Don't expect big surprises from me, Danny Webb had said a few hours before getting on his new bike at the MotoGP here .
“We may be able to shave off a few tenths of a second. It requires a whole lot of work to catch up with the KTMs or the Hondas in the pack,” the Brit had said.
Webb's race in the Qatar Grand Prix's new Moto3 class went on the expected lines at the Losail International Circuit here on Sunday night. He finished 18th after starting 25th on the grid.
His teammate, German Marcel Schrotter was not so lucky, dropping out in the fifth lap of the 18-lap 96.84-km race with mechanical problems.
“The top-end power of the engine is the same as the rest of the riders,” Schrotter had said before the race. “The deficit for us comes in the acceleration towards the top speed. It is not up to the mark and that is where we lose time.”
FTR Honda's Vinales Maverick of Spain made history claiming the first-ever Moto3 title (250cc, four stroke) in the world's premier motorcyle racing championship with Italian Romano Fenati taking the runner-up spot.
Sarath seventh at Imola
Meanwhile in Imola, Mahindra Racing's Sarath Kumar came back smartly to finish an impressive seventh in the 125cc class of the Italian Championship on Sunday.
Mahindra's Italian star Riccardo Moretti won the race — his second consecutive victory in the Italian Championship.
The 20-year-old Sarath had started on the seventh row after taking the 20th spot in qualifying, and was thrilled after picking his first points in Italy.
“It's a great feeling of pride and satisfaction for having scored my first points in an international championship,” said Sarath. “I am thankful for all the encouragement and support given to me by my team, my manager and the Mahindra Group.”
On Moretti's success, Anand Mahindra, the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra, said: “We are ecstatic about our second consecutive win in the Italian Championship.”
Qatar keen to host F1
Qatar, which hosts the only night race of the MotoGP, the world's premier motorcycle racing championship, is keen on bringing Formula One to Doha. So, is Qatar ready for F1?
“Not yet, in the future may be,” Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah, the President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), told The Hindu at the Losail International Circuit here.
“We have done a lot of changes to this circuit, like modifications in accessing the track and other things. But it sure needs a lot more modifications, like the tower, relocating the buildings, many things.”
“It all depends on what the Government wants...whether it wants this circuit modified or it wants another circuit.”
Four years ago, months before Singapore hosted the F1's first night Grand Prix, Doha held the first ever MotoGP under lights. Well, the Qatar F1 Grand Prix, under lights and probably on a new circuit, may not be far away.