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Former rider reads rain-soaked Qatar track in random way

Bryan Edwards

Qualifying for the Qatar MotoGP race was cancelled due to bad weather. 24 hours later, the race itself was delayed for half-an hour and then, when the riders went out on a sighting lap, several concluded that parts of the track were too wet to even attempt turn 14. Then the Stewards sent out Laurence Capirossi to check. It was a weird situation.

Capirorossi was driven around in the medical car, a four wheel drive BMW SUV travelling well within the boundaries of its performance.

On Turn 14, it ran wide.

Capirossi's comments on return?

The track is OK, but the kerbs are wet. It's safe if the riders are careful.

But the five or six riders who went straight on at that corner had gone nowhere near the kerbs: they had simply bailed out of a corner that they said was so much wetter than the rest of the track that for three corners they would need full wet tyres.

With half-the riders saying it's not safe and half being willing to have a go, the organisers decided to start the race, shortened by two laps, and to take two sighting laps, by that point more 40 minutes after the original time which means that temperatures had dipped sharply.

The two sighting laps showed that the track had damp patches but was mostly dry - emphasising hte reason the riders were so concerned about the wet at the end of the lap: to start on full wets would have meant the tyres shredding and even intermediates would have overheated on most of the lap.

But amazingly, the track was drying fast and when the race got under way, we were in for something very special indeed.