Finally here we are! A few more days of waiting and then it will be possible to see a sneak preview of the 2021 World Championship with the first official tests of the new year on the Losail track. The curtain will be raised with Friday's shakedown, followed by two days of testing involving the test riders of the respective manufacturers, plus the premier class rookies and the Aprilia team, which, as everyone knows, enjoy the concessions provided for in the regulations.
Due to the restrictions because of COVID, today all the Ducati personnel, including the riders of its satellite teams, left Bologna on a charter flight to reach Qatar. Besides, it is necessary to move well in advance, given the strict procedures to which one must undergo to enter the country.
Once you arrive at your departure airport, you must first present a molecular swab (PCR) with a negative result within 72 hours of arrival time. Then, as soon as you land at the airport in Doha, each person will be subjected to a second molecular swab, the outcome of which is expected within 24 hours. During this time, there is an absolute obligation to remain closed in your room, without being able to have any kind of contact with the outside world.
Also for this year, riders and professionals will live in a sort of bubble, since the only movement allowed is that between the hotel and the circuit, without the possibility of going for a ride to the centre or making an excursion in the desert.
On this matter, the hotels have been chosen by Dorna and the cost revolves around 150 euros per night. In fact, it is forbidden to choose the hotel personally, as well as the rental car, since the only means allowed to move will be the shuttles provided by the Organizer.
With the continuation of the pandemic and the increase in infections, Dorna certainly does not want to let its guard down, putting in place a rigid protocol that will limit every slightest movement outside the hotel and circuit. Furthermore, every six days, riders and professionals will be subjected to molecular swabs (PCR), in order to constantly monitor the situation and find any cases of contagion.
However, there is one nice thing worthy of note: on the days off, the Losail Circuit Sports Club will organize various leisure activities for the MotoGP staff during the rest days, details of which will be communicated during the week of the GP.