Quartararo edges Miller in opening pre-season test
Monday 8th March, 2021 - 9:16am
Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo has edged Ducati’s Jack Miller to top spot at the conclusion of MotoGP’s opening official pre-season test in Qatar.
In far calmer conditions at the Losail International Circuit than those of the two days prior, Quartararo stripped almost three quarters of a second from Aleix Espargaro’s Day 1 benchmark.
The Frenchman clocked a 1:53.940s inside the last hour of his first on-track outing for the factory Monster Energy Yamaha squad, with Miller coming in 0.077s shy with his final lap 1:54.017s.
The aforementioned Espargaro was quick again, taking third for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini on a 1:54.152s.
Yamaha was trialling a new chassis in Qatar and while Quartararo also tested a carbon swingarm, he claimed not to have been using it on his fastest lap.
Miller, who had a half-hour spell on top of the timing monitor, spent the bulk of the day trying out a new aerodynamic package, while the Ducati Lenovo Team has also been working on a new rear wheel and a front-end holeshot device.
Aleix Espargaro was not only relatively fast again, but racked up the greatest tally of laps for the day with 69.
He wound up a thousandth of a second ahead of Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli, who again has the older, ‘A-Spec’ YZR-M1 in 2021.
Honda test rider and Marc Marquez stand-in Stefan Bradl claimed fifth with a 1:54.210s on a day on which all four RC213V pilots circulated with a new fairing.
Rounding out the top 10 were Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha), Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo), and Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), the latter at 0.718s off the pace.
New Red Bull KTM Factory man Miguel Oliveira was 11th on a 1:54.666s, one spot ahead of the rider who he replaced, Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro.
LCR team-mates Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) both hit the deck on multiple occasions during the test, the former twice on Day 2.
Nakagami wound up 13th, exactly three quarters slower than Quartararo’s benchmark, with Marquez 14th but another 0.262s back.
Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Ducati) claimed rookie honours in 16th while Valentino Rossi was 20th-fastest on his second day for SRT and 19th for the test combined.
Viñales and Cal Crutchlow, who has returned to the Yamaha ranks as a test rider, were also among those to go down during the day, both at Turn 2.
Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) had a third crash in as many days, including the Shakedown Test which he was eligible to participate in as a rookie, and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) suffered two spills.
The field now has two days off before the second and final official pre-season test, also at Losail.
Day 2: Losail Official Test 1
|Pos||Num||Rider||Nat||Team||Bike||Fastest lap||Gap 1st/Prev|
|1||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:53.940||52/59|
|2||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1:54.017||57/57||0.077/0.077|
|3||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:54.152||42/69||0.212/0.135|
|4||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1:54.153||50/63||0.213/0.001|
|5||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||Honda Test Team||Honda||1:54.210||44/61||0.270/0.057|
|6||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:54.356||51/55||0.416/0.146|
|7||12||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:54.395||55/66||0.455/0.039|
|8||36||Joan MIR||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:54.515||45/48||0.575/0.120|
|9||63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1:54.651||48/48||0.711/0.136|
|10||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:54.658||25/49||0.718/0.007|
|11||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:54.666||35/47||0.726/0.008|
|12||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:54.673||25/62||0.733/0.007|
|13||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:54.690||59/60||0.750/0.017|
|14||73||Alex MARQUEZ||ESP||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||1:54.952||32/53||1.012/0.262|
|15||81||Yamaha TEST1||Yamaha Test Team||Yamaha||1:55.306||30/35||1.366/0.354|
|16||23||Enea BASTIANINI||ITA||Avintia Esponsorama||Ducati||1:55.486||35/45||1.546/0.180|
|17||32||Lorenzo SAVADORI||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:55.570||38/41||1.630/0.084|
|18||10||Luca MARINI||ITA||SKY VR46 Avintia||Ducati||1:55.605||47/48||1.665/0.035|
|19||89||Jorge MARTIN||ESP||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:55.632||29/36||1.692/0.027|
|20||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1:55.708||35/50||1.768/0.076|
|21||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:55.795||39/51||1.855/0.087|
|22||82||Yamaha TEST2||Yamaha Test Team||Yamaha||1:55.867||20/20||1.927/0.072|
|23||27||Iker LECUONA||ESP||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:55.873||22/38||1.933/0.006|
|24||33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:55.944||23/41||2.004/0.071|
|25||26||Dani PEDROSA||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:56.452||32/53||2.512/0.508|
|26||50||Sylvain GUINTOLI||FRA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:56.762||26/45||2.822/0.310|
|27||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||Ducati Test Team||Ducati||1:57.895||19/20||3.955/1.133|
|28||85||Takuya TSUDA||JPN||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:58.910||16/25||4.970/1.015|
|NC||83||Yamaha TEST3||Yamaha Test Team||Yamaha|