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Qatar GP: MotoGP riders get set for 2022 revving into life


Bengaluru, March 4: After months of waiting, the 2022 FIM MotoGP World Championship is set to begin at the Losail International Circuit as the stage is set for the Qatar Grand Prix under lights on Sunday (March 6).

Many pundits are suggesting that this could be the closest, hardest fought season ever in MotoGP and the tone ane tenor was set in the pre-event press conference in Losail on Thursday (March 5).

By the sounds of it, the riders agree as all six manufacturers and 24 immensely fast riders are going head-to-head over 21 races. The riders themselves had their say on the season ahead.

Qatar GP: MotoGP riders swap bikes with football jerseys Qatar GP: MotoGP riders swap bikes with football jerseys

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was joined in the pre-event press conference by Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing).

The sound of Grand Prix motorcycles rumbling out of pitlane in Qatar is just around the corner. 2022 is here and what a season it is shaping up to be. If last year's races just a stone's throw away from Doha are anything to go by, then this weekend will be absolutely sensational.

Lights go all out for the Qatar GP (the only night-race of the 2022 FIM MotoGP World Championship season) at Losail on Sunday at 6pm local time (8.30pm IST).

Indian audience can catch all the action live from Losail on Eurosport channel.

Buck up guys! Fasten your seat belts It's vroom time again in Qatar!

Fresh start for Quartararo

Fresh start for Quartararo

In 2021, El Diablo made history by becoming the first Frenchman to be crowned in the premier class, but now he must start from scratch.

"To be honest it's great to be back and when the season is over, the weeks are going quickly, but when you're close to riding in Qatar, the last week was long and it's great to be here. I think pre-season was good, we expected a bit more top speed. It's what it is, we need to give 100 per cent in any case. I'm ready and looking forward," said Quartararo.

Bagnaia revvs up

Bagnaia revvs up

2021 champion Quartararo and runner-up Bagnaia come into the season as two of the early favourites. Yamaha did not find the top speed gains they were looking for as Ducati continue to look like they have got one of - if not the - strongest packages on the grid.

"I think we worked well in the pre-season. It's difficult to understand the level of bikes at these tests because anyone did what they want about how to work. I think the potential of our bike is high and we chose the best package during the tests. I'm quite confident like the end of the last season and I think we can start from there," said Bagnaia.

Marquez and Honda!

Marquez and Honda!

It's a question on everyone's lips. How will Marquez get on in Qatar, and just how good is Honda's brand-new RC213V? The answer to both will come in a matter of days at Losail.

"Yeah of course I'm happy to be here. It's already better than last year and that's important. After the winter it wasn't clear but it was important to test in Malaysia and Mandalika, after Mandalika I felt a step with my physical condition and that's important. Let's see how to, the way to start the first race, for 2022 I want to fight all these guys for the title of course, maybe for the Qatar GP I'm not ready, during the weekend we'll understand where we're," Marquez said.

Mir ready

Mir ready

2020 champion Mir of Suzuki is also raring to have a go in Qatar.

"Yeah I think that for the show, it'll be really good. During the test on the last day it looked like qualifying, but it means that there's a lot of competitiveness between the manufacturers and riders and everything, for the show it's amazing. Like Fabio said it makes our lives a bit more difficult, but we're here for this. Better like this, we'll enjoy more from inside and the people from outside, and yeah, we'll enjoy," Mir said.

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Friday, March 4, 2022, 9:28 [IST]
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