MotoGP: Quartararo Quickest On Day Two Of Testing In Qatar (Updated)

MotoGP: Quartararo Quickest On Day Two Of Testing In Qatar (Updated)

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Note: The all-time MotoGP lap record for Losail is 1:53.380, which was set by Marc Marquez in 2019.

FIM MotoGP World Championship Official Test

Losail International Circuit

Doha, Qatar

March 7, 2021

Day Two Best Lap Times (all on Michelin tires):

  1. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:53.940
  2. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:54.017
  3. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:54.152
  4. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:54.153
  5. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda), 1:54.210*
  6. Johann Zarco, France (Ducati), 1:54.356
  7. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:54.395
  8. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), 1:54.515
  9. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:54.651
  10. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:54.658
  11. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:54.666
  12. Pol Espargaro, Spain (Honda), 1:54.673
  13. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:54.690
  14. Alex Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:54.952
  15. Yamaha Test 1 (Yamaha), 1:55.306*
  16. Enea Bastianini, Italy (Ducati), 1:55.486
  17. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Aprilia), 1:55.570
  18. Luca Marini, Italy (Ducati), 1:55.605
  19. Jorge Martin, Spain (Ducati), 1:55.632
  20. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:55.708
  21. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (KTM), 1:55.795
  22. Yamaha Test 2 (Yamaha), 1:55.867
  23. Iker Lecuona, Spain (KTM), 1:55.873
  24. Brad Binder, South Africa (KTM), 1:55.944
  25. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (KTM), 1:56.452*
  26. Sylvain Guintoli, France (Suzuki), 1:56.762*
  27. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati), 1:57.895*
  28. Takuya Tsuda, Japan (Suzuki), 1:58.910*

*=test rider

Yamaha’s test riders include Cal Crutchlow, Katsuyuki Nakasuga, and Kohta Nozane.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Quartararo and Miller split by just 0.077 on Day 2

Yamaha and Ducati depose Aprilia as testing continues in the desert

Sunday, 07 March 2021

Day 2 is done and dusted at the Official MotoGP™ Qatar Test and it’s Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo back in a familiar position: the top. The Frenchman was the first and so far only rider to dip into the 1:53s, but it was mighty close as Ducati Lenovo Team’s Jack Miller ended the day less than a tenth off. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was up at the sharp end on the brand-new RS-GP once again, this time in third but just 0.212 off Quartararo.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna

 

Sunday ushered in the best conditions the riders have enjoyed since pitlane opened at Losail International Circuit on Friday afternoon, with a bit of wind swirling across the track but nowhere near as much as the previous two days of track action. The improvements came quite early too as by the midway point, HRC test rider Stefan Bradl had beaten Aleix Espargaro’s Day 1 pace. It only got faster from there.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

By just over half an hour to play, Quartararo struck in the first 1:53 lap time of the test as the pace intensified under the lights, with Miller slicing up into P2 not long after. That was all Day 2 wrote at the top.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

So what was on the agenda barring simple speed? Fastest man Quartararo confirmed late on Saturday evening that Yamaha have a new chassis to try in Qatar, and the Frenchman was trying a carbon swingarm although he said he wasn’t using it when he set his best lap. After struggling to get the feeling on his YZR-M1 in the first “30 or 40 laps”, Quartararo was happy by the end of 59, but said that he needs a little bit more time compared to teammate Maverick Viñales to set that quick lap time from the off on new tyres, and it’s difficult to say whether the new chassis is better or not.

Viñales also confirmed that Yamaha have been trying plenty of things and his main focus so far has been rear grip. Judging from the timesheets, it’s going pretty well for the Iwata factory. Both riders seem to be very pleased with their progress so far with Viñales ending Day 2 in P7, 0.455s from his teammate. It wasn’t a totally slick day for Viñales though as both he and test rider Cal Crutchlow crashed at Qatar’s notorious Turn 2 – both were perfectly ok.

Both Petronas Yamaha SRT men also felt great after Day 1 and although Valentino Rossi’s was in P20 the day after, The Doctor seemed upbeat as he and Yamaha go through plenty of different things to try. After a “great first day at the office”, Morbidelli’s second day at the office also looked to have gone well after finishing up in P4 – a couple of tenths shy of former teammate Quartararo.

