The Losail International Circuit’s desert location, the night racing in Qatar and the demands of the new ‘Open’ class era gave Bridgestone plenty to think about as the MotoGP™ season kicked off.
Bridgestone’s slick compounds available for Sunday’s race were soft and hard on the front, whilst for the rear soft, medium and hard options were available. For the ‘Open’ class riders the rear choice was soft or medium, whilst for the ‘Factory’ participants they would choose between medium and hard rears.
The track temperature for the race was the coolest recorded over the whole race weekend, with a peak recording of just 20°C which brought with it a spike in humidity levels. This resulted in many riders commenting after the race that grip levels were lower than the Warm Up session four hours earlier.
Although conditions were quite cool, only two riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the rest of the grid opting for the hard compound front slick.
For the rear tyre, only race-winner Marc Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick for the race, and the medium compound rear was by far the popular choice, with 15 riders selecting this option. Seven of the 11 Open class entrants selected the soft compound rear slick.