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MotoGP : Qatar Night Race – How Riders Manage It


The MotoGP is back and Qatar opens the season with slightly different time, 2100 hours. This is the only night race in this season and everything will be slightly different from usual daytime race. With the absence of natural lighting, it only means the track has to be lighted up with artificial lighting. It is not an easy task as to light up the whole circuit especially to make sure it has enough lux so that the riders can see clearly. The biggest problem to night race is the shadow. To minimise this, Losail circuit is surrounded by 1,000 light poles with 3,600 lighting points.


What did the riders do to face this challenge?

According to SportRider;

Maverick Viñales, Suzuki’s rookie MotoGP rider said, “I use an amber visor. Here sometimes you ‘feel’ a shadow and you think it’s a rider ready to pass you, but most of the times it is your own. With the amber visor these shadows almost disappear.”

Valentino Rossi said, “I don’t like it, nor do I like the completely clear one. I use a slightly darker version, the same one I fit when it rains.”


Now that is more to tools, what about their schedule?

Dani Pedrosa said, “It changes a lot. Hotels, for example, obviously follow the normal schedule and this means no meal service when you arrive at the hotel around two o’clock in the morning after having finished the last practice, talked to the mechanics and attended the press. Then, when you wake up in the morning at eleven or so, breakfast service has finished. No, certainly it isn’t easy; luckily it is just one race like this for the year.”

Viñales said, “As you wake up near noon, you basically are in midday meal schedule. Dinner you have then around eleven at night, after the practice session. Between these two meals, I take something light, like fruit or a bit of pasta.”

And what about sleep?

Rossi said, “Yes, this GP It is quiet different; there are pros and cons. The positive part is clear, isn’t it? You don’t have to wake up early, therefore I am happy; you can sleep until 11 am. Fantastic!”

“But seriously, it is true that it is difficult race. Normally you wake up, you have breakfast, then you do the warm up and you find yourself in the pre-race moment before you know it. Because you do warm up, then you work with your mechanics, then you watch Moto3 race, then you eat and suddenly you are on the grid ready for the race. But here it is difficult, because you wake up, have ‘breakfast’ and then you have to wait until 6:00pm to get on the bike; this part isn’t nice…and you have to try to stay focused. About the meals, midday you do normal and I try to eat something between warm up and the race. But the major difficulty of racing at night is mental, not that much this physical part.”

Source : SportRider

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Not a pro rider, never a racer, not very technical savvy; just a plain old fashion speed freak and for sure someone who loves to ride. Love both 4 and 2 wheels.