Ezpeleta: Monday race the right call

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta says it was the right decision to delay the opening MotoGP round of the season until Monday night, following the race's cancellation due to torrential rain on Sunday

Ezpeleta: Monday race the right call

The 125cc race earlier on Sunday evening had to be red-flagged after just four laps because of a heavy downpour, the 250cc race was delayed and then shortened, and another storm hit the Losail circuit just as the MotoGP field was preparing to start the formation lap last night.

Ezpeleta, who is the head of MotoGP organiser Dorna, described the weather as "extraordinary" and says the majority of teams agreed to accept the Qatar sporting authority's invitation to run the race on Monday.

"The QMMF offered us the choice to run the race tomorrow, and as it was a very important decision we wanted to consult with all the team managers," said Ezpeleta.

"The postponement was accepted by a large majority. This has been an extraordinary decision in extraordinary circumstances."

The teams' backing was given to the postponement proposal in a midnight meeting at the Losail circuit. Yamaha Racing manager director Lin Jarvis said the Monday evening timeslot would be an inconvenience, but was better than cancelling the race outright.

"Obviously we're disappointed not to race tonight under normal circumstances, but due to this totally bizarre situation of such incredibly heavy rain in the desert, we can't," he said.

"It's a great pity for all the fans at home and those here. After considerable internal discussion with Masahiko Nakajima, Davide Brivio, Daniele Romagnoli and of course Valentino and Jorge, Yamaha's decision was to fully support the proposal to race tomorrow."

Dani Pedrosa was one of the riders who stood to benefit from a cancellation, as it would have given him a further fortnight before Motegi for his injured wrist and knee to fully heal. But the Honda rider agreed that having already travelled to Qatar it was better to ensure a race took place.

"At first we thought the race was going to be called off completely and I can't say that this would have been bad for me personally because my condition is not 100 per cent," he said.

"But we came to Qatar to race so we'll come back and go for the maximum result tomorrow."

MotoGP had already agreed that it would not attempt to run a night race in wet conditions due to the glare from the floodlights reflecting off the surface water and spray. The downpour did not relent for over two hours anyway, leaving the circuit saturated into the early hours of the morning.

Doha normally receives just eight days of rain per year, but so far three of the six days of MotoGP running at the track this year have been hit by adverse weather.

Rain interrupted the opening day of last month's test, and another shower delayed 250cc qualifying on Saturday night, before the repeated downpours yesterday that affected all three races.

Claude Denis, president of the FIM road racing commission, said there had never been any question of attempting to run the event in the rain.

"For safety reasons it was not possible to race in the night due to the reflection of the lights on the track," he said. "This decision had already been taken a few years ago when we first decided to run a night race in Qatar.

"On behalf of the FIM I am very happy that we could postpone the race until tomorrow. It is important for the championship, especially at the first race, and I would like to thank Dorna, QMMF, IRTA and the MotoGP teams for helping reach this decision together."

shares
comments
Qatar MotoGP race to run on Monday

Previous article

Qatar MotoGP race to run on Monday

Next article

Stoner fastest in Monday warm-up

Stoner fastest in Monday warm-up
Load comments
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title Plus

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha on his road to the MotoGP title

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021