Online Challenge 2: how to be fast in Qatar

Home of some epic races through the years, Losail hosts the Second Online Challenge in 2021

It’s up and running! The MotoGP™ eSport Championship is back for a fifth season and the second Online Challenge in as many weeks will provide a challenge that is comparable to the current MotoGP™ field.

The second online Challenge of the new MotoGP™ eSport World Championship will mirror real-life events, as the Losail International Circuit is the track that must be mastered, with new World Champion Joan Mir’s Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR the bike of choice.

Qatar found a place on the MotoGP™ calendar for the first time in 2004 and has been the series’ opening race since 2007. A year later and an eye-catching set of floodlights were installed around the track, allowing MotoGP™ to run its first-ever night race.

The Grand Prix of Qatar is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular events on the MotoGP™ calendar. The action here takes place at night under the floodlights of the brilliant Losail International Circuit, which sits around 30km outside Doha - the exciting and evolving capital city of Qatar.

Located in the Qatari desert, the Losail circuit held its first event at the venue with the October 2004 Grand Prix of Qatar, won by Sete Gibernau. In 2008 Qatar celebrated the first floodlit Grand Prix in the history of the MotoGP™ World Championship and since 2007 Qatar has also hosted the season-opening race on the GP calendar.

The flowing 5.4km track is a classic blend of a long straight and fast, flowing corners. Close times are guaranteed with the 2018 and 2019 MotoGP races being decided by just 0.027s and 0.023s!

It all starts with the scary run to turn one. Click sixth gear across the finish line and prepare your braking marker for the tight turn one. Run in just a little hot while downshifting back to second gear before accelerating sharply for turn two. This is another second gear corner that requires a lot of patience. Accelerate at the mid-point of the apex and click fourth gear before accelerating flat out through turn three.

It’s back to second gear for turn four and five, before the challenging turn six hairpin. Hit the inside apex in first gear and be careful with the throttle as you accelerate with angle. Turn seven is another bend that requires patience on the throttle, and feather is through the challenging eight-nine flick that leads into turn ten – another hairpin taken in first.

Then the fun really starts: Be aggressive on the throttle through eleven before taking the glorious turns 12 and 13 in fourth gear. Drop back to third for turn 14 but maintain high corner speed. The excellent turn 15 is taken in second and then it’s the run to the all-important final turn. Get your braking just right and shift back to first at the apex before accelerating up through the gears and across the line.

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