Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar - Losail - Preview
Date : 02/04/2013        

2013 MotoGP Season ready to kick-off

After an intense winter testing period, including visits to Malaysia, U.S.A and Spain, the Repsol Honda Team are finally en-route to Doha for the first round of the 2013 season.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Qatar GP and the 5.38km track, with its ten right hand corners and six lefts, is host to the only night race on the calendar, with 3600 fixtures helping to illuminate the track. Strategically placed artificial grass helps to reduce the amount of sand blown onto the track, but this still remains a factor for the riders to consider with low grip levels, especially in the first few sessions.

This first grand prix of the season is also the only race weekend that stretches over four days, with FP1 beginning on Thursday evening, FP2 and FP3 on Friday evening, Qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday night at 22h00 local time.

Dani Pedrosa, who has had a strong pre-season - topping the time sheets on five out of twelve days, took second place here in 2012 and has finished on the podium a total of four times in MotoGP and once in 250cc (2012 - 2nd, 2011 - 3rd, 2008 - 3rd, 2007 - 3rd, 2004 - 2nd 250cc).

His teammate this season, rookie Marc Marquez, has also had an impressive winter testing. Marc topped topped the time sheets three out of the twelve days as he has spent valuable track time familiarising himself with the bigger MotoGP machines. He's been on the Qatar podium twice, once in 125cc (2010) and last year when he took victory in Moto2.

Dani Pedrosa  Dani Pedrosa
"After a long testing period I am now really ready to go racing! The team has worked hard to get us in the best place for the start of the season and I'm pleased with my physical situation. It's a long weekend in Qatar, with the schedule over four days, and the grip level takes some time to improve with the sand and conditions there. It will be interesting to see how the new qualifying format works and really looking forward to the race. I'm just excited to get the season started!"
Marc Marquez  Marc Marquez
"We've had a good winter testing and now it's time to go racing. Qatar isn't one of my favourite tracks but I still enjoy it. There are many factors to consider there with the sand from the desert which affects the grip and also the fact it's a night race. Also, as I saw in Jerez, everything is very different on the MotoGP bike compared to Moto2 so we will need some time. Let's see when we get there, for sure I will be nervous going into my first MotoGP race but I'm also excited"

Rider Statistics - Dani Pedrosa

Age 27
Racing number 26
Race machine Honda RC213V
Date of birth September 29, 1985
Birthplace Sabadell - Spain
Height 160cm
Weight 51kg
Hobbies Cycling, Music
Grand Prix debut 2001, 125cc Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
First GP win 2002, 125cc Dutch Grand Prix, Assen
GP wins 45: 8 x 125cc, 15 x 250cc, 22 x MotoGP
GP podiums 112: 17 x 125cc, 24 x 250cc, 71 x MotoGP
GP pole positions 42: 9 x 125cc, 9 x 250cc, 24 x MotoGP
World Championships 3: 1 x 125cc (2003); 2 x 250cc (2004, 2005)
Previous results at Qatar 2012 2nd (MotoGP), 2011 3rd (MotoGP), 2010 7th (MotoGP), 2009 11th (MotoGP), 2008 3rd (MotoGP), 2007 3rd (MotoGP), 2006 6th (MotoGP), 2005 4th (250cc), 2004 2nd (250cc)

Rider Statistics - Marc Marquez

Age 20
Racing number 93
Race machine Honda RC213V
Date of birth February 17, 1993
Birthplace Lleida, (Catalonia) - Spain
Height 168cm
Weight 59kg
Hobbies Mountain Biking, Video games
Grand Prix debut 2008, 125cc Portugal GP, Estoril
First GP win 2010, 125cc Italian GP, Mugello
GP wins 26: 10 x 125cc, 16 x Moto2
GP podiums 39: 14 x 125cc, 25 x Moto2
GP pole positions 28: 14 x 125cc, 14 x Moto2
World Championships 2: 1 x 125cc (2010), 1 x Moto2 (2012)
Previous results at Qatar 2012 1st (Moto2), 2011 DNF (Moto2), 2010 3rd (125cc), 2009 DNF (Moto2)

Circuit information

First race 2004
GPs held 9
Laps 22
Race distance 118.360km / 73.546 miles
Track length 5.380km / 3.343 miles
Track width 12m
Longest straight 1,068km / 0.664 miles
Corners 16 (10 right, 6 left)
Pole position Left

Circuit records

Pole position 1m 53.927s (170.003km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2008)
Race lap 1m 55.153s (168.193km/h) Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2008)
Race time 42m 36.587s (166.665km/h) Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2008)
2012 Winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
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