Ducati and Jack Miller top 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests at Losail

Jack Miller and Ducati are the crushing winners of the 5-day 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests in Qatar. Miller even sat a new record during the penultimate session at the Losail International Circuit. 

The Yamaha trio finished behind the red rocket in the overall standings. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as well as teammates Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finished one tenth and a half behind the Australian pilot and obtained a great result at the combined times table. 

Perhaps the Yamahas would have even taken over the Italian winners if the wind and the sand had not prevented everyone to get a full day of action on the last day. 

Ducati and Miller: A record-breaking rhythm 

The bike from Bologna has made a great impression over the five days of testing in Qatar, becoming the fastest machine on the track. Miller’s spectacular record-breaking lap (1: 53.183) on March 10th demonstrates the good rapport that the Australian rider had built with the new GP21.

The Aussi pilot has not been the only team member to perform at an exceptionally high level in the 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests. 

The other official pilot from the Borgo Panigale factory, Francesco Bagnaia, finished in fifth place behind his partner and the Yamaha trio.

Most importantly, ‘Pecco’ displayed a very consistent performance during both race and qualifying stints, finishing 0.261 seconds overall behind the winner. 

Yamaha sustains a terrific racing pace 

The factory of the tuning fork has showcased its collective muscle with its three drivers finishing in the top four of the overall standings. Their new factory rider, Fabio Quartararo, has also declared to feel very comfortable with his new chassis.

Just as his new teammate, Maverick Viñales, he has managed to sustain a fantastic pace throughout the five days of 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests. 

Yamaha’s sister works, Petronas SRT, has been similarly inspired. Franco Morbidelli and his friend Valentino Rossi have shown great consistency over the five days with the exception of the time attack lap where the #46 seemed to have lost all of his focus. 

The good spirits of the veteran from Tavullia, however, evidence the fact that his eleventh place (1: 53.993) was not representative of how he felt about his performance. 

Honda: A great start for Pol without Marc  

A very positive surprise from Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), who not only closed the top 10 but impressed everyone at the paddock with his smooth adaptation to the Japanese beast. 

Honda test rider Stefan Bradl took the place of convalescent Marc Marquez, who by the way, has already been given the green light to progressively return to the competition.

The replacement pilot was left out of the top ten following an accident on March 10. As for their satellite team, LCR Honda, Takaaki Nakagami was the second-best Honda rider with a twelfth position on the overall timesheets of the 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests. 

Meanwhile, his partner Alex Marquez struggled through the testing week after fracturing a metatarsal bone on his right foot following a fall on March 11. In any case, he shall be fighting fit for the Qatar GP in two weeks’ time. 

2020 champs Suzuki, not worried

The reigning World Champs, Team Suzuki Ecstar, have not began 2021 as good they expected. By the way, 2020 cham, Joan Mir, was P7 overall, one place and 0.033s ahead of his teammate Alex Rins.

The Spaniard duo have used a new chassis and a new swingarm in Qatar. Mir has said that both, the Italian marque (Ducati) and the Iwatta team (Yamaha) have a better overall pace than their GSX-RR.

However, Suzuki riders really aren’t worried about it. Besides, the Losail isn’t one of the best circuits for the Hamamatsu factory and its riders felt competitive at Losail Circuit.

KTM disappoint 

After a phenomenal 2020 season, KTM has disappointed at the 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests. Its best classified, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) came in sixteenth place. The Portuguese pilot obtained the best time at 1.343 seconds behind Miller, while Brad Binder finished seventeenth, 0.165 seconds behind his teammate. 

The miracle of Aprilia  

The great revelation of the MotoGP 2021 preseason tests was the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. Its leader, Aleix Espargaro, has achieved sixth place in the combined timesheets with a completely new RS-GP 2021. The Italian force has gone from being last in 2020 to the top five this week.

Images of 2021 MotoGP pre-season tests: Ducati.

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