U.S. riders Colin Edwards (Houston, Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Nicky Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team) and Ben Spies (Longview, Texas, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will compete in the MotoGP race. Kenny Noyes (California, Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas) will compete in the Moto2 race.
Colin Edwards says: (About opening the season with a night race): "I’m the guy who wears a dark shield in the rain, so the worse I see, the better I ride. We could turn half the lights off, and it would be better that way. But I like the night race. I grew up racing Friday night motocross races under the lights every Friday night. And I was faster when I couldn’t see the ruts. So night racing, no problem. I enjoy it."
Nicky Hayden says: "Finally the first race is here. We seem to have started later than everybody else, and I don’t know if I could have waited any longer. Testing went fairly well. We met some of our objectives and still have a lot of work to do in other areas, but overall I’m satisfied. We established a good base setting in Qatar, and hopefully we can use that for the first race. It has been a couple of years since I made a good start to the season, but I feel in good shape, the team are fully behind me, and I can’t wait to get started."
Ben Spies says: (About transition from World Superbike to MotoGP): "For me, I’m trying everything I can to be as fast as I can and be as close as I can and beat everybody else. And I think one thing that has helped me is when I came over, after riding the bike at Valencia and the Valencia test, I really kind of sat down and said what I think and what I thought I knew and do know how to go fast on a Superbike, it’s not the same."
"I don’t know how far I’m going to go and how the differences that are going to happen from now until three races in or after the season, or if there are going to be any more improvements. I have no clue. But I think at least what has helped me in my transition so far is that I came in and said I know I need to change, I know this isn’t going to work, and I’ve got to figure out how to make it work. So I kind of just cleared the chalkboard coming in."
Colin Edwards says: "Well, dude, I’ve got a few more mouths to feed than when I was 30. College tuition, you know, frickin’ Cocoa Krispies to have in the pantry. I’ve got to buy all of this crap now, so I’ve got to keep racing." – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards on why he continues to race in MotoGP at age 36.
FAST FACTS: 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner has dominated this event, winning three consecutive years from 2007-09 … This is the only night race on the 2010 MotoGP schedule … This is the first time since 2008 that there will be three American riders in MotoGP, as 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and rookie Ben Spies will fly the Stars and Stripes … Only Spain and Italy (five riders each) have more riders on the MotoGP grid than the U.S. … 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Valentino Rossi will start a quest toward his eighth MotoGP class championship and 10th overall. He has won the last two season titles … There are five rookies among the 17 riders on the MotoGP grid this season: Spies, Hiroshi Aoyama of Japan, Alvaro Bautista and Hector Barbera of Spain and Marco Simoncelli of Italy … The new Moto2 class, which replaces the 250cc class, will debut at this event. Riders will compete on machines with 600cc Honda engines, closer in spec to prototype 800cc MotoGP bikes … Rookie Kenny Noyes will represent the United States in Moto2, riding for the Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas team co-owned by Hollywood star Antonio Banderas. Noyes was one of only two riders to finish in the top five of all three Moto2 preseason tests … SPEED announced April 7 that it is televising all 18 MotoGP events this season in high definition, including the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nearly all races also will be televised live, with enhanced production features.
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
EVENT: Grand Prix of Qatar
Losail Circuit, Doha, Qatar. Circuit is 3.343 miles (5.380 km), with 16
turns. Race is 22 laps.
WHEN: Sunday, April 11. It is the first of
18 events this season.
2009 RACE WINNER: Casey Stoner, by 7.771
seconds over Valentino Rossi
2009 POLE WINNER: Casey Stoner, 1
minute, 55.286 seconds
U.S. TV: 4-5 p.m. (ET), Sunday, April 11,
SPEED (live). Moto2: 11 p.m.-midnight (ET), Sunday, April 11, SPEED.