The new season of the Qatar Superstock and Qatar Touring Car kicked off on 15th and 16th of January with an official practice at Losail Circuit before the first round of the championships that started yesterday till today.
The number of competitors in bike and car championships has increased compared to previous years due to the season's late start because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be two categories in QSTK 600 and QSSP 300 for the bikes, while only QTCC 2K for the cars.
Twenty riders from nine different countries took part in a practice session for the QSTK 600 category for bikes. At the same time, ten participated in the QSSP 300 category. The number increased for cars, there are 27 people participating in the 2021 QTCC.
Saeed Al Sulaiti topped the test charts in the QSTK 600, clocking his best time in the fourth practice session, completing in 2:03.990. Abdalla Al Qubaisi finished second in the official practice. “I’m really happy to get back on the bike and I’m really looking forward to win the championship again this season. We did some testing today with the new bikes and it has been exciting but stressful,” said the defending champion, Al Qubaisi at the practice session.
At the same time, Mashel Al Naimi had the third-best time at the session. “We tested the new R6 Yamaha today and this is the first test of the season. We didn’t ride the bikes since April last year and now with these new bikes, we have to understand them. The official test today helped us prepare for the new season,” concluded Al Naimi
The youngster, Yousef Al Darwish from Qatar participated in the QSSP 300 category where he finished first and made the best time. “We achieved a lot today. Most importantly, we achieved our goals, and we are ready. Starting late this year is going to be better for us because of the weather. If everything goes well, we might even race at night which is the most exciting part of being at Losail,” said the youngster.
The Qatar Touring Car Championship official practice session followed after the bikes. In the 2K QTCC practice session, Qatar's Ahmed Al Asiri made the best time with Ahmad Al Muhannadi coming in second.
The defending champion Ghanim Al Maadheed came in third place while Ahmed Al Abbasi secured the fourth place. “This season, there are a lot of competitors so there will be a lot of challenges. It is a longer season so we can do more maintenance of the cars and even order the parts that are usually not readily available. Now we have more time to fix our cars, so this year is going to be much more exciting than the previous years and I’m looking forward to it,” concluded Al Abbasi.
The participants are excited about this season as there will be more drivers competing this year than usual. Nasser Al Ahbabi, who is one of the main contenders sees this as one of the most exciting seasons so far and is glad that the season is starting finally. “We hope to finish this season and I wish luck to everyone. It will be a challenging season with a lot of participants with a lot of really good cars,” said Al Ahbabi.
Competition is fierce this season with every participant aiming to beat his best time. The first round of the season commenced yesterday and will continue today, with the qualifying practice to start the championships. Spectators have free entrance at the paddock and grandstand of the circuit.
Source: Losail Circuit Sports Club
Image credit: QMMF
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