The Australian remains fastest overall after Day 5 sees conditions worsen in the desert
And just like that, the 2021 pre-season testing for the MotoGP™ riders and teams is over. Five largely hectic days at Losail International Circuit see Jack Miller and the Ducati Lenovo Team head into Round 1 as the combination to beat, with Miller’s 1:53.183 taking the honour of the fastest ever two-wheel lap in Qatar.
The Bologna factory is chased by a trio of Yamahas who are all within a tenth and a half, as Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), teammate Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) enjoy a successful pre-season to complete the top four.
Unfortunately, the final day of the Qatar Test flattered to deceive. High winds caused dust to scatter across the track, which in turn meant barely anyone ventured out. With just over two hours of the first and only pre-season test remaining, Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) and Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) were the only two riders to have set a lap time, but eight seconds slower than Miller. The red flags then came out as cleaning machines ventured out to try and improve the conditions, but the majority of the work was already done and dusted for the teams and it was an early pack up.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen plenty of laps laid down across the other four days of Official Test action, as well as the Shakedown for test riders and rookies last Friday.
So where are we ahead of Round 1?
In the hands of a charismatic Australian, Ducati will head into the first Grand Prix as the fastest. Miller’s blistering time attack lap was proof that he and the new GP21 are looking like a formidable partnership this season, with the innovation kings of MotoGP™ – of course – bringing plenty of new parts to test in Qatar. The most notable was some new front aero, a significant change and something we’ve not seen before.
Elsewhere, the famous ‘salad box’ is a different shape on the new bikes, and another big change we’ve seen in 2021 is the front holeshot device that most of the factories have now got. Ducati, along with Aprilia, Honda, KTM and Suzuki have been launching off the line with the bike squatted at the front as well as the rear.
And now that MotoGP™ 2021 pre-season testing is over, our next up is the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar. In two weeks’ time, the premier class warriors will be back on track at Losail, but it will be during a race weekend. Before that, the Moto2™ and Moto3™ riders will be taking part in a three-day Official Qatar Test, so make sure you keep up to date with all the reactions from the MotoGP™ Test on motogp.com.