After a long winter testing period, the first free-practice session for
the 2013 MotoGP championship took place this evening at Qatar's Losail
International Circuit, which traditionally kicks off the season by
hosting the calendar's only night race.
challenging, with winds having blown dust on the track surface during
the day, limiting traction considerably, but Ducati Team riders Andrea
Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were both happy to finally get the season
underway, posting the fifth- and tenth-best times, respectively, on the
charts by session's end.
Tomorrow will see the MotoGP riders
taking part in two more free-practice sessions, with qualifying to be
held Saturday night and the Grand Prix taking place on Sunday.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 5th (1:57.538)
pleased with the lap time, especially because I did three laps like
that and I could have been even better if I hadn't come across traffic.
Anyway, the times aren't really a reference in terms of pace, as the
first session is always a bit strange here due to the sand. It's
definitely possible to improve. The riders ahead of me used soft tyres,
and I was the only one to use the hard front. Tomorrow there are two
important sessions in which we can work on our pace."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:57.926)
certainly good to get the season started. I was having a lot of trouble
in my first exit, and I'm not sure what the problem was. When we
switched to my other bike with different tyres, the feeling improved and
I started putting in some decent laps. I was getting better as the
track cleaned up, but I was losing a lot of time in the last three
rights. If I can figure out that section and get it to wheelie less, I
should be able to improve quite a bit. It's not a great start, but I
think if we can improve a couple of things, we can put up a good fight