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2016 MotoGP Qatar test, Thursday Free practice

MotoGP 2016: Losail braced for mouth-watering opener

Mar 142016

However dramatic, controversial and polemic the closing episodes to the 2015 MotoGP FIM World Championship may have been the last-gasp spat for the title between Movistar Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi with Repsol Honda Catalan aces Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa playing key roles undoubtedly widened the sport’s map. Sepang, kicks, penalties, Valencia, brilliance, comebacks, conspiracy: it all added up to a climax that even sections of MotoGP’s vast international following still debate to this day and after official tests in Malaysia, Australia and Qatar battle lines will come together again for the resumption of duels and scores to settle. This weekend the customary site of Losail in Qatar will be launcher for MotoGP 2016 and the first time that (new) rubber gets abused in anger and elbows are extended since that fateful day in Valencia when Lorenzo ruled supreme and Rossi almost produced a miracle for the ages. While the three Spaniards – Lorenzo at 28 years old age, Pedrosa 30, Marquez 23 – and the Italian (Rossi recently turned a green 37) will certainly go under the microscope (their merest gestures on and off the track will be examined for traces of recompense from ’15) Qatar – and indeed other stretches in the opening phases of 2016 – could see the series in a jumble.