Pol Espargaro raring to go in Repsol Honda Team colours
The 2021 MotoGP World Championship is about to commence, Pol Espargaro is excited for his first race on the RC213V after a strong test as Stefan Bradl lines up alongside him.
Sunday, March 28, will see the lights go out on the Grand Prix of Qatar and begin another thrilling MotoGP World Championship season. After a difficult 2020, the Repsol Honda Team enter the new season with rejuvenated determination and desire to return to the front. This will be the first of two races at the 5.4-kilometre-long Losail International Circuit, Round Two coming the following week.
Limited pre-seasoning testing has seen the Repsol Honda Team’s newest signing, Pol Espargaro, do all of his running on the RC213V at the Qatar circuit so far. A productive test has Espargaro and his side of the garage feeling positive ahead of the first race but has set no expectations for the weekend, wanting to focus on continuing to deepen his understanding of the Honda. In the MotoGP class, Espargaro has achieved two top-ten finishes in Qatar previously.
As Marc Marquez continues to focus on recovering from his broken humerus, Stefan Bradl will again mount the Repsol Honda Team RC213V for the opening race of the year. Bradl ended 2020 with a string of solid results and again showed his pace during testing in Qatar, the HRC Test Rider able to consistently challenge the established order during the test. Having last raced in Qatar in 2016, the Qatar Tests have been useful for Bradl to relearn the Doha track.
Action begins at 15:40 Local Time on Friday, March 26 after the traditional pre-season photoshoot on Thursday.
“The first race is finally here, I am really excited to get back on the Honda. We had a good test and I am looking forward to the first race weekend. There are some things we still need to learn and understand about the bike and it will be an intense opening weekend, but I am excited. Racing the Repsol Honda is something most people dream of and I can’t wait to do it. I am not setting a target for the race other than do the best that we can. Let’s put on a good show for all the fans that are at home, it’s time to go racing!”
“First of all I want to say thank you to HRC and wish Marc all the best on his continued recovery. We had a good test and I have been riding well after a busy 2020 and a good start to 2021. Hopefully we can have another strong weekend and gather some good information for Honda. It will be great to race in Qatar again, it has been a while since I have raced there but certainly the two tests have me up to speed with the track so I don’t think this will be a disadvantage to us. Let’s start the season.”
The fabulous Lusail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event – the Marlboro Grand… read more.
|Length||5.380 kilometres / 3.343 miles|
|Longest straight||1.068 kilometres / 0.664 miles|
Losail International Circuit, Al Daayen, Qatar - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 52.772s (171.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)|
|Race Lap||1m 54.624s (168.9 km/h) Maverick Viñales (Yamaha,2021)|
|Race Time||42m13.198 (168.2km/h) Enea Bastianini (Ducati, 2022)|
|2022 Race Winner||Enea Bastianini (Ducati)|