Ever the innovators, Ducati were seen with some more new toys on Day 2 in addition to the new aero we’ve seen Michele Pirro, Miller and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) riding wth. A new rear wheel that they’re using to monitor the forces going on at the rear end was seen, but this could just be for testing purposes and it remains to be seen whether this will be something the Bologna brand race with…

Their front-end holeshot device was confirmed today, however, and this is something that Aprilia, Honda, KTM and Suzuki have at their disposal too. The second fastest Ducati on track was Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) in P6, with Bagnaia ending the day P9 on the timesheets. Chatting at the end of Day 2, Miller confirmed that he’s enjoying himself on the bike and was able to push a little for a time attack towards the end, and the Australian also ran with the new aero for pretty much the whole day – but hinted that something more is coming soon in classic Ducati preseason style.

Ducati’s trio of rookies were once again out on track finding their feet on the fire breathing Desmosedicis too, and it was reigning Moto2™ World Champion Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) who was the fastest of the three on Day 2. The Italian took it by just over a tenth to teammate Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) as the Italians claimed P16 and P18 respectively, a good day for both. Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin, meanwhile, suffered his third crash in three days and completed the least amount of laps of any full-time MotoGP™ rider on the second Official Test day. Martin was perfectly fine after the Turn 16 tumble though and was able to claim P19, only  0.027s behind Marini. All three rookies have impressed so far to finish one and a half seconds off Quartararo’s pace.

Over at Aprilia, the Noale factory tried to play down their Day 1 success but on the evidence that Aleix Espargaro was third fastest on Day 2, there’s plenty of reason to be excited. The entire new package seems to be going well as Aleix Espargaro put 69 more laps on the clock, with teammate Lorenzo Savadori adding 41 to his tally. The latter finished P17, 1.630 seconds away from top spot.

Aleix Espargaro explained that he did a long run to understand what the bike is going to be like over race distance, and he had good reports but said he and Aprilia need to find a way to enable him to ride it more relaxed as the new bike is more physical than last year. The number 41 improved by half a second though and as expected, they’ve been trying lots of different things. Overall, it was a happy Aleix Espargaro with three days of pre-season testing left.

At Honda, there was some new aero to try on Day 2 and all four riders were seen sporting the new fairing during Sunday’s action. Repsol-liveried duo Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro were sitting pretty at the top of the timesheets at the halfway point as the latter’s adaption from KTM to Honda continues to be smooth. Eventually, Espargaro finished the Day in P12 after another 62 laps under his belt on the RC213V, with Bradl continuing to mix it with the top times to finish P5 and impress once again.

LCR Honda Castrol’s Alex Marquez crashed unhurt twice on Day 2, one at Turn 16 and one at Turn 2. Teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) also went down, the Japanese rider suffering his second crash of the Test – also at Turn 2 – but he too was ok. The duo were seen on Honda’s new fairing and finished together on the timesheets, P12 for Nakagami and P13 for Alex Marquez. Nakagami confirmed that some areas of the new fairings were good, others less so, with more testing needed to understand them better.

As aforementioned, Team Suzuki Ecstar were one of five teams to bring a front-end holeshot device to the Qatar Test. World Champion Joan Mir and teammate Alex Rins were both comfortably sitting inside the top 10 heading into the final hour of the day, with test riders Sylvain Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda out lapping as well. A new chassis is on the agenda for the Hamamatsu factory as well as some other as yet unconfirmed parts, but so far it looks like all is well in the silver and blue ranks as they packed up early on Day 2.

Mir confirmed that he enjoyed his second day on track, rediscovering his feeling from 2020 was on the agenda and the number 36 did exactly that. One of Mir’s main aims is to improve his qualifying pace, but the Spaniard said today wasn’t the day to properly delve into that. Rins confirmed he tried a new swingarm which made the bike a little more stable, and the number 42 also tried the 2022 engine that Guintoli has been testing. Great reviews, especially on top speed, were given.

