Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta says a final decision on the start time of the Qatar Grand Prix will not be taken until conditions at the Losail track have been assessed.
A series of accidents in quick succession at Turn 2 during the last test raised fears that moisture might be coming through the track surface at night. Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi led calls for the race to be moved forward from its scheduled 11pm local time start to alleviate the problem, and Ezpeleta acknowledged this was a possibility.
"I've heard from the riders, and we've decided to look at the situation once in Qatar," the series organizer told Gazzetta dello Sport. "These four weeks may have changed the weather situation at Losail and gotten rid of the problem. We'll see whether it's too damp at the scheduled time or if it's possible to run safely."
He insisted there would be no impediments to shifting the start time if needed, amid reports in Italy that the MotoGP race could be brought forward by two hours.
"I've made a round of phone calls to hear from the TVs and there shouldn't be too much of a problem in case of a reschedule," said Ezpeleta.
However, Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards played down the track-surface issue. "That particular night, the humidity, the temperature, something was just perfect at the moment that the Bridgestone front did not like," he said. "There were five of us who went down within 30 minutes at the exact same corner.
"They asked me at the track, 'Is there moisture coming through the ground?' I was like, 'Dude, we're in the desert. How is moisture coming through the ground?'
"So I don't know what it was. We looked at the tires after; that left front didn't look like it was working in that temperature, humidity, whatever it might have been. Although after that, it seemed to work OK. A little bit of a 'Twilight Zone' thing was going on there in that particular 30 minutes.
"At the end of the day, we're all going to be riding the same thing, and I probably won't be racing that tire anyway, so I'm not worried about it."
Even so, he suspects that with Rossi leading the push for a schedule change, the race may well be brought forward.
"Usually, Valentino gets what he asks for," Edwards jibed.