Tour of Qatar blog #2

Luke Evans blogs from the Tour of Qatar, where is he motorbike pilot for photographer Graham Watson 

Took this shot about 10km north of Doha, on highway 1 which heads up the east side of Qatar.

A newly-laid dual carriageway it goes to the northern tip of gas-rich Qatar, which looks like an upturned thumb sticking into the Arabian Gulf.

We stopped to take pictures of the teams riding to the Losail race circuit, where Moto GP holds round one of the premier motorcycle championship this April.

The team time trial was being held in the afternoon, alas not on the race track but on adjacent access roads.

At only 11.3km a good warm up was essential so the teams risked mixing it with unpredictable pick-ups and foot to the floor 4x4s by riding to the circuit from Doha, which you can just see in the distance.

On the left of the photo is one of scores of cement trucks engaged in their own Moto GP as they raced from a massive cement plant to building sites in Doha and beyond. Thundering along with empty hoppers they were actually pulling overtakes on each other as they rushed back for the next load.

There’s a frenzy of building activity here, and it’s not just stadiums for the 2022 footie World Cup.

High rise luxury apartments, roads and shopping malls are pushing back the desert. You can hardly blame the Qataris, one of the wealthiest people on the planet, for having the means to transform a grit strewn wasteland with few natural features to lift the heart.

Still getting used to the Ducati Monster which is far from the ideal camera bike. It’s a snug fit for two comfortably built fellows and limbs are already creaking thanks to high footpegs.

Jerk the throttle and ninja-like, Graham would be plucked from his lofty perch and dumped in the road, probably in front of Cavendish.

Not good for business, and Cav would probably swear colourfully, just like we heard him do when some riders crashed in front of him yesterday.

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