Miller on lap record pace in Qatar test
Thursday 11th March, 2021 - 9:03am
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|