 

Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

KTM were another manufacturer that debuted a new fairing today in Doha. This was narrower than the previous one and it was pictured on Miguel Oliveira’s Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine, with initial feelings seeming positive. However, with the wind, the word was that it’s difficult to properly tell how useful it is. Oliveira was the fastest RC16 rider on circuit though, claiming P11, 0.726s from Quartararo.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), meanwhile, described his day as a “little bit challenging” and suffered two crashes towards the end of the day. The South African was fine and although P24 on the timesheets, he confirmed everything is running pretty smoothly. The number 33 also ran with the updated fairing. Danilo Petrucci and Tech3 KTM Factory Racing teammate Iker Lecuona were P21 and P23 respectively, a quiet day for the orange men as Petrucci settles in and Lecuona starts only his second MotoGP™ season.

That’s it for now! There are now two days of downtime before the action returns on the 10th of March in Qatar, but in the meantime keep up to date with all the latest happenings across MotoGP™ social media and on motogp.com!

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Tech3 KTM Factory Racing:

Second day of testing in 2021 sees pleasing improvements by Petrucci and Lecuona

 

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing showed progress throughout day two at the Losail International Circuit. Following an intense debut yesterday in Qatar, the team’s new addition Danilo Petrucci managed to refine his feeling aboard the KTM RC16, which reflected in a steady improvement in lap times with nearly each run on Sunday. At the end of the opening test, the Italian went 1.194 seconds quicker than the previous day.

Likewise, Iker Lecuona increased his pace on the second day. The Spanish youngster, who secured several top 10 finishes in his rookie season 2020, tried different solutions with his KTM RC16 and concluded the first official test of the year 0.078 seconds behind his teammate. Both Tech3 KTM Factory Racing riders aim to step forward even further during the second official test at the Qatari venue, which takes place next Wednesday until Friday.

 

Danilo Petrucci (9). Photo courtesy KTM.
Danilo Petrucci (9). Photo courtesy KTM.

 

Danilo Petrucci
 

Position: 21st

Time: 1:55.795

Laps: 51

“Today has been another intense day of working. I’m understanding the bike better day by day. We tried something that works, but it’s clear, that we need some more time, as the challenge is quite tough. Unfortunately, I crashed this evening and I’m really sorry for that. Overall, I’m happy about the improvements we made today. For sure, we are still quite far from where we want to be, but we have three days left next week, where we need to use the time we have available to the best and then I think we can be competitive. We improved the lap time a lot today, but it’s still not enough. I would like to say thanks to my team for the hard work. We have to continue like this.”

 

Iker Lecuona (27). Photo courtesy KTM.
Iker Lecuona (27). Photo courtesy KTM.

 

Iker Lecuona
 

Position: 23rd

Time: 1:55.873

Laps: 38

“I tried many things on the bike for KTM and also for myself. I continued to improve my performance, mainly with my riding style in order to readapt myself to the bike. Also, with the temperature I felt more confident tonight than yesterday, so I’m quite satisfied about this regard. I didn’t check the result throughout the day, as I was fully focused on my performance and my work. We still have three test days to go faster, so we will see what happens next week.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

The Repsol Honda Team up their pace in Qatar

It proved to be another productive evening in Qatar, both riders improving their overall speed and trying a raft of options on the RC213V machines as times continued to tighten among the top riders.

Having started well yesterday, both sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage were eager to continue their form and keep improving. With just over three hours of the test remaining, Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro led the timesheets in first and second as they put the 2021 RC213V through its paces.

After a positive first day adjusting to the RC213V, Pol Espargaro was again keen to get out on track and continue to lap the 5.4km long Losail International Circuit. With a day of riding and an evening of reviewing data away from the circuit, Espargaro was able to almost immediately improve on his best time from the previous day as his knowledge of the Honda continues to grow. Today Pol and his crew began to work towards longer runs as his base setting was refined.

Ultimately a 1’54.673 saw Espargaro finish the day in 12th, 1.2s faster than his best time from yesterday. With only 0.750s dividing the 13 fastest riders, there was nothing to choose between the top positions.

