Revamp for Qatar night race schedule?

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Next year’s night race schedule in the big season opening clash in Qatar could be revamped to avoid a spate of crashes that dominated this year’s floodlit race.

Jorge Lorenzo, Stefan Bradl, Bradley Smith and Alvaro Bautista all fell out of podium contention in Doha, with the quartet all losing the front-end in cool temperatures.

It will prompt official tyre supplier Bridgestone, if it retains the tyre supply deal for 2015, to request the MotoGP race is started earlier than its existing 10pm slot to lessen the impact of lowering ambient temperatures and humidity that engulfs the Losail International Circuit.

Bridgestone has confirmed it will recommend a 9pm start for the MotoGP race and the Japanese factory’s coordinator Thomas Scholz told MCN: “The most critical thing is the humidity and the temperature drops too much after 10pm and you see all the crashes coming from the front and this is no good for Bridgestone.

“This problem we have to fix for next year. The first option is to bring the race time to 9pm or we really need to have more options for the tyres for the conditions at 10pm.”

Tweaking the schedule would cause a headache for Dorna, as it would mean starting the Moto3 race at 6pm. That creates an issue with the scheduling of the warm-up sessions, with 6pm the timing of the 20-minute MotoGP session this year.

It is unlikely the MotoGP grid will want to complete a warm-up in daylight conditions prior to 6pm or go into the race cold by having the warm-up on Saturday evening.

There have been rumours that the Moto3 race could be shifted to Saturday night, so only MotoGP and Moto2 will take place on Sunday night, though Dorna is unlikely to want a split race schedule because of its TV deals.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt