Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro set the pace on Day 1 of Qatar MotoGP test ahead of Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Suzuki’s Joan Mir.
After the shakedown running on Friday, the full MotoGP action got underway on Saturday at Losail circuit with the weather slightly better than predicted, allowing for better running. It was Aprilia’s Espargaro, who led the way with a 1m54.687s lap time.
The Spaniard set the time in the evening session as he displaced Bradl from the top spot, with Mir joining the fray in third. It was a close knit pack from the German onward, with Ducati’s Jack Miller in fourth and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira rounding the Top 5.
Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco was sixth with Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli ending up seventh ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins, Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez, whose teammate Takaaki Nakagami finished 11th eventually.
Marquez came back strongly after an early crash in his first run with the team. He crashed at the final corner, while Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia also had a fall at Turn 3. The Italian finished 13th still, behind the lead KTM of Brad Binder.
It was then Yamaha trio with Petronas SRT’s Valentino Rossi in 14th from Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Test Rider 2. Honda MotoGP debutant Pol Espargaro could only manage 17th in his first outing, from Pramac’s Jorge Martin and Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori.
Avintia’s Enea Bastianini rounded out the Top 20, where Martin was the fastest MotoGP rookie. Yamaha’s Test Rider 1 was then 21st from Tech 3 KTM pair of Iker Lecuona & Danilo Petrucci, where Avintia Sky VR46’s Luca Marini slotted in 24th.
Then came host of MotoGP test riders – five to be exact – being led by Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli. Following him was KTM’s Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha’s Test Rider 3, Ducati’s Michele Pirro and Suzuki’s Takuya Tsuda.
Here’s Day 1 results:
Here’s photo gallery from MotoGP test: https://www.motogp.com/en/gallery/2021/03/06/photo-gallery-2021-motogp-qatar-test/362628
Here’s Pramac carrying F1 logo on their bike
Here’s how MotoGP shakedown test panned out