Qatar GP: Repsol Honda preview

The World Championship starts This weekend Qatar hosts the first race of the MotoGP 2009 season. For the second consecutive year the circuit in Qatar will be the venue for the curtain-raiser with another night-time race, and one that will serve...

The World Championship starts

This weekend Qatar hosts the first race of the MotoGP 2009 season. For the second consecutive year the circuit in Qatar will be the venue for the curtain-raiser with another night-time race, and one that will serve to show the relative merits of the tltle contenders. At the same time the Repsol team will start its challenge for the title at Losail.

Dani Pedrosa has confirmed on his blog that he will be on the starting grid for the Qatar GP, although the Spanish rider has expressed some caution, "I am pleased that I can return to racing this weekend, but I have to tell you that I am not 100% fit, so I am well aware that I will be at a disadvantage in Qatar".

His teammate Andrea Dovizioso, will make his official premiere with the Repsol Honda Team, and at the same track where he made his debut in the top category last year. Then the Italian surprised everybody by finishing fourth, behind Dani Pedrosa. This year his objective is to go one better and get a podium finish.

Qatar will show us what sort of form the big favourites to win the title are in. The main rivals for Pedrosa will once again be Casey Stoner & Valentino Rossi, but this year these two will be joined by another Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo. In addition the competition is going to be tighter than ever in 2009: Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden, Sete Gibernau & Toni Elias are just a few of the names that will have to be taken into account.

The first race of the season will allso give some indication of the new rules and their effects on the riders, the most important of these is that there is now just one tyre supplier. All the bikes will use Bridgestone tyres, a measure which in principle should increase the excitement. Moreover, this year the time available for practice has been reduced and so the teams will have to make a special effort to get a good setup on their motorbikes.

-credit: repsolhonda

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Sete Gibernau , Andrea Dovizioso , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team