Stefan Bradl proved his day one pace was no flash in the pan, quickly getting within a few tenths of his best time and dropping into the 1’54s soon after. As the test entered the closing stages, Bradl was in command of the time sheets and looking very comfortable on board the RC213V. Bradl was able to keep pace as the times dropped, settling on a 1’54.210 to end the day in fifth.

Testing resumes on Wednesday, March 10 as the final three days of pre-season testing begins.

 

Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

Pol Espargaro

12TH  1’54.673

“Another good day, we were not at the top but I am very satisfied with my speed and my overall pace. We were 0.7s from the top and 0.5s from the top five which is a positive after only two days on the bike. I am happy with how the adaption to the bike is going, there are still some areas to work on but physically I am coping well with how to ride the Honda. It is just a matter of time to understand how to make the most of the Honda, I think today we showed the progress you can make in just one day so I am looking forward to a quick break and then getting back on the Honda again.”

 

Stefan Bradl (6). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Stefan Bradl (6). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

Stefan Bradl

5TH  1’54.210

“Well we have had another positive day on the bike and I am pleased with what we have done. We were able to improve almost immediately, and our pace kept up with the guys at the top, it shows that both the bike and I are working well here. This is allowing us to get a lot of work done for Honda and so far we have had three very productive days. I was not chasing a fast lap so much and the times are very tight. Now I will enjoy a short rest before coming back for the final three days of testing here.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

FABIO QUARTARARO TOPS QATAR TEST DAY 2

Losail (Qatar), 7th March 2021

OFFICIAL MOTOGP TEST

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team got into the swing of things on Day 2 of the Qatar MotoGP Official Test. Riders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales spent today‘s seven hours of available track time to improve their feeling with their bikes and concluded the day in 1st and 7th place respectively.

1st FABIO QUARTARARO 1’53.940 / 52/59 LAPS

7th MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’54.395 / 55/66 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales were on form at the Losail International Circuit today, taking 1st and 7th place respectively in the Day 2 and the combined Qatar MotoGP Official Test standings.

With some more laps under his belt, Quartararo quickly got back into the groove. Sticking to his testing plan for today, he put in a time attack towards the end of the session. He rocketed to the top spot in the Day 2 and combined results on lap 52 of 59. He was the only rider to drop under the 1‘54s-mark, with a fastest time of 1‘53.940s, and holds a 0.077s advantage over his closest rival.

Viñales enjoyed a productive and positive day. He concentrated on perfecting his riding style to suit the 2021 YZR-M1. Though he suffered a small crash in Turn 2 when the temperatures dropped, the Spaniard was unhurt and able to continue. His 1‘54.395s best time, set on lap 55 of 66, earned him seventh position in both today‘s and the combined Day 1-2 timesheets, 0.455s from first.

The team will be back at the Losail International Circuit on Wednesday, 10th March for Day 3 of the Qatar MotoGP Official Test, again held from 14:00 – 21:00 (GMT+3).

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

We are not yet where we want to be with our schedule, but we have been able to gather quite a lot of information that we will closely study in the next two days. Each rider explored different areas of improvement. We will prepare a mix of all the positively evaluated solutions for Wednesday. Overall, we are quite satisfied with the pace that both our riders have been able to keep over these last two days. Fabio set a strong time during his time attack. Maverick hasn’t done one yet.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

FABIO QUARTARARO

I’ve been doing a lot of training in the off-season, motocross and also flat track, but riding a MotoGP bike is a different story. I am looking forward to some days off now so the blisters on my hands can heal. Still, I am so happy that we get to ride again in two days, because I am enjoying it so much! We improved the pace, that’s something really positive that we take away from today. The feeling is great, and I made good lap times. We will use these upcoming two days off to look at the data and decide on the next steps.

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

MAVERICK VIÑALES

We are aiming for consistency this season. I am happy and pleased about the test. Yamaha has been working hard this winter. At the end of today‘s session, we did five or six laps that were really good for us. Those were the lap times we were looking for. I concentrated on my riding style and tried to go with the flow. I was surprised that I could ride 1‘54s even when there wasn‘t that much grip. I can‘t wait to be on the bike again on Wednesday and do more fast lap times.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Sky Racing Team VR46:

STEPS FORWARD FOR LUCA MARINI AT DOHA

End of the first official IRTA test for the young rider of the Sky VR46 Avintia who is making his first steps on the Ducati MotoGP.

