Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl kept their heads down and focused on Sunday as the first Qualifying of 2021 got underway in Losail, the pair lining up on the fourth and sixth rows of the grid.

Saturday in Qatar started under an even more punishing sky as track temperatures pushed 50°C, the MotoGP field made the most of the track time in Free Practice 3 regardless but the temperatures meant there were no changes on the combined times. As on Friday, the conditions would steadily improve throughout the evening.

As a result, Pol Espargaro earned direct passage to Q2 and accomplished the first goal of his opening weekend with the Repsol Honda Team. Saturday overall proved to be a more complicated day for Espargaro as he continued to learn the Honda in the varying conditions of the day. Regardless of the final result, Espargaro is ready for a fight when the lights go out on Sunday after showing improvements during his final run in Q2. Espargaro will line up on the fourth row of the grid for his first race in Repsol Honda Team colours. He and his side of the Repsol Honda Team are eager awaiting returning to track for Warm Up.

Stefan Bradl put together an overall impressive day on the Repsol Honda RC213V, eighth in Free Practice 4 with consistent times before heading out in Q1. Times in the 15-minute session were incredibly close, seven riders within half a second of each other. Only 0.418s off Nakagami’s best time and only 0.267s off a transfer spot, Bradl earned 17th on the grid for Sunday’s race. The German feels his race pace should see him advance up the order during the race.

The flag will drop on the inaugural race of 2021 at 20:00 Local Time on Sunday, March 27. The 22-lap race looks set to be a thrilling one to open the new season.

Pol Espargaro

12th 1'53.930

“At the end our feeling was good but during the day we were looking for solutions, this can happen when you are still new to a bike. FP4 was not a good session and we were working on stopping the bike better. But we reset, tomorrow we go again no matter what and we fight. I think we can be there in the race. It was not a good day today, but I feel ready for a good race. We need to have a good Warm Up, but I have the feeling it will be a good race and I am going to go for it.”

Stefan Bradl

17th 1'53.995

“We have had a busy day today and made some more progress. In Free Practice 3 and 4 I was feeling quite good, and our race pace is looking better than where we have qualified. There is still some more performance to gain over one lap with a new tyre. No matter what, we will keep improving during Warm Up and fight forward in the race to gain as many positions as possible. The season has just started.”

MotoGP 2021
Qualifying Round 1   Qatar

Qatar GP Qualifying Classification

Dry
Humidity
34%
Track Temp
29°C
Air Temp
28°C
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1'52.772
2 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.266
3 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.316
4 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.342
5 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.443
6 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.514
7 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.541
8 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0.543
9 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.718
10 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.910
11 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.949
12 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.158
13 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 0.156 Q1
14 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.263
15 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.338
16 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 0.381
17 Bradl Stefan 6 GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.418
18 Marini Luca 10 ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 0.545
19 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.663
20 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.866
21 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.050
22 Savadori Lorenzo 32 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.606
Location Information

The fabulous Losail 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
Width 12 metres
Left corners 6
Right corners 10
Longest straight 1.068 kilometres / 0.664 miles
Constructed 2004

Losail International Circuit, Al Daayen, Qatar - View in Google Maps

www.circuitlosail.com

Records

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 42m28.452 42s (167.1km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2016)
2021 Race Winner Race 1: Maverick Viñales (Yamaha) || Race 2: Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha)