Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Results and summary of the Moto3 race at Losail:
If you have aspirations of winning the championship, the first qualifying session of the year is your first chance to stake your claim. Qualifying is the moment you stake your claim, show everyone what you have, and what they are up against. The rest of the year, pole position is nice, but the most important thing is to be on the front row, and get a good start. But at the first qualifying session of the year for the first race of the year, you need to send your opponents a message: This is what you are up against. This is what you face if you wish to beat me.
Champions know this. At Qatar, the champions made their presence felt, and announced their intent to the world. In MotoGP, the defending champion - and the man who starts the year as favorite - set a pace that none could follow, robbing upstart Cal Crutchlow of what would have been his first pole. In Moto2, Pol Espargaro made a mistake, crashed, and corrected his error as soon as his bike was rebuilt, pushing hard to take pole in the dying seconds of the session. And In Moto3, Luis Salom took his first ever Grand Prix pole by putting it on the line when it mattered, seeing off all-comers in the final moments, while Maverick Viñales gritted his teeth to ride through the pain and grab 2nd on the grid.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Qatar:
Results of qualifying for the Moto3 class at Qatar:
Dorna issued the following press release, containing details of where MotoGP is to be screened on TV around the world:
MotoGP™ extends worldwide TV coverage in 2013 with exciting new agreements
As the 2013 MotoGP™ season kicks off in Qatar this weekend, Dorna Sports has announced a raft of new TV agreements, in addition to its current broadcasters, to bring the premier-class of motorcycle racing directly into peoples’ homes in over 200 countries via over 77 TV networks. With MotoGP™ always looking to not only improve the show on-track, but also bring the spectacle to new audiences across the globe, new and extended agreements for this season with broadcasters in countries such as Belgium, Holland, Austria, Cambodia, Angola, Finland and USA, amongst others, are a welcome addition to the sport’s already extensive TV coverage.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after FP3 for both classes at Qatar:
Luis Salom has taken a big lead in the final session of free practice for the Moto3 class, topping the timesheets by nearly half a second. The Red Bull KTM rider ended ahead of Alex Rins, after the Estrella Galicia 0'0 rider had held the lead early. Jonas Folger ended the session in 3rd, fractionally behind Rins, while Racing Team Germany's Jack Miller grabbed 4th, four tenths behind Folger and the last man to get within a second of Salom.
Rain started falling a little more heavily at the end of the session, only to blow over again. The weather is trying to rain, but not doing a very good job of it so far.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after first day of practice at Qatar:
Jonas Folger has drawn the first blood of the 2013 Moto3 season, topping the first session of free practice at Qatar. The German leads Spaniard Alex Rins by nearly four tenths of a second, while Luis Salom took 3rd. Efren Vazquez ended the session in 4th spot, and was the last rider to get within a second of Folger.
Conditions at the circuit are tricky. The weather is good, warm temperatures keeping the dew at bay which can form late in the evening, but the track is incredibly dusty due to construction work going on just across the access road to the circuit, causing dust and dirt to be blown onto the surface.
With the 2013 MotoGP season just a few hours away, it's time for a quick recap on the rule changes which come into effect this year. Though the technical rule changes are minor - slightly more significant changes are to be made for 2014, but that is a story for another day - the change to qualifying is significant, and will have a real impact on all of the practice session, albeit indirectly.
So here's what has changed for 2013:
The engine allocation for the MotoGP prototypes has been dropped from six engines per rider per season to five engines. The request for the reduction came from the factories themselves, in pursuit of further engineering challenges applicable to production bikes.
The reduction in engine allocation is unlikely to have a drastic effect. In his championship year in 2011, Casey Stoner only used five engines all season, and in 2012, Jorge Lorenzo managed relatively comfortably after losing a brand new engine at Assen in a first-corner crash. Even the penalty imposed on Valentino Rossi for taking an extra engine in 2011 was down to his desire to use a different frame, one for which his original engines did not have the necessary mounting points.
The return of the MotoGP series is being met with a warm welcome among racing fans around the world, but the fact that the season opener at Qatar is a night race is always cause for confusion. As a result of it being run at night, the race weekend is spread over four days instead of three, in order to fit all of the classes into the window between sunset and the potential onset of the dew, which can form in the evenings around 11pm, and make track conditions extremely treacherous.
To assist in planning your viewing - either via the live video feed on MotoGP.com or via your local broadcasters around the world - below is the time schedule for the coming four days of the MotoGP event. All times are in local time for Doha, Qatar. You can use the tools on www.timeanddate.com to convert the times below to your local time.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of the 2013 season opener at Qatar: