Mapfre Aspar's Toni Elias feels confident about his chances in Qatar as he begins his quest to win back the Moto2 crown he captured in 2010.
Elias hopes to make more progress with his set-up at the Losail circuit but regardless is optimistic of pushing for a strong result this weekend.
“I really like Losail. The fact we are racing at night and with a film of sand on the track always makes for difficult racing but I still like it a lot,” he said.
“We still need to take a step forward with the set-up but even so we go to Qatar feeling happy and confident about our chances. We are looking forward to the start of the season and the whole team will be working hard from the first session to find something extra.
“Losail is a pretty fast circuit with some flowing corners and not a lot of grip, due to the humidity and sand.”
His team-mate, Nico Terol – the last ever 125cc world champion – has shown encouraging signs of making a swift transition to four-stroke machines and could spring a few surprises in 2012.
Terol, who has won twice at Losail, said: “I have always had a good feel for the Losail circuit. It has a bit of everything - some fast and slow sections - and racing at night makes it extra special. I always enjoy riding there and I am looking forward to seeing how things go for me in my first race in this category.
“We have a lot of work to do but I am sure that if we keep working like we have done up to now we can have a good Grand Prix.
“Racing on Sunday night without a warm-up session could throw up some unexpected surprises so we have to stay focused throughout the whole weekend and keep our rhythm up. I am looking forward to the start of the season.”