MotoGP: Riders test out Qatar in the rain

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The MotoGP grid have been left with mixed feelings after a compulsory wet track test at the Losail circuit, with questions about visibility under the floodlights in wet conditions going unanswered – and other issues also coming into play after the 30-minute test.

Taking to the track at the end of the final day for the session after the circuit was soaked with water sprayed from trucks, it was designed to let them see what visibility was like with the unique combination of high-powered lighting and the spray from other machines.

However, while most riders were happy enough with grip levels in the wet and their visibility to other machines, many complained that the reflection off the track left it incredibly difficult to judge other factors such as braking markers and the approaching end of Losail’s long straights.

Another factor coming into play was drainage, with some areas of the track drying quickly while others still had rivers streaming across them. Drainage was the key factor in last year’s qualifying sessions being scrapped, when torrential rain on the Saturday night caused the track to remain damp and the gravel traps to flood.

However, while it’s believed by MCN that a majority of riders are in favour of keeping the status quo and not riding at the circuit in wet conditions, no decision is likely to be taken until they return there this weekend. Coming at the end of the final night and with many riders flying directly home at the test, it will instead be the main topic of discussion at the safety commission meeting on the opening day of the new season.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer