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MotoGP to Hold First Night Race
By Bryan Harley

New light will be shed on MotoGP next season. Fluorescent light, that is. The first race of the 2008 MotoGP season on the Losail International Circuit will be run at night, a first for the world championship class of motorcycle racing.

Five riders, one representative from each of the major manufacturers, took part in testing Monday night on the circuit just out of Doha. The team was comprised of Loris Capirossi (Suzuki), Marco Melandri (Ducati), James Toseland (Yamaha), Anthony West (Kawasaki) and Alex de Angelis (Honda). Each rider did several laps around the circuit using road versions of their MotoGP prototypes and were unanimously in favor of conducting the first MotoGP race ever run at night.

"It's going to be exciting to race under the floodlights," said Loris Capirossi. "The difference from when we first tested here at night is amazing. Back then I wasn't too sure what was possible, but the lighting is perfect out there!"

The first four corners of the Losail International Circuit will be lit up by U.S.-based Musco Lighting and the project is believed to be the biggest operation of its kind for a sporting event. The remaining turns will be lit up by floodlights already in place at the Qatari track.

"Our team has worked very hard to get this test going in just 65 days. Tonight we had the first part of the circuit fully lit, and we aim to complete the rest of the project by early February," said Musco President Joe Crookham.

The president of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta, confirmed the landmark arrangement. Dorna holds the commercial rights to MotoGP. The prospect of running a MotoGP race at night was first announced back in September at the Misano round of the World Championship, but the prospect of holding a night race in Qatar was first introduced as far back as early 2006.

The 2008 MotoGP season will kick off on March 9th at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.


Major Member
2,244 Posts
looked awesome on motogp.com....but they only had three corners lit. should be a great race!
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