Doha (Qatar), March 7th 2021 – Luca Marini’s first official test of 2021 in archive after two days of hard work to continue to become familiar with the new Ducati MotoGP.

The rider of the Sky VR46 Avintia has completed about hundred laps at Losail track and was able to improve his lap time, the position on the bike and the electronics. Positive feelings and a best of 1.55.605 signed in the final stages of the Day2.

 

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Sky Racing Team VR46.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Sky Racing Team VR46.

 

Luca Marini:

Of the three, today is definitely the day I enjoyed the most. I was able to ride more easily, I made a good step forward on the setting and a great job in the garage. I have done a lot on my riding style in braking and now I am closer to the other Ducati guys. In these days before the second testing session we will check the data to understand in which area to focus and further evolve my style. The riding position is better, I can do more laps and keep a good pace. I am doing a lot in terms of electronics, I have more confidence on the front too and I have pushed more on the tires that are really very different from Dunlop. We have to work on many details to be 100%, but we can think of a race simulation in the next session.

Ruben Xaus:

An interesting day: Luca continued to ride and take confidence with the Ducati. He is an hard worker and even today he has completed more than 45 laps. He was able to improve his lap time in a really short standings – a gap of only 1.7 considering that the lap time in Losail is close to 2 minutes – and I’m happy. The feelings on the bike are good and let’s enjoy this rest day for the Team to get back at work motivated in the second testing session. We still have some details to fix, not in terms of speed, more of experience for being able to get to the first two races in the best way possible.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Lenovo Team:

Miller closes in second position the first 2021 MotoGP pre-season test in Qatar. Ninth Bagnaia

The Ducati Lenovo Team continues its preparations for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship at Losail International Circuit in Doha (Qatar) that will host the Qatar GP at the end of this month.  As they were on track yesterday, working on getting back the feeling with the Desmosedici GP bikes and getting acquainted with their new team, Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia, returned to action today, continuing to fine-tuning their bikes.

Miller closed the first two-day test at Losail in second place. The Australian stopped the clock at 1:54.017, taking over a second off his best time from yesterday and finishing just 77 thousandths behind leader Quartararo.

Pecco Bagnaia was ninth. The rider from Turin, who was busy testing several new items on his bike today, closed with a fastest time in 1:54.651, just 634 thousandths behind his teammate.

Ducati MotoGP Test Team rider Michele Pirro continued the developing work on the Desmosedici GP21, completing 20 laps today, on its third day of testing in Qatar.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Ducati Lenovo Team.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Ducati Lenovo Team.

 

Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team, #43) – 1:54.017 (2nd – 57 laps)

“I’m pleased with these first two days of testing with my new team. Today I lapped mainly with the new fairing: the sensations are very positive, and the bike seems more stable. Despite the regulation restrictions, the team has done a fantastic job over the winter! For now, as is often the case here in Qatar, we are all very close, and we will be even closer at the end of these two tests! I expect a very fierce race weekend! Now I’m going to rest over the next two days to get back on track on Wednesday, more focused on our testing program.”

 

Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Ducati Lenovo Team.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Ducati Lenovo Team.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team, #63) – 1:54.651 (9th – 48 laps)

“Today was a very demanding day, but I’m satisfied with the work we were able to complete. We tested a lot of new items, and so far, the feeling has been positive. Fortunately, we’ll now have two days to work on the data we’ve gathered today and set up the work for the next three days of free practices that we will have here in Qatar next week”.

