At the last preseason test of the year at Qatar, run under the floodlights to allow the riders to get used to the conditions, five riders went down in a period of thirty minutes late on in the test, as dew forming on the track made conditions treacherous. After that test, several riders called for the time of the MotoGP race to be brought forward, from 11pm local time to 9 or 10.
In the pre-race press conference, Valentino Rossi repeated his preference for bringing the race forward, a suggestion which received the support of both Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden later that evening.
But at a press conference held to open the Qatar MotoGP round, attended by Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of Dorna, and Nasser Al-Attiyah, head of the Qatari motorsports federation, the Dorna CEO was not convinced a change would be necessary. Ezpeleta felt that conditions had changed since the last test, obviating the need to change.
"When the humidity happened at the last test," Ezpeleta told the press conference, "we talked with Nasser, and he told us it was not normal. Yesterday night, at the time of the race, we went to look at the track, myself with Nasser and other people, and it was perfectly dry, and is not now any risk to the schedule. Tonight, we will have another look, but with the temperature and the humidity we have, there is no need to change the schedule."