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The season so far: Full GP Review for Qatar

The season so far: Full GP Review for Qatar

Video action from the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship, March 9th´s CommercialBank Grand Prix of Qatar, in the first of a daily review section for the summer break.

The 2008 MotoGP season kicked off in Qatar with what was to be an historic occasion on March 9th. The Losail International Circuit was to play host not just to the World Championship´s curtain-raising race, but also the first ever night Grand Prix.

With the ambitious Musco lighting project in place, the paddock was illuminated prior to the intriguing first `day´ of practice. However, whilst the backdrop may have been different, the track and customary procedures for a first race of the year remained the same.

Defending MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner ran through some of the nuances of the track where he had taken both his first victory and pole position in previous years, whilst he and his fellow riders were also been informed of the changes to the MotoGP rulebook in the traditional Riders Briefing, and the bikes with which they would be mounting their title challenges were subjected to the annual scrutineering process.

After the information had been given and the figures of the 800cc machines duly noted, all that remained before the start of the on-track preparations for the CommercialBank Grand Prix of Qatar was the official opening ceremony in nearby Doha, attended by MotoGP riders.

The on-track action got underway on the Friday with the first two sessions of the weekend, and there were some tough decisions to be made in particular by Repsol Honda. They opted to revert to the standard spring-valve version of their RC212V with both Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden for the night riding challenge.

Qualifying under the Qatari lights featured an all-Yamaha front row of debutants Jorge Lorenzo, James Toseland and veteran Colin Edwards, an achievement that delighted Lin Jarvis from the Japanese factory.

Both tyre manufacturer Michelin and Hayden´s Crew Chief Pete Benson were wary of the superiority of French rubber in qualifying, although in the race itself Michelin could only be defeated by one Bridgestone rider, the one-more outstanding Stoner.

MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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