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Ferocious Falcons, Arabic Coffee and Qatar!

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The Stars of WorldSBK have landed in Qatar for the final showdown of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing) took the opportunity to guide his racing counterparts Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team) through the snaking labyrinth of the incredible Souq Waqif in Doha.

First stop was the Falcon Centre where the riders admired the regal hunting birds perched on display. Al Sulaiti explained that the wild falcons were trained to hunt from a young age and that all the birds on display had already been sold except for the one they were holding. Torres was the first to jump at the opportunity to hold the falcon, petting the wild creature in front of the media and onlookers. A nervous looking Fores was next to hold the wild hunter and was relieved when Camier asked to take it next. The Brit took the opportunity to get a selfie with the falcon before all the riders gathered together to get a photo with the amazing bird.

They then strolled through the winding narrow pathways of the traditional Souq, taking in the sweet scents of spice and perfumes filling the air. Al Sulaiti directed the riders to a traditional coffee shop where they settled for a quick pit stop. They drank Arabic coffee with dried dates and the customary Tahania dip. Once refreshed and refuelled, they continued on their Middle Eastern journey through Qatari culture.

The final stop was a small shop hidden in the shadows of the bazaar selling traditional men’s headwear. Al Sulaiti explained the different components of the headdress and then showed everyone how to put it on. Once the riders were fitted for their own, they took AlSulaiti’s lead and attempted it for themselves.

They emerged into the middle of the Souq for one last photo opportunity together, all wearing the traditional Gahfia and Ghitras. Then it was back to the circuit for final preparations ahead of Free Practice on Friday the 28th October to kick off the final weekend of WorldSBK for 2016.