By Sports Reporter/ Doha
The new season of Qatar Superstock 600 kicked off on Friday with an official practice session at the Losail International Circuit, before the first round of the championship starts this weekend on December 13 and 14.
There are some fresh riders on the grid with – Sheikh Saoud al-Thani, Rayal al-Emadi and Ahmad al-Sahouti from Qatar, Bulgaria’s Mihail Florov, Frenchman Jeremy Parola, UK’s Gary Little and Stephen Turnbull from Canada – joining the
As in previous years, there will be two categories in the championship – QSTK600 and QSTK Trophy.
Qatar’s Mashel al-Naimi was the fastest rider during both practice sessions after he set a fastest lap time of 2:03.879 secs. “I am happy with my practice results,” said al-Naimi.
“I did a good lap time. In the morning I felt something was wrong with my bike, I lost the front tyre and it came from the clutch. We will try to fix it for the track day before the first round,” he added.
Al-Naimi was part of the Qatar team, which participated in the Spanish National championship and the Qatari says the experience has made him a better rider.
“I feel good ahead of the new season after I took part in the Spanish National Championship. I want to thank the QMMF and Losail Circuit Sports Club for giving me an opportunity to race in Spain. Now I feel stronger to fight for this season’s title. For sure, the competition will be stronger as Saeed and Abdulla will also be ready. I also want to thank my sponsor Ooredoo,” al-Naimi said. The defending QSTK600 champion and three-time winner, Saeed al-Sulaiti finished the practice in second place with a lap time of 2:04.891 secs.
“Today I tried to get the feeling back, since I wasn’t riding for a long time. In general, it was good. I finished second overall, although I was expecting better timings. We still have some work to do on the bike and we have some ideas that can be applied for the next track day before the first round,” al-Sulaiti said.
“I can’t wait for the start of another exciting championship and I am looking forward to win the fourth title in a row. I know that it will be difficult but it’s not impossible,” he added.
Abdulla al-Qubaisi ended in third position and the 18-year-old Bulgarian rider Mihail Florov finishing in fourth place.
“This is my first time at the Losail International Circuit and it was amazing. The track is great and the competition is really good. I have experience racing in the Spanish Championship and this championship is a great opportunity for me to improve. Really looking forward to start the first round,” said Florov.
The first round of the season will be held this weekend on
December 13 and 14, with entry free for spectators at the Paddock and Grandstand of the
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