Rain Stops Qatar MotoGP Test - Last Day Could Be Lost To Rain

The weather has called an early halt to proceedings at the MotoGP test in Qatar. A weather front is passing the peninsula nation, bringing light rain on and off since early afternoon. Though the rain is not heavy, enough water is falling to completely soak the track, and continuing showers have prevented the track from drying out.

The wet track has caused the start of the test to be red flagged. As testing and racing in Qatar happens at night, under the floodlights, any rain on the track makes the circuit impossible to ride. The floodlights create massive problems with reflection, making it impossible to see where the track goes, and making the track unsafe. As riding is impossible if it rains at Qatar, Bridgestone does not bring wet tires to the circuit, as they cannot be used anyway. Any rain in Qatar causes the action to come to a halt, only starting again once the track is fully dry.

With the track still wet as the sun is starting to set, the chances of the Arabian sun helping to burn off any water on the track are slim. That means it could be several hours before it is safe for the riders to venture out, and with the test due to stop at 11pm local time, that would leave a limited amount of track time. Extending the test is an option, but dew starts to form on the track after around 10pm, the track getting ever slicker and more dangerous as the night goes on. With less than two weeks to go to the start of the 2015 MotoGP season, riders will not be keen to take any risks. A Michelin test is scheduled for Tuesday using test riders, where theoretically, the contracted riders could use that time for extra testing. That would not please Michelin, however, as they need the track time to test and prepare for the 2016 season, when they take over as single tire supplier.

The teams all had race simulations on the schedule for today. Losing the last day of testing means that we shall have to wait to see where the bikes really stand until the start of the season.

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Should I point out that racing in the Arabian desert, where it gets too hot and lights are required, is just dumb. And spending 3 days testing there, with sand, dew, the inability to test in the rain, is flat out stupid.