Now a permanent fixture on the racing calendar, the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar 2016 is again the inaugural race of the new MotoGP season.
MotoGP is the premier motorcycle racing World Championship, part of the FIM Road Racing World Championship. It was established in 1949 by FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and is the oldest motorsports championship in the world.
Riders and constructors compete for FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix titles. Each season has 18 races in 14 countries, with riders from 10 nations lining up with 5 manufacturers: Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Teams can opt to enter in either the Factory or Open classes.
Teams compete for a MotoGP team championship, which is different to the constructors championship, as various teams compete on machinery from the same manufacturer. Points are awarded on a sliding scale: 25 points for a win, 20 for second, 16 for third, etc.
On race weekends there is a race in each of MotoGP’s three categories
– Moto3 – a 4 stroke, 250cc, single-cylinder class
– Moto2 – 600cc 4-stroke engines, with Honda as the sole engine supplier and Dunlop providing the tyres
– MotoGP – the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, with riders using 1000cc 4-stroke engines
A GP event takes place over three days, with the first two for practice and qualification for each class. In MotoGP riders need to qualify for a slot in the top 10 qualifying session by posting competitive times during any of the free practices. slower riders on the Saturday; the top two make it into the top qualifying session shortly after. The third day is race day.
The 2015 race was won by racing legend Valentino the fourth in Qatar, after battling against the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. Numerous records were broken at the to win the first grand prix of the year since 1949.
Michelin will become the series’ official tyre supplier in 2016, following Bridgestone’s withdrawal from the category. There has also been a rule change agreed to the 2016 regulations to increase the wheel size from 16.5 inches to 17 inches.
International Circuit, the only circuit in the region with both FIA and FIM approval licenses. Previously held during the day, the first MotoGP night race was held at Losail in 2008.
The 5.4 km track has a mix of 16 medium and high speed corners, and the main straight is over 1 km long. There are 40 pit garages, all open to the public, enabling spectators fantastic views of the teams and riders. There are large television screens in the main grandstand area to watch all the action live. Spectactors can also watch from the hospitality tent in the VIP Village.