Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 10 views remaining

You have read 5 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 60 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 60 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.


Glenn Freeman
AUTOSPORT.com Editor

autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
MOTOGP NEWS 

Riders content with 11pm Qatar start

Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden say the moisture issues that caused several accidents in the final test at Losail do not appear to be a problem for this weekend's race, and that there should not be any need to change the start time of Sunday's MotoGP season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

Several riders had called for the race to be brought forward from its scheduled 11pm local time start following a string of crashes at Turn 2 in testing, amid suspicions that moisture was forming on the track surface at that spot as temperatures dropped heading into the night.

But after a trouble-free practice hour, Rossi expects the race to run to its planned timetable.

"Always Turn 2 is quite dangerous, but better than in the test - less humidity and better temperature," he said. "So I think it's possible to race at 11pm."

Hayden agreed that the weather seemed more favourable this weekend.

"It felt in some places grippier than in the test," he said. "But when we were here in the test, late at night we got the condensation. It seems a bit warmer.

"I'm just looking at the cars - at the test when we would leave and get to our cars at night, you'd have to turn your wipers on, and I don't see that tonight. So I think conditions are okay tonight."

But while being content to leave the race on its current schedule for this weekend, Rossi reiterated his belief that an 11pm start is too late and that changes should be made for 2011.

"I remain of the same idea that 11pm is too late to wait for Europe so I hope next year it's 10pm at the maximum," Rossi said. "But this time I think it will remain like this."

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on autosport.com
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
Dorna open to moving Qatar start time
Riders call for earlier Qatar race start
Haymarket