Qatar MotoGP: Casey Stoner questions Qatar re-run

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Factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner has said the decision to stage the Qatar MotoGP race nearly 24 hours late was strange given a drive to slash costs.

The Aussie, who had qualified on pole position for the 22-lap race, was speaking to MCN after the first race was thrown into chaos by a torrential downpour that fell less than two minutes before the start.

The race was eventually cancelled and after several meetings in the Losail International Circuit paddock, the decision was taken to stage the race tonight (Monday) a 7pm UK time.

Stoner told MCN that running the race a day late would only add extra costs to teams already looking to save money: “They are taking our time away to save money, yet they are spending money to do stuff like this. If it was any other circuit in the world, they probably wouldn’t postpone it until the next day.  

“This is probably the only track in the world where they are going to postpone it until the next day. If it is dry tomorrow, then fair play and we get on with it, but if there is a chance that it’s going to be wet, I thought the most logical decision would be to cancel this race and not to waste more money on something that we’re trying to save.

“They are spending money to keep us here. I’m sure it’s a lot of money just to keep us here for one more day. I don’t really see the logic in doing that.”

The 23-year-old said the rain, which fell for over two hours in a country where the average annual rainfall is only three inches, was sheer bad luck and that last night’s episode should not throw the future of the night race into doubt.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see this happen again. Personally, I think this is dead set bad luck. I’ve never seen a spot of rain before in this place until testing this year. It’s unheard of really so I don’t think we’ll find this sort of problem again and it’s not because of the night race that this issue has occurred,” said Stoner.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt