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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can't believe the 2016 season is almost here!!!:grin2: What a season this is going to be with all the changes on deck and the pre season testing results. Ducs looking very good, not to mention a possible 5th Alien in the making "Maverick", also to look out for Redding this year and Cal as well. Qatar has always been good to Ducati, how will they mix it up with the usual suspects and will Maverick be in the front group ??
Can't wait to find out!!! Last Season is just that LAST season, I'm just ready to move on and watch the best riders in the world fight it out!

For this seasons changes / team lineups and schedule: see my previous thread here http://www.600rr.net/vb/65-motogp-ama-wsbk/526945-2016-moto-gp-season-teams-changes-schedule.html


About the circuit

The fabulous Losail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event - the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar on the 2nd October 2004.
The track itself is a flowing layout of 5.4 kilometres, surrounded by artificial grass designed to prevent sand from the neighbouring desert from blowing onto the circuit. The main straight is over a kilometre in length and there is a good mix of medium and high-speed corners, including a couple of quick left-handers which has proved particularly popular with the riders.
In 2008 Qatar celebrated the first night time Grand Prix in history, following the construction of permanent outdoor lighting. The switch to night time racing was a success and has continued to be so, with the Qatar event now established as one of the most spectacular on the MotoGP calendar.


2015 Podium: VR, AD, AI


Circuit Record: Casey Stoner 1:55.153, Fastest Lap/Best Pole Jorge Lorenzo 1:53.927


 

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Discussion Starter #2
2016 Tire Allocation:



Slicks:
Hard slick = Yellow marking.
Medium slick = No marking (black).
Soft slick = White marking

Intermediates/Wets:
Intermediate = Grey marking.
Hard wet = No marking (black).
Soft wet = Blue marking.

The switch to Michelin is one of two major technical rule changes, alongside the introduction of a 'unified' ECU software.

The single software means the former Open class no longer exists and all riders will therefore have the same choice of tyres at each MotoGP event.

Michelin won 26 premier-class titles from 1976-2006, during open tyre competition, leaving at the end of 2008 when Bridgestone was announced as the sport's first single-tyre supplier.

Practice starts in Qatar on Thursday March 17, with the race on Sunday 20th March.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Schedule Times (all times below are EST Eastern Standard Time)

Wed March 16
Press Conf 10:00am

Thurs March 17
11:00 - 11:40 Moto3 FP1
11:55 - 12:40 Moto2 FP1
12:55 - 13:40 MotoGP FP1
13:55 - 14:35 Moto3 FP2
14:50 - 15:35 Moto2 FP2


Fri March 18
11:00 - 11:45 MotoGP FP2
12:00 - 12:40 Moto3 FP3
12:55 - 13:40 Moto2 FP3
13:55 - 14:40 MotoGP FP3

Qual Sat March 19
11:00 - 11:40 Moto3 QP
11:55 - 12:40 Moto2 QP
12:55 - 13:25 MotoGP FP4
13:35 - 13:50 MotoGP Q1
14:00 - 14:15 MotoGP Q2
15:15 Press Conference PRESS

RACE Sun March 20
08:50 - 09:10 Moto3 WUP
09:25 - 09:45 Moto2 WUP
10:00 - 10:20 MotoGP WUP
11:00 Moto3 RAC
12:20 Moto2 RAC
14:00 MotoGP RAC
 

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Will there be another battle for the win between Rossi and Dovi? Maybe throw in Maverick and Redding for some more fun? I've never been this excited for a new season in my life!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Will there be another battle for the win between Rossi and Dovi? Maybe throw in Maverick and Redding for some more fun? I've never been this excited for a new season in my life!
yup this season most def has a cetain excitment about it unlike others :) i think we will see Ianonne more up front than his teammate. Maverick and Scott are certainly looking good, the P4 5 and 6 battle will be a good one!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Vale has already said he is going to wait for 5 or 6 races to decide his future? if he is not able to get on the podium it might be the diff for him... He's looking good though. That being said he had GOT to put last season behind him, just move one and let your M1 do the talking.
 

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Vale has already said he is going to wait for 5 or 6 races to decide his future? if he is not able to get on the podium it might be the diff for him... He's looking good though. That being said he had GOT to put last season behind him, just move one and let your M1 do the talking.
I think putting the past behind him will be key for Rossi having a run at this championship. If he lets his emotions get the best of him again he's not going to do well IMO. I think that Marquez and Rossi have inflicted wounds that will never quite heal, however I am hoping they can find a level of respect for each other that will allow them to race to their full potential. I also think Rossi has to capitalize as much as possible in the beginning of the season before everybody gets comfortable to the new ecu and tires. Seeing the level of skill that's developing in the younger riders certainly does not bode well for the future of Rossi. This will be an INCREDIBLE season though, whatever the outcome may be.
 