The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track at Losail Circuit next week, from 10th-12th March, for the final three days of official pre-season testing.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Qatar Test – Johann and Jorge had a very positive feeling after 3 testing days

The first test session at the Losail circuit has come to an end and the activities will resume on Wednesday 10 March. Both Pramac Racing riders are satisfied with this first taste of MotoGP. Johann Zarco continued focusing with the team on electronics and trying different types of set up. The French did his best lap time of 1:54. 356 during his 51st lap. Jorge Martín is very determined to continue to improve himself more and more, carrying on the work started yesterday on the electronics, experimenting with different set ups to get more confidence with the rear tire. A crash without consequences during the first outing doesn’t dampen the spirits of the Spanish rookie, who gets back on his Ducati. Jorge concludes the first three days of testing in the premier class, setting his best time of 1.55.632 on the twenty-ninth lap out of a total of thirty-six.

Jorge Martín

Every day the feeling is improving and growing lap by lap. Unfortunately I crashed after 3 laps but there were no consequences, I felt that I was gaining confidence and I made a mistake. I’m very happy with these days and the things I’ve learned will help me to do better next week.

Johann Zarco

A positive day, we are continuing to improve day by day, today we tried new things and the sensations are good, I feel good on the bike but we still have to work on some aspects. We are going in the right direction.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Morbidelli quick under Qatar floodlights

Second day at Losail ends with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli fourth and Valentino Rossi 20th

Improved conditions greeted PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at Losail International Circuit today, for the second day of pre-season testing in Qatar. Franco Morbidelli, who enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the timesheets, ended the day fourth – whilst new team-mate Valentino Rossi was 20th.

Morbidelli immediately improved upon his lap time from yesterday when he got the second day of testing in Qatar underway, two hours into the allotted track time for the day. Throughout his 63 laps, Franco was able to test the rear-end settings on his YZR-M1 to find better stability, and also evaluated a modified holeshot device at the end of the session. After enjoying a brief spell at the top of the timesheets, Morbidelli ended the day fourth, 0.213secs shy of the quickest time, with a 1min 54.153secs lap.

Team-mate Rossi continued to compare his two Yamaha YZR-M1 chassis and also focused on improving rear grip. The new signing for the Malaysian squad was able to spend the entirety of the day on this, with winds calmer than they had been yesterday, and opted not to do a time attack. Rossi completed 50 laps, with his fastest time of 1min 55.708secs placing him 20th at the end of the session.

Morbidelli and Rossi will now have two days rest before the Qatar Test resumes with three more days of running, beginning on Wednesday 10 March at 2pm local time (7pm MYT).

 

Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT
Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

 

Franco Morbidelli

4th (1:54.153)

I am happy with the job we’ve done today. Straight-away we had some good improvements on yesterday and then we just got better and better as the day went on. We went through some new elements that we needed to try, some of which I liked, and it was good to be able to go through them and have the chance to try them on my bike. Looking towards the final three days of testing, we will be looking to continue improving the overall package and then focusing on race pace, to understand some things ahead of the first two GPs here.

 

Valentino Rossi (46). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.
Valentino Rossi (46). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.

Valentino Rossi

20th (1:55.708)

Today was not the best as I found that the grip levels were not what we wanted, so this was not great. We tried a few things, but we struggled a little with grip and acceleration on corner exit. Despite this we worked all day and we tried a new base setting. We will now check the data to help us find a better balance when the test resumes on Wednesday.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

ÁLEX MÁRQUEZ UPBEAT AFTER DAY TWO OF TESTING

The second day of MotoGP pre-season testing took place at the Losail International Circuit on Sunday; another afternoon-evening session under much-improved conditions compared to the strong winds of day one. For LCR Honda CASTROL and their new recruit Álex Márquez it was just a second day of working together, but both parties were positive about the progress made over the weekend.

Márquez continued to work hard with the team on new items from HRC, and despite two minor slide-outs topping and tailing the day, still managed to complete 53 laps of the Qatari venue, with a best time of 1’54.952. This was just a second down on the overall fastest lap of the evening, and without the Spaniard having put in a time attack lap.

After two days of downtime in Doha, the LCR Honda CASTROL Team will reconvene for three further days of testing in Losail from Wednesday 10th March, ahead of the season proper which begins two weeks later.

 

Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.

 

Álex Márquez – 14th

(1’54.952)

“The second day in Qatar was again encouraging because we tried some special things and a different direction for the bike – and it was honestly a positive result. We just had a couple of small crashes at the beginning and at the end which weren’t really part of the plan, and just meant it was a problem as regards doing a time attack in the last hour.

