoto Tamada (Japan) Honda 46:33.716