With the MotoGP class absent from the first round of the MotoGP series, Dorna were forced to draw up a new schedule for Moto2 and Moto3 to fill up the space vacated by the premier class. The changes come down to Moto2 moving up to take over the slot originally scheduled for MotoGP, with Moto3 moving up to take the place of Moto2.
What it means in practice is that both classes will practice in daylight, but for the Moto3 class, FP2, and qualifying will be held at 5:05pm, shortly before sunset, while the race starts at 4:20pm. Moto2 holds FP2, qualifying, and the race at 6pm, after the sun goes down and under the floodlights. The Asia Talent Cup is also holding its opening round of the season at Qatar, with two races.
The press conference is going to be the most intriguing part of the weekend. Dorna are changing the format in an attempt to get more interaction between riders and journalists, and in doing so, they are throwing the Moto3 and Moto2 riders into the deep end. Neither Moto2 nor Moto3 riders are used to being in the full glare of the media spotlights, and at Qatar, they will get their first taste of the big time.
The schedule for the weekend appears below. All times local time in Doha, Qatar (Arabia Standard Time):
|17:00||Press Conference||Moto2:Jorge Navarro, Jorge Martin, Remy Gardner
Moto3: Filip Salac, Ai Ogura, Tony Arbolino
|12:30-13:10||Asia Talent Cup||FP1|
|16:10-16:50||Asia Talent Cup||FP2|
|12:00-12:40||Asia Talent Cup||Qualifying|
|16:10||Asia Talent Cup||Race 1 (14 laps)|
|15:00||Asia Talent Cup||Race 2 (14 laps)|
|16:20||Moto3||Race (18 laps)|
|18:00||Moto2||Race (20 laps)|