MotoGP joins F1 for Qatar visit

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta joined F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in visiting Qatar over the weekend, where they were given an update on the extensive modifications taking place at the Lusail Circuit.
Race start, Qatar MotoGP race, 6 March
Race start, Qatar MotoGP race, 6 March

The track, which opened in 2004, has forfeited its place as this year’s MotoGP season opener in order to complete a range of upgrades to both the race circuit and surrounding facilities.

A presentation given to the MotoGP and F1 delegates, which also included Dorna chief sporting officer Carlos Ezpeleta and new MotoGP safety officer Tomé Alfonso, included confirmation of:

  • A new track surface, kerbing and drainage system.
  • Improved safety barriers, track lighting and safety equipment.
  • New infrastructure networks.
  • 3 new tunnels.
  • New internal roads and parking.
  • Soft and hardscaping work.

Remote video URL

The work - which is also thought to involve moving the race direction building and start/finish line to the start of the home straight, but no changes to the actual layout - will need to be completed in time for the Qatar F1 Grand Prix on October 6-8.

MotoGP’s only night race will then take place as the penultimate round of the racing season, on November 17-19, with the Valencia finale the following weekend.

Qatar has hosted the opening MotoGP round every year since 2007 (although the MotoGP class did not compete at the event in 2020 due to Covid restrictions) with the sport's first night race held at the track in 2008.

The rebuilding work means this year’s MotoGP opener will be held at Portimao, on March 24-26.

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