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Luis D´Antin and Neil Hodgson visit Qatar

Luis D´Antin and Neil Hodgson visit Qatar

Luis D´Antin and Neil Hodgson visit Qatar

MotoGP recruit Neil Hodgson and his new Team Manager Luis D'Antin dropped off in Qatar on Monday on their way to the latest series of preseason tests in Malaysia. It was a chance for World Superbike Champion Hodgson to visit some of the most spectacular sights in and around the city of Doha - including the location of the Losail International Circuit which is currently being prepared to host round 13 of the 2004 MotoGP World Championship, the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar, in October.

"The circuit is fantastic – it looks like it will be a fast and technical track, but it also looks very safe at the same time," said Hodgson. "It's been a hectic day but also very interesting and enjoyable. I'm already looking forward to coming back here for the Grand Prix but my priority for now are the Sepang tests, where I'll be looking to make some good progress."

Hodgson's busy day ended with a press conference alongside Naser Bin Khalifa Al-Ateiah, Head of the Qatar Motorsport Federation, before quickly boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur to join up with the rest of the team, who are already in Malaysia.

Before catching the flight, former 500cc Grand Prix racer D'Antin commented: "I liked the circuit a lot and I think it's very interesting for the championship to come to Qatar. We have been received with tremendous hospitality and the city of Doha is fascinating. This visit was definitely worth the effort, but now we have to turn our attention to Sepang because we have a three day test starting on Wednesday which should be very useful."

Rubén Xaus prepared for the upcoming test by driving in an ice rally competition in Andorra last week. "I was invited to take part and didn't want to pass up such a unique opportunity," commented Xaus, who finished second in his category. "It was good fun and very interesting because you can drive really fast on ice, but now my mind is set on Sepang. The tests at Valencia were only a shakedown and now we can really get to work."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2003

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