8th - 10th March 2019

Grand Prix of Qatar 2019

Qatar is the perfect season opener. The first night race in 2008 was spectacular, with the added benefit of being able to really pack in the weekend days with dune bashing, city touring, and some of the best shopping on the planet! Great opening dinner with guest speakers; great hotels; VIP with paddock access! We've been here since it started in 2004!


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Event video - Grand Prix of Qatar 2019

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Event review - Grand Prix of Qatar 2019

Another spectacular start to the MotoGP season at Qatar! Over the weekend, they signed up until 2031, always the first, always at night. We couldn't agree more!

Our smallest Qatar MotoGP since 2006, the Arab ban on travel to the country excluded many of the ex-pat 'regulars' from the region. This was sole guide Gordon's 18th visit to Losail! (15 for MotoGP and 3 for SBK) We have run tours here since it started in 2004!

Our "weekend" started a day early with some drinks at our favourite pub - the Old Manor in the Mercure Grand hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant set us back about £5 each for more yummy food than we could eat! Thursday evening was the 'official' welcome drink, more of the same, but we visit the famous old souk after drinks for our now-traditional Syrian feast!

Friday we switched up, and had our opening dinner for lunch. Our friend and deep motogp insider Manuel Pecino joined us to share fascinating insights on the track and riders. Lorenzo was the hot topic of the day!

Afterwards we headed up to the track. Delays as always owing to the insane construction, causing massive changes to routes, but after all our experience we have come to plan on these, so things still went on schedule.
Friday there is no hospitality so it is the perfect day for the VIPs to stalk the paddock, chill in the coffee area and visit the grandstands.

Saturday some of us die-hards started at the crack of dawn for our traditional desert safari. Some of those dunes won't forget us soon! Sadly no 'screamers' in the vehicle, but still a fun couple of hours defying death...

In the afternoon, it was back to the track, and the opening of the VIP Village. Our MotoGP Team Experience guests enjoyed visits to the service road and several MotoGP Garages. We were honoured by a visit from the team bosses of our sponsored Moto2 team SAG Racing; who had just put their pilot Remy Gardner (son of legendary Wayne) on the second row qualifying. We closed the evening with a followup briefing from Manuel, again with a lot of talk about the disappointing performance of Lorenzo, but the exciting qualification of some of the rookies.

The inevitable drinks at both hotels in the evening...

Sunday, after a morning to chill, we hit the track for some amazing racing. All classes had tight, thrilling contests. In Moto3, our sponsored riders did well (ish). Jakub Kornfeil put in a solid top-ten finish. After a shaky start, John McPhee went from 4th to 24th then fought his way back up to 6th before winding up 13th. And South African Darryn Binder STARTED 24th and fought up to 7th when he lost the front end. Darryn later joined us in the VIP to share his experiences.

Moto2 was even more thrilling, some of us watched the final laps from the SAG garage where Remy Gardner was fighting for his and the team's first podium. Alas he was slipstreamed on the final, to lose the podium by 0.002 seconds -- but he got a hero's welcome and loads of promise for the rest of the year. Solid performances by Sam Lowes (6th) and Brad Binder (12th, dropping several places in the final corners) leave us crossing our fingers for more success this season!

The MotoGP race was simply sensational -- the way racing should be! A 6-way battle for most of the race, with three brands in the top 4. Culminating in a classic Marque-Dovisioso duel, Dovi took the honours, and we were beyond delighted when our sponsored rider Cal Crutchlow edged past Suzuki rider Rins to claim the third spot.

Our evening finished with the traditional winding-down drinks in the Mercure, closing the bar as usual... This is the best bar in Qatar!

Hard to believe the season has started, and we'll be back before we know it!
(for the SBK as well as the MotoGP, and until at least 2031!!)

We probably get more 'regulars' at this event than any other - come once and find out why!
 

Picture gallery - Grand Prix of Qatar 2019

See our photos of the event on Flickr here Or check out ALL of our past event galleries here
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