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The easiest way to get Marc and Valentino to drop their current attitude is one distraction. Maverick or Redding wins a race, he becomes the target and Marc and Vale can go about the business of making such an aberration disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maverick or Scott winning a race may be a stretch, but i def see your point Doom, it would likely take a mistake or 2 among the Aliens, i really hope they both do well this year. I can totally see the third place battle being a great one!!
 

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I agree with doom and cbrtime those are good points:


Our latest episode is live! Feel free to leave some feedback on the video, we quite enjoyed making this one.
 

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Well press conf is done, awkward ... yeah a bit lol. Don't think Vale ever even looked over at Marc; that being said he did say last year was last year and he's ready to go!


With the tension ahead of the opening round building, six of the biggest names in MotoGP™ from 2015 gathered for the first press conference
For the first time since 2015, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa gathered together for the traditional pre-race press conference. They were joined by rising stars Andrea Iannone and Maverick Viñales, both out to assert themselves as MotoGP™ aliens and contenders for victory in 2016.

Another season begins for the MotoGP™ World Championship but 2016 is like almost no other before. Not since 2002, when the four-stroke era began, has the championship undergone such radical technical changes. New Michelin tyres, revised fuel limits, a spec ECU and unified software have already shaken up the grid during testing and the first race of 2016 presents a world of unknowns.

Reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who has been one of the strongest riders throughout testing, opened the press conference: “Not a lot of things change from the outside where the people can see the bikes. For the riders, it’s really a big difference. Firstly with the tyres, the Michelins offer a completely different feeling on the bike and also with the new electronics, the same for everyone, are less sophisticated and much more difficult to ride and control, especially with the throttle. Anyway the pre-season has been very very good, better than we expected. In the three tests we did, we got a good feeling and did some impressive lap times.”

All the changes have left the riders with many still unanswered questions, Lorenzo is unsure about how the tyres will behave during the opening laps: “In the last five or six years you could start very very fast from the first corner of the first lap, now it’s a little more complicated as we have to understand the limit in the first few laps. It’s also important the race pace, the physical condition as it looks like it will be a little more demanding in that area.”

After winning the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar in 2015, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) produced one of the best seasons of his career, missing the podium in just three races. It was a season full of epic battles and incredible comebacks and ‘The Doctor’ is ready for another exciting year: “This year everything will be very interesting as we have a lot of differences, especially about riding the motorcycle. We changed things that make a big difference, the tyres are different and also the electronic system is a little more basic. During the winter season we saw a lot of riders who were very close in their performance, looks like more than last year. It means that to arrive at the front you have to work very well during the weekend and arrive strong on Sunday.”



During the Phillip Island Test former 500cc front-runner Luca Cadalora appeared alongside Rossi, working with him as another set of eyes on the track: “He will work with me through the season. We worked together and tried some things in the test. It’s always interesting to have a former rider like Luca with a lot of experience and a good vision around the track. During the test we found something interesting so we’ll continue together.”

Meanwhile Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) heads into 2016 looking to continue improving after taking major steps forward in the Qatar Test: “This year has not been an easy pre-season looking at the results. But we improved and we kept a constant pace, a progressive line towards the most important and it looks like here in the last test in Qatar we did a huge step and we were closer. Anyway, we know we struggle on this track because it’s one of the worst tracks for us but the motivation and ambition of the first race can always supply what you need.”

It looks set to be an incredibly close, but Marquez remains aware that Qatar may not be representative of the riders’ true level: “On the test it was amazing how close the times were. I know that in this first race the times will be really close because we did a test here so everybody already has a good pace and a good setup and it will be nice this first race. Then when we go to Argentina and to Austin we will see more the difference where we are. But we must start well this season.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) was also present at the press conference. It was announced here in Qatar last year that he was suffering from arm pump so severe he was considering retirement, fortunately no such issues are present now: “The pre-season went quite OK physically and we did quite a lot of training and we’re quite prepared for this reason. For the technical part we’re a little more in trouble compared to last year but we’re closing the gap and I think we’re improving. Now it’s race weekend, this is quite different to testing and you focus a lot more on going fast and less on checking things on the bike. I’m more motivated in the GPs than in the test.”

