Qatar Grand Prix, Losail: Repsol Honda Team Preview

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The intense preseason finished and the moment everyone -riders, teams, media and fans- has been waiting for, finally arrives. The 2011 World Championship starts tomorrow, Thursday, at the Losail Circuit, in Qatar, located just outside Doha. The Repsol riders reach Qatar in very good form after showing a great level during the long preseason.

At the MotoGP category, the Repsol Honda Team became the referent of the preseason and set the pace in the training sessions held in Malaysia and this weekend in Qatar. The potential of the only official team with three riders was demonstrated by the fast adaptation of Casey Stoner to his new bike, the excellent level shown by Dani Pedrosa, and the new step ahead of the always consistent Andrea Dovizioso.

The three riders completed a positive preseason in which their performance, both in terms of race pace and best lap, placed them among the fastest before the first Grand Prix of the year. A good level also shown by Marc Márquez in his first preseason in Moto2. The Repsol rider amazed everyone during the winter, as he has shown again his great talent adapting incredibly quickly to the intermediate class. In a year that should be a learning curve for him, many people place the 125cc World Champion among the favourites, with whom he has already contended during the winter tests.

As it has been since 2008, the Qatar Grand Prix will be held under the lights of the spectacular Losail circuit. Starting tomorrow, Thursday, March the 17th, the stars of the Championship will take the track to compete in the first practice session. This is undoubtedly a peculiar Grand Prix, and this season it is even more so. Contrary to the rest of the rounds this year, the practice sessions will start in Qatar on Thursday and not on Friday as usual.

On Thursday, the MotoGP riders will have a 45-minutes practice session and the Moto2 riders will have two 45-minutes sessions. On Friday, two 45-minutes sessions for the MotoGP riders and one for the Moto2 competitors. On Sunday, the Qualifying will be of 45 minutes for the Moto2 riders, 60 minutes for MotoGP and the Moto2 class will have a 20-minute warm up late in the evening. On Sunday the races of the three classes will take place, starting with 125cc, then Moto2 and finishing with MotoGP.