It’s time for one last test ahead of lights out – at the venue that hosts the first Grand Prix of the season, Losail.
Losail International Circuit in association with Visit Qatar will soon be hosting the first race of 2018, but before the lights go out and the points are in play, there’s one last test. Three days kick off at the
venue from the 1st to 3rd of March – the final shakedown and chance to get in gear for the season. It’s decision time.
So far in testing, Honda have been on a roll, with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) joined by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) in the upper echelons of the timesheets at both
Sepang and Buriram. Added to positive comments from the riders, it all seems to be going well for the Japanese factory – but Qatar can sometimes prove more difficult, and they’ll be wanting to get as
setup as possible for the race to attack from the off. With a few things to double check at a different venue, too – such as aero – it will be a full workload.
Over at Ducati, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) set the quickest ever lap of the track in Sepang in the first test, but then find Buriram much tougher going. He’ll be raring to get back on track on the GP18
at another different venue – and Andrea Dovizioso, his teammate, will too. Both Lorenzo and 2017 runner-up ‘DesmoDovi’ have great records at the track, and they’ll be working on the final details for
2018 – including, yep, more aero investigations – as well as setting up for the first Sunday of the season.
Meanwhile at Yamaha, the test is another opportunity for the Iwata marque to figure out their issues before there are 25 points on the board. After initial good reports at Sepang, Thailand was more
difficult and both Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi left the venue needing more track time in Qatar to try and work on their problems. Grip issues remain – with
the electronics a key focus.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), however, didn’t share the complaints of the factory riders. Second fastest in Buriram and happy with progress, the Frenchman’s form looks ominous. His
teammate, meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin – now confirmed as a full-time rider in 2018 – will be focused on more progress now the contract pressure is off. Impressing on his debut, the first ever Malaysian
in MotoGP™ will have a unique focus: track time, track time, track time.
This year will be the 15th anniversary of the Grand Prix of Qatar and one of the activities that Losail International Circuit has marked for this occasion is a photo exhibition at Katara with two of the most
renowned motorsport photographers; Gigi Soldano and Mirco Lazzari.
The exhibition titled ‘Speed and Rituals’ is a collection of 50 photographs captured at Losail International Circuit and in other circuits and it will take place at Youth Hobbies Centre (Building 18)
from 1st to 18th March.
‘’We are really looking forward to start a new and exciting season. This year will be the 15th anniversary and one of our target is to host a memorable Grand Prix of Qatar, bringing the best experience for
spectators, fans, riders, team and partners’’ said Khalid Al Remaihi, LCSC Vice President and General Manager.
‘‘Also, I would like to extend my gratitude to Katara and Youth Hobbies Centre for their support and providing their facilities to carry out this photo exhibition’‘ ended Al Remaihi.
Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at QTA commented, “We are pleased to have the world’s best Moto GP riders back in Doha for the pre-season testing and look forward to
welcoming them again next month for the Grand Prix of Qatar which will kick off the international race season.”
He added, “Through our partnership with LCSC, we have been able to enrich and create new visitor experiences around the event as well as explore new marketing routes to promote the Grand Prix of
Qatar to attract more visitors to Qatar.”
The track activity for the Qatar Test will be from 1pm to 9pm with free entrance to the Grandstand for all the spectators and if during the Test you show your ticket of the Grand Prix of Qatar (16th to 18th
March) you can get the chance to enter the Paddock during the Test.