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A new era dawns: Moto2 begins at Losail

A new era dawns: Moto2 begins at Losail

The new intermediate category of the MotoGP World Championship finally arrives on Sunday with the opening race of the 2010 season in Qatar.

After much excitement, extensive preparation and plenty of predictions, the new intermediate class of the World Championship, Moto2, begins a new era of the sport in Qatar when the opening practice session of the weekend starts on Friday evening.

The Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar will bring to an end a long wait to see the debut race of the Moto2 class, which in 2010 replaces the 250cc category. Already in pre-season there has been great enthusiasm created at the closeness of the times in the three Official Tests, as well as by the various characters who will make up the grid.

With an official engine supplied by Honda and tyres from Dunlop, the level of competition will be high and rider skill and talent will shine through, making Moto2 a truly challenging contest for its participants and a fantastic spectacle for observers.

Fourteen chassis providers are supplying the 40-rider strong grid, and after the two Tests at Jerez and one at Valencia, a picture of who the main challengers will be for the inaugural title has already started to emerge.

Toni Elías (Gresini Racing) has placed his name on the list of early favourites with his competitive times, but he is fighting to be fully fit after suffering a fracture in his left hand and right ankle in a fall at the final Test at Jerez last week. The Spaniard expects to be able to race, but his condition will only be able to be fully assessed when practice begins on Friday.

Other riders with MotoGP experience who will be looking to make their way back into the premier class with strong seasons this year include Yuki Takahashi (Tech3 Racing), Alex de Angelis, Niccolò Canepa (both RSM Team Scot), Anthony West (MZ Racing), Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up) and Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans STR), and all will be amongst those fancied to finish near the top.

Claudio Corti may be making his World Championship debut but the Italian of the Forward Racing team, who was fastest at the final Jerez Test and has been consistently strong throughout pre-season, has already made his name known, as have fellow debutants Kenny Noyes of the Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas team and Yonny Hernández of Blusens STX. And of course there is 125cc World Champion Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) whose form has been quick as well.

The first hour-long Moto2 practice of the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar begins at 9.15pm local time on Friday evening, with the race due to commence at 9.15pm local time on Sunday. Make sure you do not miss the start of an exciting new era!


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