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The Moto2 category opened for business on Sunday night in Qatar, with 41 stars adding to the elaborate Losail floodlights. That was the number...

The Moto2 category opened for business on Sunday night in Qatar, with 41 stars adding to the elaborate Losail floodlights. That was the number of riders participating in the inaugural race for the new category, but far from the number who saw the chequered flag. The packed field came together on the opening corner, eliminating various riders from the race and stretching out the gap between the leading competitors and the trailing group. The humid night and slippery track picked off a succession of riders before the end of the race. Writing his name into the history books was Shoya Tomizawa, who took victory in the 600cc prototype chassis class’ first event.

Mapfre Aspar riders had always performed well in the 250cc forerunner to Moto2, but their start in the new class was not what either Julián Simón or Mike di Meglio expected upon arrival in Qatar. The former was second on the grid for the Sunday race, with his French teammate back in thirteenth, but any chance of a positive result was nipped in the bud early on. Simón had to bring his bike back in after the first corner, the victim of a clutch problem that ended his night prematurely. Di Meglio’s weekend grip problems worsened as he pushed the front end and, although he finished the race, he did so outside the points in sixteenth.

Julián Simón (DNF): “My start wasn’t too good and left me in a tricky spot at turn one. The main reason for my retirement from the race was a clutch problem, so now we have to analyse what happened. Perhaps I burnt it out, or maybe it was already frayed. We can’t sulk about this too much, instead we should look ahead to Japan. The important thing is that our bike improves every day, and that we can do a good job with it. It is a pity that we have nothing to show for the first race of the season, but we have to think positive and believe that in Motegi things will go better for us.”