Anyway, I think we have got some really good information and a good feeling with the bike for next week. We now have two days to analyse things and put all the pieces together. We have learnt a lot over these last two days and I’m looking forward to the final three days of pre-season tests in order to make another step forward and to feel even better with the bike.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

NAKAGAMI PLEASED AFTER END OF FIRST TESTS IN QATAR

The second day of official pre-season tests took place under floodlights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Sunday, with LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami continuing set-up work alongside his crew ahead of the fast-approaching 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

The Japanese rider put in an impressive 60 laps of the racetrack, eventually stopping the clock in a best time of 1’54.690 late on in the evening. Despite joining many of his rivals in sliding out at the infamous turn two left-hander, he still managed to get through a huge amount of work one the 2021 RC213V package, as he and his crew work closely with HRC on fine-tuning their new machine.

After two days of data analysis and brainstorming in Doha, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team will get together with Nakagami this Wednesday 10th March for a further three days of testing, ahead of the season proper which begins at the same desert venue two weeks later.

 

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Takaaki Nakagami – 13th

(1’54.690)

“Today was a quite busy day because we tested a few items, some important things, but it was good because everything was quite clear in terms of the information and feeling we were getting back from the bike. I had a big crash in turn two around five o’clock, but thankfully I was ok.

Step by step we are getting there, and we definitely understood that we need to improve on the set-up for the next test. I’m quite calm and feel good so hopefully we can make another step forward in the next test, which will be really important for the race weekend. I hope we can get even better performance in that next test starting on Wednesday.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

ALEIX FINISHES THE FIRST TESTS IN DOHA WITH GOOD SENSATIONS AND THE THIRD BEST TIME

LORENZO CONTINUES TO IMPROVE DESPITE A PAINFUL SHOULDER

The 2021 MotoGP season started off on the right foot for Aprilia. The new RS-GP, which had already earned the stamp of approval from Aleix and Lorenzo in the Jerez tests, confirmed its improvements compared to the 2020 prototype on the Losail track as well. It is an evolution that involved all the major aspects, from aerodynamics to electronic strategies to the further advanced V4 engine.

Even without focusing attention on the fast lap which, in any case, let Aleix finish in third place after being fastest yesterday, the speed of the new RS-GP was confirmed by several long runs where the Spaniard maintained a promising pace.

Lorenzo Savadori is improving steadily, making his full-time début in the MotoGP World Championship, despite a painful shoulder that kept him from expressing 100% of his potential. Grappling with a new and demanding category, Lorenzo followed a work programme designed to let him gain confidence step by step. The focus of the next tests will be primarily ergonomics and position in the saddle – still not optimum. In addition to fundamental hours of apprenticeship on the bike.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing

 

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“It’s just a test, that much is obvious, but our step forward is just as obvious. The hard work begun last year and continued over the winter resulted in improvements to the RS-GP, suiting my needs. We’re not talking about just one aspect, but many small changes that make it different from the 2020 bike and more competitive. The weight reduction is a benefit and the greater aerodynamic load provides stability, which translates into a bike that accelerates better. The truly important note is not so much the flying lap as the pace: we are consistent. Even today during the race simulation, pace was objectively significant. The other side of the coin is the great physical effort required, especially after 10-12 laps. We need to work on that and on the right compromise between stability and handling.”

 

Lorenzo Savadori (32). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing.
Lorenzo Savadori (32). Photo courtesy Aprilia Gresini Racing.

 

LORENZO SAVADORI

“Two demanding days, particularly for me because of the soreness from a shoulder injury that bothered me rather a lot. Yesterday I tried to gain confidence on the bike and with the tyres, whereas today we worked on ergonomics and my position in the saddle. We’ll be concentrating precisely on this aspect in the next tests, because we identified a few solutions that could make me a bit more incisive.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Avintia Esponsorama Racing:

Avintia Esponsorama Racing Team MotoGP Test Qatar

THE TWO RIDERS OF THE AVINTIA ESPONSORAMA RACING TEAM FINISH THE TEST WITH GOOD TIMES AND POSITIVE SENSATIONS.

In this last day the riders of the Avintia Esponsorama Racing Team have ended with very positive sensations looking the upcoming test on the Losail circuit. Enea Bastianini has made 45 laps marking his best time at 1.55″48.   Luca Marini (Sky Vr46 Avintia Team) made 48 laps marking his best time at 1.55″605.

#23 ENEA BASTIANINI – 1´55.48

“I’ve ride more smoothly and relaxed as with this bike you can’t ride aggressively. I finally got a good time in the middle of the section. We have started working with electronics and set up, the result of these three days is very positive. As a goal for the next Test certainly improve gradually to get in the best conditions to the two races”.

# 10 LUCA MARINI  ( Sky Vr46 Avintia ) – 1,55.60

“Of the three, today is definitely the day I enjoyed the most. I was able to ride more easily, I made a good step forward on the setting and a great job in the garage. I have done a lot on my riding style in braking and now I am closer to the other Ducati guys. In these days before the second testing session, we will check the data to understand in which area to focus and further evolve my style. The riding position is better, I can do more laps and keep a good pace. I am doing a lot in terms of electronics; I have more confidence on the front too and I have pushed more on the tires that are really very different from Dunlop. We have to work on many details to be 100%, but we can think of a race simulation in the next session”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

SUZUKI SWITCHES FOCUS TO BIG TEST ITEMS ON DAY 2 IN QATAR

Joan Mir: 8th – 1’54.515 (+ 0.575)

Alex Rins: 10th – 1’54.658 (+ 0.718)

Sylvain Guintoli: 26th – 1’56.762 (+ 2.822)

Sunday saw Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders take to the track once again for the second day of testing under the lights at Losal Circuit in Qatar. These crucial early outings on the GSX-RR are proving positive for the squad, as more comparisons and adjustments were made, and the riders gave good feedback.

Joan Mir finished Day 2 with a positive mood thanks to the feeling of the bike and his progress so far. He worked on many different areas, including a comparison of different chassis items. Mir closed the second day in 8th place with a 1’54.515 and a total of 48 laps.

Alex Rins started the day on the 2021 GSX-RR before heading out on the 2022-spec. machine later on in the session. Despite a crash at the end of the day he managed to collect plenty of useful information. Rins did 49 laps with a best time of 1’54.658 and 10th place.

Meanwhile, Sylvain Guintoli continued his work which today focused more in the areas of chassis options and suspension, rather than the engine. The Frenchman is feeling more and more comfortable with the bike and he will continue working next week.

Team Suzuki Ecstar will be back on track in Qatar on March 10th.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Yesterday was mostly about the riders getting used to the machines, and then from today we have started to work more intensely. Alex tried the first version of the 2022 engine today, and Joan worked on the chassis area. Sylvain continued testing and collecting a lot of data. Alex had a little crash in the last couple of minutes, but luckily he is fine and no problems. Now we’ll check everything and prepare for the next three days of testing.”

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.

 

Joan Mir:

“It was a tough day because we tried lots of new things such as the new spec. chassis items, some things with the electronics, and some tyres. We tried to find the best way forward and I’m happy with the performance, and my lap times so far. The team and I have done a really good job, the test has been positive, and for sure we feel prepared for the next three days of testing at the end of next week.”

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.

 

Alex Rins:

“I’m feeling quite good, today went pretty well and we tried quite a few different things. I tried the first version of the engine for 2022, which felt good and seems that it might have a bit more speed. After that we tried a few other small things. The times are really tight, but I’m happy with my pace at the moment. I had a small crash at Turn 2 at the end of the day, but there were no consequences. I’m looking forward to the next testing days.”

 

Sylvain Guintoli (50). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR
Sylvain Guintoli (50). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.

 

Sylvain Guintoli:

“Today we carried on working with the chassis, trying some aerodynamic variations. We found some good things and some not-so-good things in those areas, and it was really interesting to compare everything. I also worked on suspension and some smaller adjustments. I felt much better riding today; I’m more used to being on the bike now after 5 months without riding!”

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