Miller on lap record pace in Qatar test

Jack Miller. Picture: MotoGP.com

Jack Miller unofficially broke the Losail lap record in setting the fastest time on the third day of official MotoGP pre-season testing.

As was the case when the initial two days of running concluded earlier in the week, Miller and Fabio Quartararo occupied the top two spots on the timesheet, although in reverse order this time around.

The #43 Ducati Lenovo Team entry ended up fastest with a 1:53.183s from Quartararo’s 1:53.263s, both of which were under the official All Time Lap Record at the Qatar Grand Prix venue of 1:53.380s.

Maverick Viñales made it two Monster Energy Yamaha entries in the top three with a personal best 1:53.510s, quicker than his team-mate’s old benchmark 1:53.940s from three days prior.

Rounding out the top five on identical 1:53.899s lap times were Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco and Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro.

In the most favourable weather since the field descended on Qatar, Miller took over top spot just inside the final three hours of the day’s proceedings in setting a 1:53.826s.

Quartararo fired in what would be his fastest lap at the end of his penultimate run, an effort which put the Frenchman more than half a second clear at that point, before Viñales also usurped #43.

Miller, however, who was again in action with Ducati’s new aerodynamic fairing, saved the best for his last lap of the evening.

Zarco also got to try the Bologna factory’s latest fairing, while Pol Espargaro was spotted using Honda’s carbon-bonded chassis.

The latter’s brother, Aleix, ended up sixth for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini with a 1:53.971s despite technical problems and a minor crash which limited him to a relatively low 31 laps.

Seventh and eighth went to Suzuki Ecstar’s two race riders, 2020 champion Joan Mir setting a 1:54.078s and Alex Rins a 1:54.143s.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) ended up ninth having worked on race runs, while Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) rounded out the top 10.

Petronas Yamaha SRT team-mates Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi wound up 11th and 13th, respectively, split by Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) was 15th-fastest, one position behind top rookie Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Ducati).

Stefan Bradl, officially entered as a Honda Test Team rider, finished 16th with just 15 laps to his name after a crash at Turn 2 left the German with neck pain.

Others to bite the dust were Viñales, Nakagami, Marquez, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), and Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM).

While seemingly having not shown their hand yet, the KTM contingent have been working on a new swingarm and fairing.

The penultimate day of official pre-season testing gets underway late tonight (AEDT).

Day 1: Losail Official Test 2

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Fastest lap Gap 1st/Prev
1 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:53.183 51/51  
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:53.263 55/62 0.080/0.080
3 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:53.510 75/77 0.327/0.247
4 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:53.899 62/65 0.716/0.389
5 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:53.899 47/53 0.716
6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:53.971 20/31 0.788/0.072
7 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:54.078 57/57 0.895/0.107
8 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:54.143 56/63 0.960/0.065
9 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:54.236 29/51 1.053/0.093
10 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:54.262 38/50 1.079/0.026
11 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:54.367 37/55 1.184/0.105
12 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:54.526 50/58 1.343/0.159
13 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:54.618 45/56 1.435/0.092
14 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1:54.738 43/44 1.555/0.120
15 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:54.930 42/56 1.747/0.192
16 6 Stefan BRADL GER Honda Test Team Honda 1:54.974 4/15 1.791/0.044
17 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:54.978 46/48 1.795/0.004
18 82 Yamaha TEST2   Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 1:54.998 28/53 1.815/0.020
19 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:55.010 25/44 1.827/0.012
20 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:55.279 24/50 2.096/0.269
21 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:55.315 43/47 2.132/0.036
22 10 Luca MARINI ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1:55.328 21/54 2.145/0.013
23 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:55.640 28/58 2.457/0.312
24 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:55.642 38/52 2.459/0.002
25 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:56.168 30/39 2.985/0.526
26 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati 1:57.255 25/29 4.072/1.087
27 81 Yamaha TEST1   Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 1:57.510 39/64 4.327/0.255
28 85 Takuya TSUDA JPN Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:57.795 25/27 4.612/0.285
NC 83 Yamaha TEST3   Yamaha Test Team Yamaha      

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