By Sports Reporter/Doha
The new season of the Qatar Superstock and Qatar Touring Car Championship was held last Friday, with an official practice at the Losail International Circuit. The first round of the championships, organised by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), will be held this Friday and Saturday.
The new season has seen a surge in number of riders and drivers taking part in the championship compared to previous years due to the season’s late start because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Just like last season, there will be two categories in both the championships: QSTK 600 and QSSP 300 for the bikes, while QTCC 2K and M240 for the cars.
Twenty riders from nine different countries took part in a practice session for the QSTK 600 category for bikes, while ten riders participated in the QSSP 300 category. The participating number has increased for cars, where 13 people drove for the official test for the 2021 QTCC.
Defending QSTK 600 champion Abdulla al-Qubaisi was second in the testing, with his experienced rival Saeed al-Sulaiti topping the time sheets. “I’m really happy to be back in racing and I’m looking forward to winning the championship again this season,” al-Qubaisi said. The R6 Yamaha bikes, which was acquired by QMMF ahead of the season, was tested by the riders in practice sessions. “We did some tests today with the new bikes and it was exciting but exhausting,” al-Qubaisi added.
Meshaal al-Nuaimi, who was third fastest, said the official tests has helped the riders prepare for the season in new bikes. “We tested the new R6 Yamaha today and this is the first experience of this season. We have not been on the bikes since April of last year and now with these new bikes, we have to understand them,” he said.
Young rider Yousef al-Darwish, who topped the Qatar Supersport 300 sessions and was fourth fastest in the QSTK 600, was excited to be a part of the senior class. “The most important thing is that we achieved our goals and we are ready. The late start to the season would be better for us due to the weather. It’s a bit hotter than December, and that helps a lot on the bike. If things go well, we may race at night,” al-Darwish said.
Official Tests Results
Qatar Superstock 600
1. Saeed al-Sulaiti Time: 2:03.990 seconds; 2. Abdulla al-Qubaisi 2:04.928; 3. Mashel al-Naimi 2:05.041; 4. Yousef al-Darwish 2:08.647; 5. Rayad al-Emadi 2:09.882
Qatar Supersport 300
1. Yousef al-Darwish 2:19.066 seconds; 2. Hamad al-Sahouti 2:19.471; 3. Alberto Moncayo 2:19.970; 4 Saad al-Harqan 2:20.892; 5. Alexian Macary 2:22.698
Qatar Touring Car Championship
1. Ahmed al-Asiri 2:25.077 seconds; 2. Ahmed Shaheen al-Muhani 2:26.313; 3. Ghanim al-Madheed 2:27.639; 4. Jabor al-Sulaiti 2:30.224; 5. Ahmed Ismail al-Abbassi 2:30.629.
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