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Riders ready for season start at Losail

Riders ready for season start at Losail

After months of testing over the winter, the 60th season of the MotoGP World Championship finally commences in earnest on Sunday evening as the historic night races take place at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.

After months of testing over the winter, the 60th season of the MotoGP World Championship finally commences in earnest on Sunday evening as the historic night races take place at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.

The riders have had a long preseason to prepare for tonights action, with last weekends test visit and their practice and qualifying sessions over the last 48 hours giving them the ample opportunity to get comfortable with floodlit riding at Losail International.

The fast lap times produced in practice thus far on the desert circuits cool evening asphalt and the spectacular television images produced under the innovative lighting system at the Qatari venue have only added to the anticipation and excitement ahead of what promises to be a superb night of racing.

The customary warm-up sessions will give teams in all three categories their final chances to make any last-minute tweaks to their race set-ups though in the MotoGP class in particular the subsequent wait of around four hours before the race is likely to see another marked drop in temperatures, meaning that any late decisions on tyre choices are likely to involve a healthy amount of guesswork.

When the premier class contest gets underway at 11pm local time Ducati Marlboros World Champion Casey Stoner will be hunting down a Yamaha dominated front row from fourth on the grid with Tech3 pairing James Toseland and Colin Edwards and Fiat Yamahas sensational pole man Jorge Lorenzo firmly in the Australians sights.

From further back on the grid, MotoGPs other big guns such as Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda pairing Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa will also hope to have key parts to play in the historic first ever night time Grand Prix race.

In the 250cc race Lotus Aprilias Alex Debon gets away from pole for the first time in his long career with his young compatriots Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista hot on his tail, while Mika Kallio leads the KTM charge in his 100th Grand Prix appearance.

Bradley Smith starts from pole for the first time in his Grand Prix career, in the single cylinder category, hoping to become the first British 125cc victor since the early 1970s, though reigning World Champion Gabor Talmacsi will be keen to prevent a Smith win from second on the grid.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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