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Randy Mamola pays a glowing tribute to the Qatar circuit

Randy Mamola pays a glowing tribute to the Qatar circuit

Randy Mamola pays a glowing tribute to the Qatar circuit

Former Grand Prix racer and columnist Randy Mamola made history on Friday when he became the first man to complete a lap of the Losail International Circuit of Qatar and came back with a glowing report of the newly constructed track.

The four-time 500cc World Championship runner-up completed several laps of the 5.4km circuit on the Ducati Desmosedici two-seat bike and was left impressed by the layout of the track and surrounding facilites, which will host the thirteenth round of the current MotoGP World Championship in October.

"To be the first rider to try the circuit on a MotoGP bike is a great honour for me and the rest of the Ducati Marlboro Team," commented Mamola. "I'm very impressed, the track is really great to ride. There are some interesting corners similar to those at various different tracks and there are plenty of good overtaking points.

"For example, turn one is quite similar to the first turn at Sepang, whilst there is a chicane just afterwards which reminded me of Estoril. Then there is a series of rights very similar to Welkom. The track lends itself to fast corner entry and as the riders work out the quickest way around it there will be some great overtaking and some really spectacular racing.

"One thing that's for sure is that it is a track for the future. The safety facilities are fantastic and it is not the sort of track that you look at and think ‘well, they might have to change this or that'. It has been thought through very carefully and I think it will play host to our sport for a long time. It will be great for MotoGP to be competing in the Middle East. The welcome we had there was fantastic and the people of Qatar are excited about MotoGP.

"For the fans, media and paddock staff, the facilities are again fantastic. The media centre and control tower are highly impressive and everything about the place is first class. I'm already looking forward to going back."

MotoGP, 2004

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