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Why the second race in Qatar is called the Doha Grand Prix

MotoGP will once again contest a race at the Losail circuit this weekend, but it will not be as a Qatar GP but as a Doha GP. We explain why it will be called like that.

Just one week after the start of the 2021 MotoGP season, the Losail circuit It also hosts the second race of the year, which instead of being called Qatar Grand Prix it will be called the Doha Grand Prix.

The Losail circuit is a circuit that began to be built at the end of 2003, and that since 2004 has been on the MotoGP calendar. In addition, in 2008 it became the first round of the World Cup to be held at night, and it has maintained that nature ever since.

Why is it called the MotoGP Doha Grand Prix?

Every grand prix on the MotoGP calendar must have a different name than any other, so the second race at Losail could not be a Qatari Grand Prix. In fact, and although it is also known as ‘Qatar 2’, this second appointment of the 2021 season will be known by the name of the country’s capital, Doha.

The circuit is actually located 20 kilometers northeast of Doha, but the city is the most recognizable in the country, in addition to its capital, and the race organizers wanted to give exposure to the name.

What is Doha?

Doha is the capital of Qatar, a country located in the Persian Gulf. It is estimated that it has almost two million inhabitants, and in recent years it has hosted numerous events of great importance in the world of sport: the short pool swimming world championship in 2014, the road cycling championship in 2016, the artistic gymnastics in 2018, Athletics in 2019 and the icing on the cake in 2022, when it will host some matches of the soccer world championship.

Why does MotoGP race twice on the same track?

The pandemic of COVID-19 It completely upended the 2020 MotoGP calendar last year. The restrictions to travel due to the pandemic forced the World Cup to only be held in Europe and, to fill the 14 events that last season finally had, and incidentally limit the countries that were visited (9), it was decided that several circuits would have two races.

The season, despite the situation around the planet, was a success, and the idea of ​​repeating the grand prix on the same circuit was left there. And when MotoGP had to suspend the Argentine GP and that of USA (also by the coronavirus), which were to be held this April, had an empty month and no races, so he turned to Qatar to fill the calendar.

In addition, Qatar was the only venue for the preseason, which reduced mobility and in fact there were those who stayed there from the tests until the second race. Suzuki, for example, has been in the country since the tests and they will stay until after this Qatar 2.

Finally, the time between the tests and the second Qatar race allowed room for the vaccination that the Kingdom offered to MotoGP and that many riders and teams accepted.

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Will you race MotoGP twice on other tracks this year?

At the moment, in the 19-race calendar that MotoGP has for 2021, only Losail’s appointment is repeated.

However, the world in general and sport in particular is at the mercy of the pandemic and, if the coronavirus forces to cancel some of the events, MotoGP could resort to another double grand prix on the same circuit, as happened in 2020.

Circuits that hosted two MotoGP races in 2020

Jerez: GP of Spain and GP of Andalusia Spielberg: GP of Austria and GP of Styria Misano: GP of San Marino and GP of Emilia-Romagna Motorland: GP of Aragon and GP of TeruelCheste: GP of Valencia and GP of Europe

Circuits that hosted two Formula 1 races in 2020

Spielberg: Austrian GP and Styrian GP Silverstone: British GP and 70th Anniversary GP Sakhir: Bahrain GP and Sakhir GP

Will MotoGP do something different from the Austrian Grand Prix?

No. The two Grand Prix in Qatar will have exactly the same format, will last the same laps, will be at the same circuit configuration, and will take place during the same hours. The only thing that changes is that, since the time was changed in Spain last Sunday morning, the Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions of the Doha GP will be one hour later than those of the Qatar GP.

Gallery: all the podiums and winners of the MotoGP Qatar GP

2004. Sete Gibernau (Honda)

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1º Seven Gibernau, 2º Colin Edwards, 3º Ruben Xaus

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

2005. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Marco Melandri, 3rd Nicky Hayden

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

2006. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)

Camel Media Service

Podium: 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Nicky Hayden, 3rd Loris Capirossi

Repsol Media

2007. Casey Stoner (Ducati)

Ducati Corse

Podium: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Valentino Rossi, 3rd Dani Pedrosa

Yamaha Motor Racing

2008. Casey Stoner (Ducati)

Ducati Corse

Podium: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Dani Pedrosa

Bridgestone Corporation

2009. Casey Stoner (Ducati)

Ducati Corse

Podium: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Valentino Rossi, 3rd Jorge Lorenzo

Yamaha Motor Racing

2010. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)

Bridgestone Corporation

Podium: 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Andrea Dovizioso

Red Bull GmbH and GEPA pictures GmbH

2011. Casey Stoner (Honda)

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Dani Pedrosa

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

2012. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

Yamaha Motor Racing

Podium: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Dani Pedrosa, 3rd Casey Stoner

Repsol Media

2013 .Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

Yamaha MotoGP

Podium: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Valentino Rossi, 3rd Marc Márquez

Yamaha MotoGP

2014. Marc Márquez (Honda)

Repsol Media

Podium: 1st Marc Márquez, 2nd Valentino Rossi, 3rd Dani Pedrosa

Yamaha MotoGP

2015. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)

Yamaha MotoGP

Podium: 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Andrea Dovizioso, 3rd Andrea Iannone

Yamaha MotoGP

2016. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

Yamaha

Podium: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Andrea Dovizioso, 3rd Marc Márquez

Michelin Sport

2017. Maverick Viñales (Yamaha)

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1st Maverick Viñales, 2nd Andrea Dovizioso, 3rd Valentino Rossi

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

2018. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1st Dovizioso, 2nd Márquez, 3rd Rossi

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

2019. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1st Dovizioso, 2nd Márquez, 3rd Crutchlow

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

2021: Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: 1st Maverick Viñales, 2nd Johann Zarco, 3rd Francesco Bagnaia

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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