Qatar MotoGP Event to Switch to 4-Night Schedule in 2011

The opening round of this season's MotoGP series, the Qatar GP, will be held over a period of 4 nights, as confirmed by the championship officials earlier this week. This represents a first for the Losail International Circuit, as all night action of the MotoGP series so far had been held through 3 days of running.

The change for the 2011 season comes as a result of the need to have all three classes of the FIM World Road Race Motorcycle Championship – 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP – practice at night.

The Qatari race will kick off on Thursday, March 17, and will last until Sunday's late MotoGP race, on March 20, representing the first round of the 2010 season. One interesting fact about the new schedule is that the 125cc and Moto2 classes will proceed to their warm up sessions the night before the actual race, which is awkward to say the least, considering that the weather conditions could change from one night to another.

Here is how the 3 classes of the MotoGP series will split track time during the 4 days of the 2011 Qatar GP:

Thursday: 125cc Free Practice 1 (18:00-18:40); Moto2 Free Practice 1 (18:55-19:40); MotoGP Free Practice 1 (19:55-20:40); 125cc Free Practice 2 (20:55-21:35); Moto2 Free Practice 2 (21:50-22:35)

Friday: MotoGP Free Practice 2 (18:00-18:45); 125cc Free Practice 3 (19:00-19:40); Moto2 Free Practice 3 (19:55-20:40); MotoGP Free Practice 3 (20:55-21:40)

Saturday: 125cc Qualifying (18:00-18:40); Moto2 Qualifying (18:55-19:40); MotoGP Qualifying (19:55-20:55); 125cc Warm Up (21:20-21:40); Moto2 Warm Up (21:55-22:15)

Sunday: MotoGP Warm Up (18:00-18:20); 125cc Race (18 laps – 19:00); Moto2 Race (20 laps – 20:15); MotoGP Race (22 laps – 22:00)
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