by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 147
Casey Stoner and his rivals take to the track in anger for the first time on their new 1000cc machines at 19.55 local time at Qatar on Thursday. For the defending champion, it is the return to a happy hunting ground. He has won four times at the last six attempts in the premier class. Stoner has also qualified on pole three times, including at only his second ever MotoGP race. Add in victory on a 250 the year before, and his affinity with the desert circuit is clear. “It’s a very different circuit,” he said. Grip conditions are very variable, with the influence of evening dew and the infinitely renewable coating of fine sand from the surrounding desert. The track is wide and corner sets offer several overtaking opportunities, and there have been good battles over the years. But one defining feature is the second-longest straight of the year, at 1.068 km and flat as a pancake it rivals Mugello’s up-and-down 1.141 km straight. Last year, the 800cc Hondas had a clear advantage, both out of the corners with their seamless-shift gearbox and at the far end of the long run past the pits and sparsely peopled grandstands. With Stoner in front, Hondas filled four of the top five places, with a superhuman ride by Lorenzo putting his Yamaha into a heroic second, less than four seconds adrift. Will Yamaha’s strong test performance redress the balance? Ben Spies, who finished sixth, still less than ten seconds from the leader, thought that Qatar’s quirky nature meant it would not provide a reliable indicator. “Qatar is a different type of track, so to really understand the level of the bikes straight up against one another it’s going to be the second and third rounds,” he said. STONER AIMS FOR HIS STONER AIMS FOR HIS FIFTH QATAR WIN FIFTH QATAR WIN A4 Advert - A_Layout 1 13/03/12 03:32 Page1 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS