After last Sunday’s first-round in Qatar, the MotoGP World Championship is back this weekend at the Arabian country for the Doha GP at the Losail Circuit. Some of the contenders will attempt a repeat of their good performance of last week while others will be seeking to move up a gear at the desert evening race.
Amongst those hoping for a repeat of the last appointment are the Yamaha riders. Despite competing in Ducati territory, the force from Iwata managed to defeat the Bolognese Scuderia. Maverick Viñales is, therefore, coming to this second appointment with every intention of repeating his victory of seven days ago.
In the first round of the Championship, the pilot from Rosas was a cut above the rest. The fine-tuning of his bike by test pilot Cal Crutchlow was undoubted of help. The man from Girona, however, knows very well that it will not be easy to beat the red machines for the second time in a row.
His partner in the official team of the tuning forks, Fabio Quartararo, will also be eager to improve on the fifth place he achieved in the opening round. The French pilot claims to have learned from his mistakes and to know what he has to do in order to make it to the podium. Now he just has to put his knowledge into practice… and have his rivals comply with his plans.
This will also be a great opportunity for their satellite team, the Petronas Yamaha SRT, to make up for their fiasco at the Qatar GP. Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli put out a disappointing performance with the #46 dropping from fourth to twelfth at his debut with the Malaysian team and Morbidelly sealing an even worse round with a second-to-last finishing position.
The red bullets for their part, enter the Doha GP with a thirst for revenge. Yamaha’s victory didn’t eclipse the potential of the GP21s with Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati Team) occupying the second and third places on the box, respectively. The Italian’s teammate, Jack Miller, on the other hand, has a lot of ground to make up from his ninth position last week.
If there is a team, however, to come out looking for blood in Losail that is Suzuki. The Japanese squad saw crown defender, Joan Mir, lose the podium in the home stretch to both Zarco and Bagnaia. The greatest handicap for the 2020 world champion was, of course, his starting tenth position.
As for the other member of the Hamamatsu’s team, Álex Rins, he could only manage a sixth-place, after making a mistake with the launch control. The #42 will have to raise his performance in the classification round and select the correct compounds if he wants to succeed.
As for all of the other manufacturers, they played only a secondary role during the first race of the year. Honda, still waiting for the return of Marc Márquez, stayed away from the top positions once again.
Their new official pilot, Pol Espargaró, has adapted brilliantly to the untameable RC213V. The very self-demanding Catalan pilot, however, was not satisfied with his eighth place.
Three places down arrived the substitute of #93, Stefan Bradl. The second team of the golden wing (LCR Honda) had an even worse run with falls from both Álex Márquez & Taka Nakagami.
Aprilia, on the other hand, demonstrated the performance jump they had shown during the preseason tests by the hand of Aleix Espargaró who finished seventh, just ahead of his brother, Aleix, even though his piloting was visibly prudent during the first round of the calendar. The firm from Noale, which dreams of having Andrea Dovizioso in its ranks, has laid a good foundation on which to continue growing.
Images of Doha GP: MotoGP.