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FROM LEFT: Guiseppe Luongo, President of Youthstream, Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, President of QMMF, and Dr Wolfgang Srb, President of Motocross Commission FIM, during a press conference at Losail International Circuit yesterday.
DOHA: The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) yesterday won rave reviews for setting up the region’s first ever dirt track circuit for the opening round of the 2013 MX1 FIM Motocross World Championship.
The world’s best riders will be seen in action today and tomorrow at a venue that was built from scratch by QMMF within a period of just three months.
“When you have somebody like Mr Nasser (in charge), then things become that much easier (to handle). We have brought our sport to the region. We know that Mr Nasser is the man who has developed motor sport in this country,” Giuseppe Luongo, President of Youthstream, said at a press conference yesterday
“This is really a special Grand Prix for us. We are in the Middle East for the first time and we are going to race in the night for the first time,” Luongo.
“The weather conditions right now in Qatar can allow us to stage the race during daytime as the temperatures are perfect for racing.
“But Mr Nasser wanted to do really something special. They (QMMF) have put out a great circuit. This will be a great weekend. We see a great motocross track and you will also see that.
“They have got many different types of soil and mixed them together for the layout. The riders enjoy this kind of a track,” Luongo said.
“I am sure this will be a very attractive set-up for the riders and the fans,” the Youthstream chief said.
Luongo said the Grand Prix of Qatar and the subsequent rounds in 2013 will be watched over by a billion fans on television.
“Last year, we had a television audience of more than one billion viewers worldwide. We covered about 70 countries previously and this year we will go live in more than 70 countries with highlights package going to some 157 countries around the world,” Luongo said.
“What I want to say is that Mr Nasser is not only promoting this sport in Qatar but showing it to the world also. His position in the FIM is obvious. He has a love for motor sport and he wants to promote this around the world.
“We have reached an agreement with Al Jazeera Sports which will broadcast motocross races. We have a long-term deal.
“This new (broadcast deal) will help us increase the number of fans around the world. We have other television channels like FoxTV in South America,” Luongo added.
“We are here for the development of our sport. We had a lot of possibilities to go around the globe but we have come here.
“Qatar is the bridge between Europe, Africa and the US. Being here will be a good opportunity to spread our sport in Asia also.
“Our aim and our will, for a long time, was to get here. I think our TV coverage will increase. Ours is a growing sport and you can see that,” he added.