Action returns as MotoGP testing gets underway in Qatar, Pol Espargaro enjoying his first contact with the Repsol Honda and Stefan Bradl making constant improvements.

Heavy winds swept across the Losail International Circuit as the first day of official testing began ahead of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season. While much of the field waited for conditions to settle, the Repsol Honda Team were eager to make the most of the track time available.

Pol Espargaro was the first full-time rider out on track, eager to sample the Honda RC213V for the first time. Completing his instillation lap, Espargaro returned to the box for his first debrief and setup adjustments. Short runs would be the order for much of the day as the 2013 Moto2 World Champion adapted to life in Repsol Honda Team colours. Each lap saw Espargaro improve his time, settling on a best time of 1’55.878 after 68 laps aboard the Honda.

Times were not the focus of the day, Espargaro and his team working on getting comfortable on the bike and improving his feeling on the Honda RC213V.

Having had a successful day of running during the Shakedown the previous day, Stefan Bradl was back on track. The experienced German was fast from the off, leading the start of testing and retaining a position in the top three for the majority of running. Ending the evening second fastest, Bradl’s 1’54.943 was 0.256s shy of the top time.

Pol Espargaro

17th 1'55.878

"I feel good, there was a lot of work and there will be a lot of work to feel the limits of the bike, but it was great to finally ride the Honda. Today was about getting comfortable on the bike and beginning to understand everything, I am happy with the laps we did. We kept it very simple today, but we made good progress. Already I am excited to get back out there tomorrow and keep working but for now it’s time to go back to the hotel and start to look at the data to see where we can go better tomorrow. Front end feeling is what I need to understand the most at the moment, I can see this compared to Stefan but this will come with more laps. This is the same anytime you get on a new bike."

Stefan Bradl

Second 1'54.943

"I am happy overall because we have worked very well, been very productive and I feel comfortable on the bike. We kept working through our test plan and today our attention shifted more to parts and working on the chassis side. We’ve been finding good pace again and everything has worked very well so far, the goal is to continue in this direction. I’m happy to be riding and feeling like this on the bike. It’s the first test day for the other riders so I probably had some advantage from riding yesterday, we need to stay calm as everything is going to get closer as lap times improve. Happy for now, but still lots of work to do."

MotoGP 2021
Testing   Qatar

Qatar Test Day One

Dry
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'54.687
2 Bradl Stefan 6 GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.256
3 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.293
4 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.335
5 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.397
6 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.423
7 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.487
8 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.511
9 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.572
10 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 0.591
11 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.780
12 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.848
13 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.885
14 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.897
15 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.020
16 Test2 Yamaha 82 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 1.120
17 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.191
18 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 1.460
19 Savadori Lorenzo 32 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.824
20 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1.906
21 Test1 Yamaha 81 JPN Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 1.954
22 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2.233
23 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2.302
24 Marini Luca 10 ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 2.648
25 Guintoli Sylvain 50 FRA Suzuki Test Team Suzuki 2.773
26 Pedrosa Dani 26 SPA KTM Test Team KTM 2.930
27 Test3 Yamaha 83 ARG Yamaha Test Team Yamaha 4.009
28 Pirro Michele 51 ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati 4.230
29 Tsuda Takuya 85 JPN Suzuki Test Team Suzuki 5.006
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)