The opening round of MotoGP 2012 also marks the start of Bridgestone's fourth season as official tyre supplier.

This season sees the return of 1000cc machinery to the grid and the introduction of a new privateer 'Claiming Rule Team' category, both of which will influence tyre requirements.

Further unique factors will come into play at Losail, including as the cool night-time temperatures and susceptibility of desert sand to be blown onto the track.

To help riders deal with the variable conditions, Bridgestone is for the first time bringing three front tyre compounds to Qatar, while an asymmetric rear tyre will also be made available to provide the durability needed to cope with the succession of high-speed right hand corners.

"For the first time we are bringing three front-tyre compound options to Qatar; soft, medium and extra-hard," confirmed Shinji Aoki, manager of Bridgestone Motorsport's Tyre Development Division.

"The softer compounds are available to ensure rider safety if particularly cool track temperatures occur, while the harder option gives greater durability when track conditions improve while also providing greater stability under hard braking.

"With the Losail circuit featuring a number of high-speed right hand turns, we have also made available an asymmetric rear tyre.

"This development sees harder, more durable rubber on the right shoulder of the tyre and softer rubber on the left shoulder to keep the tyre in its optimal operating temperature range to provide riders with the best combination of grip and durability."

Bridgestone Motorsport manager Hiroshi Yamada stated: "I am excited to get the 2012 season underway at Losail as not only do we commence our fourth year as Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP, it also marks the beginning of our renewed contract with Dorna that will see us continue as sole tyre supplier to the series until the end of the 2014 season."

Reigning world champion Casey Stoner has won four of the five previous Qatar MotoGPs, including last year's race.