The 2009 MotoGP season got underway today in Losail as each team presented a bike to the media. Concerns about the weather for this weekend's race grew as we felt small drops of rain for a few moments out on the grid. The wind was more consistent than the rain drops, blowing over display ropes and photographers alike. In the distance, the Qatari sands swirled, turning the sky cloudy with dust, and causing worry about the condition of the track here at Losail.
The 2009 bikes showed noticeable changes in fairings, vent size and design, and exhaust systems. Some of the new liveries have changed very little, while others have changed dramatically or are brand new. The Tech 3 color scheme is darker with its new Monster sponsorship than it was with Michelin blue, and DePuniet's Honda retains his distinctive 14 but looks much different with the Playboy black and white.
One bike made it clear that we are in Qatar, as the Marlboro logo makes a rare appearance on the factory Ducatis.