Dorna is working on several different scenarios to ensure the MotoGP race at Qatar goes ahead this weekend. All options are still open: the race could be held at night, on a wet track, on Sunday during the day, and even, if the worst comes to the worst, moved to Monday.
The main priority is that the race should take place, as long at it can be done so safely. "The basis is that the worse thing we can do from everyone's point of view is to cancel the race," Race Director Mike Webb told MotoMatters.com. "So from there, we are sorting out what the best options are to be able to have a safe race."
The plan Dorna are working to sees the race going ahead as scheduled as the most desirable option. Franco Uncini and Loris Capirossi tested the track, and determined it was safe to race in the rain back in February. Local races happen at the Losail Circuit at night, whatever the weather, but Webb insisted that MotoGP holds to a much higher standard of safety.
The decision to race in the wet has not yet been taken, however. That will only be taken after the riders have had a session to ride in the wet, and then held a Safety Commission meeting to discuss the findings of that session. Riders from all classes will have a say in whether the race goes ahead in the wet or not, not just MotoGP.
If the race cannot be held on Sunday night, then Dorna will have to look at other options. Running the race during the day on Sunday would be an option, in that case. "Racing during the day is definitely not plan A," Webb said, "but depending on circumstances, we can't rule it out completely."
Racing on Monday is also an option, but it was by far the least desirable choice, as it would cause massive headaches for everyone involved. Everyone involved in the three races would have to reschedule flights to Tuesday, which would include not just riders, but also mechanics, team staff, journalists, and Dorna support staff. Delaying the race until Monday would wreak havoc on TV schedules, and MotoGP would miss out on the promotional boost of the season opener.
Worst of all, with the weather still predicted to remain unstable at the start of next week, there would be no guarantee of even being able to run a race on Monday. If the race were to be postponed due to rain on Sunday night, there is just as much chance that it could rain on Monday, causing the whole event to be called off.
The whole issue could be moot, of course, as the current forecast is for it to be dry all day on Sunday, including Sunday night. But Dorna are doing everything they can to prepare. "The short answer is, we're trying to be ready for all eventualities," Webb concluded. "Right now, let's wait and see."