shift change – gp of qatar


two weeks ago, motogp made history by running under the floodlights of losail international circuit.

at first, i thought that it was an cheap (?!?!) gimmick but i’m sold after watching the race. the lights added a whole new dimension that i didn’t expect.

the weekend was a complete success with only one minor quibble – the cool track temperature. several teams expressed their concern about this issue asking for the race to be run later in the year (originally qatar was run in sept). qatar officials would like to retain the opening race slot which will likely delay the start of the season to april and we wouldn’t have a month long break to the second race.

qatar was run at night for several reasons, one of them being the sweltering heat during midday. however, temperatures plummeted once the sun set. in fact, it was actually too cold. the tarmac cooled to a frigid 13 deg c (55 deg f) whereas typical summer day track temps are around 35-40 deg c (95-104 deg f). 

i’d rather see the qatar race return to its sept date and the season kick off with jerez or another european round. the atmosphere at qatar is subdued and fan unfriendly. it seems very sterile since the only grandstand is on the main straight and the track is located in the middle of the desert. unless u’re an emirate prince u have no place being there.

maybe the qatar round should just be removed from the calendar altogether. but it looks like we’ll have to wait until 2016 for that to happen. by then their oil reserves will have run out…


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