motogp will be kicking off this season in a rather unique way. qatar will be the first track to hold a premier class motorsports event under the lights (nascar has been doing this for years but they are far from premier let alone class). teams will have a chance to acclimate to the new conditions this thurs during an official two day test.
losail international circuit teamed up with american lighting specialists musco sports lighting to accomplish this enormous challenge. they basically had to light the whole facility but without causing shadows. this required 3700 lighting sources and enough electricity to power 3000 homes or 5.4 megawatts. that’s a shit ton of energy!!! only in qatar…
last year, several riders have already had a crack at the circuit albeit under partial lighting conditions and they seemed to be happy with it. teams will have to adjust to the change in time, lower track temps, and the lights. the race will be held around midnight, ten hours later than usual. and since the track is in the middle of a desert, the temps will be lower with higher humidity than a day race which means grip could be an issue. hopefully, riders will be able to adapt to the lights and all will be well.
to me motogp under the lights is a gimmick. it cheapens the sport making it more of a spectacle. the unique conditions will either influence or worse overshadow the racing. and why spend all this money and energy to hold a race at night? at a time when global warming and recession are on everyone’s minds, qatar rubs their frivolity and extravagance in our face.
(man, this turned into a depressing post…)
all things aside, i’m just happy to see motogp racing is only 12 days away!!! hit the switch, carmelo!!!