Since MotoGP first conducted night racing at Qatar in 2008, there was a belief racing couldn’t take place in the rain at the desert circuit due to glare from the spotlights on the wet track. The race was postponed in 2009 until Monday due to heavy rain in the area.
MotoGP officials now believe races can be run at Qatar in the rain after IRTA delegates Franco Uncini and Loris Capirossi recently observed a test under the lights on the Losail International Circuit after it was artificially soaked, according to an Italian media report.
Michelin also has been instructed to bring rain tires to the Qatar test March 10-12 and the season-opening Grand Prix on March 26. The manufacturer never brought rain tires for the premier class in the past because no racing took place on a soaked track due to the belief the glare would be too dangerous.
So Uncini and Capirex think the world’s best riders can handle the glare under the lights at Qatar. What about the track’s notoriously dusty surface due to the fine-grit dirt and sand swirling in the surrounding desert? How safe will that light sheen of asphalt slime be?