MotoGP
R
Spanish GP
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
42 days
14 May
-
17 May
Next event in
56 days
R
Italian GP
28 May
-
31 May
Next event in
70 days
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
77 days
18 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
91 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
98 days
R
Finnish GP
09 Jul
-
12 Jul
Next event in
112 days
06 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
140 days
R
Austrian GP
13 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
147 days
R
British GP
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
Next event in
161 days
R
San Marino GP
10 Sep
-
13 Sep
Next event in
175 days
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
190 days
R
Thailand GP
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
197 days
R
Japanese GP
15 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
210 days
R
Australian GP
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
218 days
R
Malaysian GP
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
224 days
13 Nov
-
15 Nov
Next event in
239 days
R
Argentinian GP
20 Nov
-
22 Nov
Next event in
246 days
R
Valencia GP
27 Nov
-
29 Nov
Next event in
253 days

MotoGP warned of "no finishers" as Qatar keeps start time

shares
comments
MotoGP warned of "no finishers" as Qatar keeps start time
By:
Co-author: Oriol Puigdemont
Mar 8, 2019, 7:53 PM

The opening race of the 2019 MotoGP season in Qatar will go ahead as planned, after riders were not successful in pushing through a late schedule change on safety grounds.

The start time for the MotoGP season opener had been moved an hour later compared to 2018, but many riders have called for this to be reversed, as experiences from pre-season testing had left them concerned about late-evening track conditions.

After an initial push to bring the race start back forward was resisted before the weekend, top riders again lobbied for the change and vowed to bring it up in Friday's Safety Commission meeting.

Yet despite what appeared to be widespread support for a 7pm start, it has now been confirmed that the race will kick off at 8pm local time as scheduled.

Friday's second practice had kicked off at 8.05 pm after a small delay and saw few dramas, with only Franco Morbidelli suffering a fast crash at Turn 1 – while Marc Marquez set the fastest-ever lap of the circuit.

Speaking before the Safety Commission, LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow said the conditions had been “perfect” in FP2, yet stressed that even light rainfall during the weekend could cause dew to build up, which would lead to higher humidity while track temperatures dropped.

“Track temperature, as we saw in the Moto2 test last week, 17-18 degrees [Celsius] at 8,” he said.

“In our test there was I don't know how many, 12 crashes, after 7.30. You can imagine our feeling about it.

“I love this race, I love Qatar, the way that they do it.

“It makes a good race, but if the dew on the track is like sometimes it can be, they won't have any finishers.

“No matter how fast or slow you ride, there would be no finishers. If it is really, really bad like we've seen.”

His LCR teammate Takaaki Nakagami agreed with the Briton, saying: “For sure 7 will be better, more safety.

“Around end of the race, around 8.30, almost conditions completely change - even during the test, [around] 8'o clock, I had a crash, feelings in the front tyre completely change.”

Existing television commitments were reportedly key to race direction's refusal to grant a change in start time.

It is, however, understood that series promoter Dorna has assured riders it will explore the possibility to revert to a 7pm start next year.

Additional reporting by Khodr Rawi

Next article
Qatar MotoGP: Marquez tops FP2, Lorenzo and Rossi facing Q1

Previous article

Qatar MotoGP: Marquez tops FP2, Lorenzo and Rossi facing Q1

Next article

Marquez surprised by Lorenzo on Honda practice debut

Marquez surprised by Lorenzo on Honda practice debut
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Sub-event Race
Drivers Cal Crutchlow Shop Now , Takaaki Nakagami
Teams Team LCR
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy