Winter testing is over and the Repsol Honda riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, are on their way to Doha for the first race of 2014. It was positive Winter for Dani who completed many laps, however, it was a difficult period for World Champion, Marc, who missed two of the three tests due to injury.
The Losail circuit, located in the desert outside Qatar’s capital, Doha, sprung up in 2003 and hosted its first international motorcycle race in 2004. In 2008, it became notable for hosting the first-ever floodlit MotoGP race. At 5.380km in length, Losail is one of the longest circuits on the international calendar, with the main straight more than 1km long. Ten right turns, mix with six lefts but the flat and featureless landscape make it a difficult track to learn. Desert sand also causes grip problems.
This first grand prix of the season is also the only race weekend that stretches over four days, with FP1 beginning on Thursday evening, FP2 and FP3 on Friday evening, Qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday night at 22h00 local time.
Marc Marquez, who took his first MotoGP podium here last year en route to his World Championship, will be eager to get back on the bike for the first time since the 6th February. Marc suffered a training accident on the 19th February which ruled him out of the second Sepang test and tyre test in Phillip Island. Marc has visited the Qatar podium in all three classes, 3rd in MotoGP (2013), 1st in Moto2 (2012) and 3rd in 125cc (2010).
Teammate Dani Pedrosa, who has had a positive pre-season took second place here in 2012 and has finished on the podium a total of four times in MotoGP (2012 – 2nd, 2011 – 3rd, 2008 – 3rd, 2007 – 3rd) and once in 250cc (2004 – 2nd).
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 53.680s (170.3km/h) Johann Zarco (Yamaha, 2018)|
|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)|
|2018 Race Winner||Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)|