Qatar to keep four-night format for 2012

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The opening round of the 2012 world championship, which will include the first race of the new 1000cc MotoGP era and the debut of the new Moto3 class, will be run over four nights again in early April.

Five practice sessions will take place on Thursday, April 5, including two for the new 250cc four-stroke Moto3 class, which replaces the 125cc two-stroke category this year.

Only one MotoGP practice session will run on the opening night, starting at 7.55pm local time in Doha.

MotoGP will then have its second and third practice sessions run over 45-minutes on Friday night (April 6) at 6pm and 8.55pm.

All qualifying sessions take place on Saturday evening (April 7) between 6pm and 7.55pm while the Moto3 and Moto2 field will once again have their pre-race warm-up session on Saturday evening, nearly 24 hours before they will race.

The change enables the showcase MotoGP race to take place earlier on Sunday night after a series of complaints prior to the 2011 event that conditions were too cold for the tyres at the Losail International Circuit.

The MotoGP warm-up will take place at 6pm on Sunday, April 8 before the 2012 season gets underway with the historic first Moto3 race, which is scheduled to start at 7pm and run over 18-laps.

The Moto2 race is scheduled to be run over 20-laps and commence at 8.20pm while the first clash of the new 1000cc era is due to get underway at 10pm over 22-laps.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt