Rossi Suggests Earlier Start Time at Qatar

Qatar MotoGP Report

If nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi suggests change, it’ll most likely arrive. And one thing that’s been bothering the Italian is the late 11 p.m. (local) start time at the MotoGP season opener in desert lands of Qatar.

Rossi, along with Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi, asked Dorna Sports, the rights holder of MotoGP, to consider an earlier start time due to accidents that occurred under the floodlights at Losail International Circuit during pre-season testing. Reports have said that during the night, moisture comes to the surface of the track around turn 2, causing slippery conditions.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta told the Gazzetta dello Sport, an Italian Newspaper dedicated to Sports that a final decision will be made on race day (April 11) after track conditions are assessed. If needed, he said it would be no problem starting the race two hours earlier.

"We’ll see whether it’s too damp at the scheduled time or if it’s possible to run safely," he told the newspaper. "I’ve made a round of phone calls to hear from the TVs and there shouldn’t be too much of a problem in case of a reschedule."

A handful of riders went down during the final pre-season testing at Qatar at Turn 2, including Monster Tech 3 Yamaha riders Ben Spies and Colin Edwards, Ducati Marlboro riders Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner, and Capirossi.