DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 10: Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team rounds the bend during the MotoGP Tests In Losail at Losail Circuit on March 10, 2017 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Defending World Champion, Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez has arrived at the Losail International Cirucit in Qatar for the opening race of the 69th MotoGP World Championship season.

Qatar is the only night race on the calendar and the only event to feature three days of practice, with the FP1 session starting at 7:55 p.m. on Thursday, with the race starting at 9 p.m. on Sunday night.

Following a promising preseason during where he worked on development of the RC213V in Malaysia, Australia, Jerez and finally in Qatar itself two weeks ago, Marc is looking forward to the first race of the year and is prepared to do his utmost to achieve the best possible results on Sunday.

Marquez has 2 wins (MotoGP: 2014 – Moto2: 2012) and an additional 3 podiums (MotoGP: 3rd in 2013 and 2016 – 125cc: 3rd in 2010) and is looking to add to his tally with another strong performance.

“The first race of the season is always a special one because you're a bit more nervous than usual! The Qatar track is also one of the most special circuits on the calendar and one of the main things to consider is the sand, which can make the surface quite slippery as soon as you get out of the best line," he said.

"The limit is very narrow. There are three very strong braking points and you need good front stability. Maybe it's not one of the best tracks for my riding style, but I like it and we have worked very hard during the preseason to find a good rhythm and a good base setup for all circuits."

"From a technical point of view, we're starting this Championship better than the last one, and although that doesn't automatically mean that the results will be better, I think our machine has reached a level to fight for the podium. We'll try to manage well from the beginning on Thursday.”