MotoGP to run at night?
The second round of the 2006 MotoGP championship gets underway in Qatar on Thursday April 6 amid plans for future Qatar rounds to take place at night.
Loris Capirossi, Valentino Rossi and Kenny Roberts Jr will test the idea on roads bikes on Thursday night.
Ducati rider Capirossi said:"We have a plan to ride streetbikes - I'll have a Ducati 999 - around the track to see if it's feasible to run future Qatar GPs in the dark. They have erected floodlights at several corners, so it will be an interesting experience!" said Capirossi.
Capirossi came up with the idea as a way in which the race could be run in cooler temperatures. In 2004 temperatures reached 50 degrees. For 2006, the race has been scheduled sixth months earlier in the season to help.
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Capirossi comes to Qatar with the championship lead following his victory at the opening round at Jerez, and celebrating his 33rd birthday on April 4.
He'll face an extra challenge from team-mate Sete Gibernau, who retired from the opening round but who won at the Losail circuit in 2004.
Valentino Rossi is also hopeful of a better result, after he was skittled by Toni Elias and then suffered major chatter problems at Jerez. All Yamaha riders, including Britain's James Ellison, have been working to cure the problem. Read more about those chatter problems in MCN, April 5, 2006.
Dani Pedrosa is confident following his second place at Jerez, as is Repsol Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden, who finished third. Randy de Puniet will ride for Kawasaki, although his hand has not fully recovered from an injury sustained in a high side during the warm-up for the Jerez race.
In the 250cc class, Britain's Chaz Davies will again ride the fully-kitted bike of injured Campetella team-mate Taro Sekiguchi. Davies scored points in 13th place at the opening round, and will be joined by Italian Andrea Ballerini.
And in the 125cc class, Alvaro Bautista will look to build on his first round victory. World champion Thomas Luthi will need to overcome the after-effects of a fractured collarbone to begin his title defence.
Check back on this site throughout Thursday, Friday and Saturday for updates direct from the track.