Sepang circuit scraps night race plan

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The Sepang circuit in Malaysia will not switch its MotoGP race to a night clash under floodlights.

The Malaysia circuit was hotly tipped to follow the lead of Qatar by staging a race at night, and several investigations were carried out with Musco Lighting, the American company that completed the mammoth Doha project earlier this year.

Sepang was keen to run its race at night to help with European TV schedules, which would have helped dramatically boost ratings for its Formula One race too.

But having agreed to a two-year extension to its current contract last weekend, keeping the Malaysian GP on the calendar until 2010 at least, plans for a night race have been axed.

The decision pleased reigning world champion Valentino Rossi and the Italian said: “We spoke a lot in the Safety Commission and we said, please, one night race in Qatar at the beginning of the season is okay if the conditions are good. We don’t want to become like Formula One and have five races in the night.

“I think one is enough. I think in Sepang they have also some other problems because the track is very long. They decide to race in normal time and I’m so happy, because I think is better in the day than during the night.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt