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Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is on its way to Losail in Qatar for the first running of MotoGP bikes under floodlights during the two-day IRTA test later this week.

The 5,380m long Losail International Circuit will be illuminated by thousands of high-tech light bulbs as Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen take the track for the last test before the start of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship – at the same venue - next month.

Capirossi has already experienced riding at the desert circuit under floodlights, as he was one of the chosen MotoGP stars to test out the feasibility of racing at night when he tested the new system last year on a Suzuki road-bike.


Rizla Suzuki MotoGP still has some important work to conduct during the two-day test to ready itself for the first race a week later, and will be hoping that Capirossi and Vermeulen will get up to speed and adapt to the totally new conditions quickly.

The Losail track will also provide a lot of new set-up questions for both the crews and for Bridgestone, as they try to come to terms with the colder night-time temperatures that can be experienced in the desert of Qatar.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP begins its test at 17.00hrs local time (14.00hrs GMT) on Thursday 28th February, with both days of testing going on until mid-night local time.

Loris Capirossi:
“I tested in Qatar on a Suzuki GSX-R last year under the lights, and the track was very good. It was very bright and almost like day-light, I could even use a dark visor! It is going to be a new thing for all of us and I am really looking forward to riding my GSV-R there at night. We still have many things to test and I hope we will be able to get through all the programme so we are ready for the first race. It is going to be very strange riding through the night and not finishing till mid-night, it will be like doing a 24hr race!”

Chris Vermeulen:
“We still have a lot to do at this test as we are still looking for the best set-up for this year’s bike. We didn’t get as much dry track time as we wanted at the last test in Jerez so we need two good days at Qatar to get the best out of the bike. It is a very exciting thing to be riding the bike at night, but that will also present us with some extra problems that we will need to overcome as well, like where to put the lights on the bike and managing to stay awake!”

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