Rossi and Stoner agree on one thing: Champs call for earlier start in Qatar
Few duos in history have offered up more raw two-wheeled entertainment than that of Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi. Up to this point we are only sure that they ever agreed on one topic, that is, who should pass the checkered flag first. Each man would resoundingly agree that they, individually, deserve that honor.
Believe it or not, the battling duo has come together, united in purpose, to lobby for an earlier start at the Losail International Circuit's "night race." The event, held in Doha, Qatar, will mark the official kick-off of the 2010 Moto GP schedule. Traditionally, the Losail event barely squeezes into it's scheduled date, with a start time of 11pm. Is this just because track management is so proud of those awesome lights? Dorna, which promotes Moto GP events, has several good reasons to host the race at its scheduled time. First, daytime temperatures in Qatar can be so brutal that they would make T.E. Lawrence blush, and second, the time slot allows the race to be broadcast live during prime viewing hours in Europe and acceptable hours in the U.S.
The argument from the riders is that the primetime slot is just too late. At this time of night, temperatures in the desert begin to take drastic swings, adding complexity to tire choice as grip rapidly changes along with those temperatures. Are there valid concerns here? It would seem so – amidst a recent test session at Losail, not one but three premier riders hit the tarmac later in the evening, all within moments of one another. If any one, or in this case two, people had a chance to change the GP schedule, we would put our money on the Rossi-Stoner alliance. But this close to the race, it remains to be seen if their collectively high-pitched voices will make it to any listening ears. Either way, if you missed the point, did we mention Moto GP is starting again? What was it they were worried about?
[Source: Asphalt & Rubber]