Features 7 Mar 2013

Top 10: Qatar’s first grand prix

MotoOnline.com.au reflects on the Top 10 topics of the 2013 Qatar FIM Motocross World Championships event.

After such a successful weekend at the Grand Prix of Qatar it’s easy for MX Large’s Geoff Meyer to find 10 things to be positive about. Youthstream, the FIM, the riders, teams and media all walked away from the opening round of the FIM Motocross Championship with a feeling that the sport will enjoy coming back to Qatar.

The Super Final while needing some small changes for the exposure of the MX2 class, this is a brilliant system for the fans. Here are Geoff’s top 10 highlights from the Grand Prix of Qatar.

For it's first year running, the lighting system was impressive in Qatar.

For it’s first year running, the lighting system was impressive in Qatar.

The circuit and Lights
Amazing is a word that needs to be used. A really well prepared circuit, with the lighting in its first year there were minor problems, but 2014 we will see permanent lighting and this event will only get better. I talked to maybe 30 riders on the weekend and not one didn’t like the circuit and felt the lighting was more than good enough.

Clement Desalle
What a brilliant return to the top of the podium. The Rockstar Suzuki rider was smooth, strong and showed great spirit. He has been quicker than Cairoli on more occasions, and I think everyone hopes for the sake of the championship that he can continue this strong showing.

Jeffrey Herlings
Standing tall in the Super Final it was hard not to be impressed by the Dutchman. A talent that could and has won against any rider in the World. His 36-0 hopes (he wants to win all the MX2 motos in 2013) is on track for now and his positive energy at this race was infectious.

The Super Final
This was as mad a race as I have ever witnessed. The first corner and opening laps were like a wild-fire crashing through a forest. It had all the mechanics and team managers on their feed and screaming. It even made the combined MXoN motos seem a little average and that isn’t an overstatement. Maybe because of the lights or maybe because we were a long way from home, whatever it was this race was made to bring more people into our sport. If you are talking about intensity, then this race was that.

Dean Ferris
The last time an Aussie stood on a Grand Prix podium was Andrew McFarlane in 2005, the same year Sharky finished second in the Wwrld to Antonio Cairoli in the MX2 championship. For Ferris to get on the GP podium was a proud moment for the Aussie and one also a time he didn’t forget about the other Aussies that had stood on the GP podium before him.

Australia's Dean Ferris took a strong second overall finish in the MX2 class on debut for the Monster Energy Yamaha team.

Australia’s Dean Ferris took a strong second overall finish in the MX2 class on debut for the Monster Energy Yamaha team.

The vibe at this GP was really enjoyable. Riders, managers, media all hanging around chatting and telling jokes made this opening round of the FIM World Motocross Championship. Riders could enjoy the weekend this usually nervous opening race, and that showed in the Saturday racing.

MX2 class
This class was a nice surprise. Having expected Herlings to walk away and the class might be a little boring was replaced with enjoying clashes between many of the next big stars of the sport. I am sure by season’s end we will all be looking at these young riders and looking forward to their 2014 performances.

Doha, Qatar
Friendly people, luxury and wealth is three words to describe these people. Not one person at this event was disappointed with taking a dip in the hotel swimming pool before heading out to the track or doing a bit of shopping. I can’t wait to come back in 2013 and with word that more Middle East countries looking at the world motocross championships we might get more time to enjoy these different cultures.

Antonio Cairoli
Always the perfectionist and always looking at the positives. The guy has six world motocross championships and knows how to look at life differently than most. The fact he just signed for another three years with KTM and his dream is to help the sport grow is a huge positive. The fastest rider in the world in 2012 and a credit to the Grand Prix series.

Television coverage
I spend my weekend watching from the track and also checking out the television coverage. Youthstream have added some great new angles to make the sport look good. The helicopter camera or some new GoPro camera positions on the bikes this was great footage. Add the action of the Super Final and motocross fans around the world got their money’s worth.