MotoGP riders want Qatar circuit resurfaced

Leading MotoGP riders have called for the asphalt to be resurfaced in time for next year’s Qatar Grand Prix, following the difficulties encountered this year.

MotoGP riders want Qatar circuit resurfaced
Track drying
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team, Loris Baz, Avintia Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
BMW Safety Car on the track inspection, wet track
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Wet track

The Losail International Circuit opened in 2004, holding its first MotoGP event that year, and has played host to the opening round of the championship every year since 2007.

However, it has not been resurfaced in the 13 years it has been open, which combined with the race being held at night in relatively low ambient temperatures leads to low grip levels and tough conditions for riders.

While the main issue that led to Saturday’s qualifying being cancelled was with poor drainage after heavy rain, Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo says riders have also reached the conclusion the asphalt needs replacing.

“The asphalt needs to be changed, and I hope it’s for next year,” said Lorenzo. “We speak a little bit in the Safety Commission [on Friday] but we didn’t get deep in that area.” 

Honda’s Marc Marquez added: “I know they are thinking to resurface [the track] - if not this year, then in two years, because already it’s 13 years old, this asphalt.

“Then maybe they can check to find a way to find some solutions, but it’s not normal, to have this kind of weather. Always it’s a possibility and in the future they can be more ready.”

Dorna Race Direction representative Loris Capirossi confirmed that plans were under way to have the Losail track resurfaced, potentially as soon as next year, as part of a wider scheme to improve drainage.

“We are already talking to the track to try to improve a lot of things, because the riders start to complain a bit about the surface,” said the Italian ex-rider. “The surface is from 2004 when they build the track.

“We have already some plans for next year, we just have to clarify everything but for sure we do some work for next year. For sure next year we want to do some work on drainage.

“We are already working with the circuit about [resurfacing]. We are still talking. We don’t have the answer now but this is our number one plan.”

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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