Quartararo edges Miller in opening pre-season test

Fabio Quartararo

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.

Jack Miller

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      

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