The Grand Prix of Qatar, as usual, marks the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship. Before the start of a new season, we selected 10 key stats about the Losail circuit and the Mission Winnow Ducati team:
• The upcoming race will be the 16th edition of the Qatar GP, and for the 13th time the Championship will begin at Losail
• Ducati won the opening race five times: with Loris Capirossi in 2006 (when the Championship started at Jerez), and both with Casey Stoner (in 2007, 2008, and 2009) and Andrea Dovizioso (2018) in Qatar.
• The first edition of the Grand Prix of Qatar took place in 2004, while 2007 marked the first race held at night
• The floodlights of Losail, the only permanent circuit in the world with artificial lighting, light an area as big as 70 soccer fields and require 5.4 million watts of power – enough electricity to supply 3,000 homes.
• Ducati won four times in Qatar: in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2018. The most thrilling victory probably is the most recent one, as Andrea Dovizioso beat Marc Marquez to the finish line by only 0.027 seconds last year.
• Andrea Dovizioso has an open streak of four consecutive podiums in Qatar (three second places and one win), and already stepped on the rostrum eight times overall at Losail – a personal record in terms of podium finishes on a single track, tied with Le Mans. Dovizioso's best grid position in Qatar, on the other hand, dates back to 2015 when he clinched pole position – his only first-row start at Losail so far.
• In 2004, in the 250cc class, Dovizioso finished the race tied with Lorenzo, with exactly the same time, and the win was assigned to Lorenzo based on the fastest lap during the race.
• Danilo Petrucci started the 2018 Qatar GP from first row, a qualifying performance he subsequently repeated at Le Mans and Sachsenring. His best race result in Qatar is fifth (2018).
• Danilo Petrucci clocked the highest ever speed at Losail in 2018, reaching 351.9 km/h on the main straight onboard his Desmosedici.
• The braking at the end of the straight is the second hardest in the entire championship, requiring brake-lever pressures of 8 kg over 5.1 seconds crossing a distance of 290 meters.