The 2015 race was Andrea Iannone’s (Ducati Team) first MotoGP™ podium, the Italian building on the great result throughout the year to challenge for many more podiums. With constant work back in the Ducati factory, there’s little doubt the Italian will again be in mix, especially in Qatar, a track that has classically suited Ducati: “For sure we’re really strong, but I think everyone else, Dani, Jorge, Maverick, Valentino, every rider in MotoGP is really strong. But for sure we want to improve and we want to go better than 2015 and for sure I think and I want to win my first MotoGP class race. For sure this is my objective and I try my best at this track and from this race onwards."

Much like Pedrosa, Iannone suffered from a lingering issue throughout the 2015 season. He had been expected to undergo surgery on his shoulder during the off-season, but opted to focus on physiotherapy: “The injuries now are an old story for me. I’m really happy with the shoulder, during the winter I worked a lot with my personal trainer and I’m working in a really good way and really happy."

Perhaps the most impressive rider in testing was Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), the Suzuki rider topping the Phillip Island Test and ending third at the Qatar Test. All eyes are on Viñales as many are expecting big things from him in 2016 and beyond: “For sure it was an incredible step for us. It was really important the experience we got last year, this year we could work better and with more concentration and calm. This was the biggest difference from last year. The bike improved, the engine improved and we got the seamless. Also about the electronics, they make everything more similar and for us and that’s better and then about the tyres, I think we have a good feeling. I feel really good and I think I can be so strong with these tyres. Anyway, it was a test, now it’s a race weekend and we feel motivated, calm and hungry to start the race.”

Podiums are the main aim for both Viñales and Suzuki in 2015, but he knows it will be an uphill battle even with all the changes: “For sure I dream to fight with them at the top with the top riders in this world. I need to be realistic and to think if my bike is on the level to go on the podium, or if I am on the level! We showed in the test we are competitive but still we need a little more.”

The talking has stopped and now it’s just about racing. Free Practice 1 begins at 19:55 Local Time on Thursday the 17th of March after the traditional ‘school photo’ at 14:45 Local Time. As always, all the action can be followed live on ***********.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think they both just want to get on with it and RACE, last year is just that LAST year. Lets move on folks, they are...


MotoGP Qatar: Rossi: No risk of Senna/Prost rivalry with Marquez
16 March 2016

'I think nothing particularly special will happen and on track I think everything will be the same. Everybody will try to give the maximum to try to be in front without something more 'special'' - Valentino Rossi


Valentino Rossi has ruled out the possibility of developing a rivalry with Marc Marquez similar to the fierce on-track opposition that developed between ex-Formula 1 greats Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

Rossi and Marquez famously clashed last season during the Malaysian Grand Prix, which left the Repsol Honda rider sprawled on the ground and saw Rossi hit with a last place grid start for the final race at Valencia, effectively ending his chances of winning the world crowd.

A war of words erupted between the pair in the aftermath but as they came face to face in the same room for the first time on Wednesday at the official press conference for this weekend's Qatar MotoGP, Rossi said 'nothing particularly special' would happen this season as a result of their bitter fall-out.

The 37-year-old Italian said: First of all I'm happy to hear my name close to Agostini/Hailwood and Senna/Prost – it is something extra for motorsport, but I think nothing particularly special will happen and on track I think everything will be the same.

“Everybody will try to give the maximum to try to be in front without something more 'special'.”

Reflecting on the massive interest in the final MotoGP World Championship round at Valencia last year, Rossi admitted that the outcome could have been different, but added that he had moved on and was focused on launching another title assault in 2016.

“I think the last races of last year added something different compared to normal. Personally speaking, the finish can be different and better and I prefer to win than lose,” he said.

“But it is like this and it is past and the good thing is that we are here and we will try to have another good fight in this season.”

Marquez brushed off the question on whether the pair's rivalry would intensify and said he would use the experience he gained in 2015 from the first race to the last.

“We saw in the past in MotoGP, you always try to beat your opponent, but in the end I have 20 opponents and I must fight against each one for try to win the championship and that is my target,” he said.

“This year will be an interesting season because everything looks closer. We will try to fight for the championship and use the experience from last year from the beginning of the season to the end and fight again for the title until Valencia.”

Dani Pedrosa – who finished a close third behind Jorge Lorenzo and Marquez in the Valencia MotoGP last year when the Honda duo came in for criticism, with suggestions they held back from challenging their fellow countryman for the race victory – said the drama had helped raise the profile of the sport around the world.

“I think it was a big moment for MotoGP, maybe not like everybody thinks, but there was a lot of fans and the track was super crowded,” he said.

“They had to put up extra grandstands and sell extra tickets, this was a positive thing and the result affects part of the show but overall we can say that MotoGP is trying to grow and that is what we look for, to put on a good show.”
 

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