Trackside Tuesday: Faster than Light

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The Qatar Grand Prix always throws up a host of photo opportunities that simply couldn’t be captured anywhere else. With its unique status as the only race on the MotoGP calendar held at night under floodlights; there’s no mistaking a photograph taken in Qatar.

At this year’s race an opportunity to capture something different presented itself as Sunday’s schedule had been changed from previous years.

This meant that warm up for all three classes would be run in daylight with the MotoGP class out last at 5pm – which would hopefully be late enough in the day to capture a MotoGP bike against the setting sun.

I’d decided on Saturday evening that I was going to take advantage of the opportunity and shoot the MotoGP warm up from turn 11. Turn 11 is a quick left-hander that has the riders going into the corner hard on the gas with the back of the bike sliding, fighting for grip.

Choosing to shoot from the inside of the turn meant that I could capture the action shots I was looking for while also giving me the opportunity to get the sunset shot.

I arrived at the turn towards the end of the Moto2 warm-up and was happy to see that there was still a good amount of light for the start of the MotoGP session however, at only 20 minutes long, I was concerned that the session would end before the sunset began.

I had forgotten just how quickly the sun sets in the desert. In the  short 20-minute session the light changed significantly, as demonstrated in these images taken from the start of the session to the close.

Whilst I’m very happy with these images, I watched the best part of the sunset from the media shuttle on my way back to the paddock after the session had finished. If only the session had started at 17:10…



Photos: © 2015 Tony Goldsmith / – All Rights Reserved

Tony Goldsmith is an Isle of Man based freelance motorcycle racing photographer specialising in MotoGP and the Isle of Man TT races. His website can be found at He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’d like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Tony an email and he’ll be happy to help.

Tony Goldsmith

Tony Goldsmith is a freelance motorcycle racing photographer based in the Isle of Man. He specializes in taking photos of the MotoGP Championship, as well as the Isle of Man TT road races.