The Repsol Honda Team has arrived in Qatar for the opening race of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled to take place March 20 at Losail International Circuit. This unique event will see MotoGP practice start at 7:55 pm on Thursday, instead of Friday, with the race occurring at 9 pm on Sunday night. The format alone requires a different approach than with normal, daytime races; add in this year’s introduction of the unified ECU software, plus Michelin control tyres replacing Bridgestone following a seven-year absence (with Dani Pedrosa as the last to win a MotoGP race with the French tyres, in Catalunya in 2008), and the task for the teams and the riders is even more challenging.
The test that took place at the same venue two weeks ago saw the Repsol Honda Team encounter mixed fortunes, with Marc Marquez experiencing a challenging start to the session but a very positive conclusion, as he set the fourth-best lap time overall and enjoyed a strong long run on the closing day. Dani Pedrosa, on the contrary, set his fastest overall time on day two and was unable to improve on that.
In any case, both Marc and Dani are approaching the first race with the same positive attitude, knowing that HRC engineers have continued working in Japan on the data gathered in the test, and that both they and the team are prepared to do their utmost to gain the best possible results on Sunday.
The fabulous Losail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event – the Marlboro Grand… read more.
|Length||5.380 kilometres / 3.343 miles|
|Longest straight||1.068 kilometres / 0.664 miles|
Losail International Circuit, Al Daayen, Qatar - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 53.927s (170.003km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2008)|
|Race Lap||1m 54.927s (168.5 km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2016)|
|Race Time||42m28.452 42s (167.1km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2016)|
|2016 Race Winner||Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)|