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Time, temperatures and unfamiliarity create intrigue for Qatari test

Time, temperatures and unfamiliarity create intrigue for Qatari test

Heading to the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar this week, nobody on the premier class grid knows exactly what to expect when they arrive at the newly-illuminated Losail International Circuit.

Heading to the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar this week, nobody on the premier class grid knows exactly what to expect when they arrive at the newly-illuminated Losail International Circuit. Whilst all will become clear come March 28th, for now even those who have ridden under the gaze of the floodlights can do little more than take an educated guess as to the conditions presented to them.

"I don't actually know what it will be like," says Marco Melandri, one of the participants in a brief night test in Qatar last November.

"I've been to the track to try it out at night, but that was just three corners so I can't say that it will be perfect at night time. I can't wait to test there; it's going to be fun and exciting and I hope that it's good to race there."

The running of a late evening affair brings with it a set of unique challenges, with Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen noting that the change in time itself may take some adjustment.

"It's going to be different. Staying up until midnight to ride is a new thing to start with! It's exciting for everyone in the paddock, and I just hope that it's a good spectacle for fans," notes the Australian.

Qatar experiences intense heat during the day but, as with most desert countries, can experience notable dips in temperature once the sun sets. One of the men most intrinsically involved with track thermometer readouts in preparation for MotoGP rounds, Bridgestone's Hiroshi Yamada, has done his homework on the expected conditions for the night run and believes that some adaptations will have to be made.

"The expected temperatures at night in Losail are around 15-20 degrees, which is low for a race during the season. We're also expecting high humidity levels but, as always, the conditions are the same for everyone," says the Bridgestone man.

Answers to any night racing doubts will be answered this Thursday, when the riders make their first in-depth analyses of the illuminated circuit.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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