THE FIM Motocross World Championship’s opening round will be held on Saturday, with its free practice and qualification scheduled the previous day.
To be held at the 1,595M Losail Motocross Track, it is the only night race of the 19-leg championship that concludes at Villars-sous-Ecot in France on September 17.
A total of 63 riders have confirmed their entries for the event, to be hosted by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation for the fifth straight year. Competitions will be held in two categories — MXGP, which is the premier class, and MX2.
All eyes will be on defending champion Tim Gajser after the Slovenian won both races at Losail last year and went on to clinch his maiden world title.
The Honda rider’s one main title challenger this time is Jeffrey Herlings. The Dutch KTM rider had won the MX2 world title last year and would be keen to impress after moving to the premier class.
The 22-year-old, who was recently injured in a crash, is expected to be fit for the season opener.
In addition to Herlings, eight-time champion Tony Cairoli and Glenn Coldenhoff will also ride for KTM in MXGP while Pauls Jonass and teenager Jorge Prado will compete in MX2.