The 20 things you didn’t know about Qatar and the Losail International Circuit

5 minutes

Losail is home to the only night Grand Prix of the year, but it has many other curiosities: It was built in a record time (less than a year) and when racing by day the track temperature surpassed on average 45ºC -twice as high as at night.

Marc Márquez en día 2 de GP de Catar 2018
The 20 things you didn’t know about Qatar and the Losail International Circuit


In 2009 rain caused the postponement of the MotoGP race until the Monday!


1.The Qatar Grand Prix will start the MotoGP season for the 13th consecutive year (2007-2019). Losail is the track that has hosted the inaugural event of the season uninterrupted the most times. The closest rival is Suzuka (Japan), which started the season six times in a row between 1987 and 1992.

2. The track was built in record time, in less than a year. Work began in October 2003, the first stone was laid in December of the same year in the presence of riders such as Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and it was ready to host the first Qatar Grand Prix from September 30th, 2004.

3. Around 1,000 people worked on its construction and it required an investment of 58 million dollars.

4. The layout was approved by a MotoGP Safety Commission composed of Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau, Kenny Roberts Jr. and Nobuatsu Aoki.


Jorge Lorenzo con la honda
Jorge Lorenzo con la honda



5. The Losail circuit is about 30 kilometres north of Doha, the capital of Qatar. In this city it rains on average 8.8 days a year -about 75 millilitres in total. March is the second wettest month of the year, with an average of 1.8 wet days and a total of 16.1 millilitres rainfall.

6. However, in 2009 rain caused the postponement of the MotoGP race until the Monday! Last week, rain forced the suspension of some of the testing sessions for Moto3 and Moto2. The forecast for the next few days points to possible rainfall, especially on Friday and Saturday.

7. This Grand Prix was held during the day for four years (2004-2007), with an average track temperature of 45.5°C.

8. On the 11 occasions it has taken place at night (2008-2018), the average temperature of the asphalt has been 22.8ºC, half that of during the day.


Marc Márquez rodando en catar de noche
Marc Márquez rodando en catar de noche



9. The first night race took place on March 9th, 2008. Since then, more than 40 generators have been used to provide electricity for the 3,600 floodlights, which would illuminate 3,000 homes, 70 soccer pitches or a residential street that would run from Doha to Moscow -two cities separated by approximately 4,600 kilometres.

10. Losail hosted 24,866 spectators between the four days of the 2016 Grand Prix. It has a single stand with a capacity of 7,500.

11. 77.5 per cent of Qataris are Muslims. The podium ceremony features cava without alcohol.

12. The riders use much more transparent visors in their helmets to adapt to the Qatari night.


Marc Márquez riding closeup
Marc Márquez riding closeup



13. The Losail International Circuit organises activity days for women only, such as sessions for running, cycling or walking along the track. The next will be held on April 4th and 18th.

14. In the early years, track marshals came from European circuits, such as Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, to train the local marshals.

15. It is one of the circuits with the greatest fuel consumption of the whole season.

16. The World Championship was one of the first major international events hosted by Qatar. Previously it had only hosted the Asian Football Cup (1988), had entered the men’s ATP tennis circuit in 1993, two years later held the FIFA Under-20s World Cup, debuted on the European men’s golf calendar in 1998, and In 2002 hosted an international cycling event.


Jorge Lorenzo de noche en Losail
Jorge Lorenzo de noche en Losail


17. Doha was chosen in 2014 to host the 2019 Open-Air Athletics World Cup and be host country of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

18. Qatar is the country with the highest per capita income in the world ($ 129,700) thanks to oil revenues and, above all, natural gas revenues. A litre of fuel costs between 30 and 35 cents.

19. The country has the third largest proven natural gas reserves and has the second lowest unemployment rate in the world (0.7%). It is one of the few places where citizens do not pay taxes.

20. Qatar gained independence from the United Kingdom on September 3rd, 1971, and has 2.2 million inhabitants.

Volver arriba

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By making a comment, you agree to our privacy policy