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Qatar MotoGP: Valentino Rossi happy to race on Monday

Published: 13 April 2009

Reigning world champion Valentino Rossi has said he is happy that the delayed Qatar MotoGP race will go ahead after last night’s rain cancellation.

The opening round of the 2009 season was postponed after torrential rain battered the floodlit Losail International Circuit just moments before the start of the race.

With glare from the floodlights causing visibility issues, the riders had a pre-race agreement that they would not compete in the event of rain.

Several meetings took place to thrash out an alternative and the 22-lap race will now go ahead tonight (Monday) starting at 7pm UK time. 

And Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi said: “This is a real disappointment because we were fired up to race and it was so close to the start! After the rain stopped the 125 race we thought we had escaped because the track then dried but then the rain came down even harder just in time for MotoGP.

"It’s so unlucky because you don’t expect this in the desert. After six months without racing and after two days of practice and so much work by everyone it’s very frustrating and this is why it was important to take the decision to race tomorrow.

"It will be strange because I don’t think there’s ever been a Monday race! It will also be hard to wait another day, and the pressure will be more, but I am happy that we will get the chance to ride.

"Of course now we have to keep our fingers crossed for the weather tomorrow, but the forecast says it will be ok.

"The other important thing is that something is done to clean the track, because it will be very dirty after this. Maybe we should all have a race with the hire cars in the morning!”