Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda) – The Honda newcomer drove very well on his third day of testing of the year and, in the absence of Marquez, is becoming more and more of Honda’s main hopes (© MotoGP).

To the Losail test after 3 of 5 test days

Because the Dorna in Losail did not show any live images from the first MotoGP tests, it annoyed countless streaming subscription customers. From the start of the test, only a live timer was available with the continuously driven times. In addition, a short summary of a rather poor nature. In the second week of testing, failures and breakdowns continue. The first of 3 test days from March 10th to 12th, 2021 in the 2nd week began with a live timer that did not work in the 1st hour.

After calling up the live timer, nothing happens – this is the status from 12 noon on the Dorna page for interested parties and subscribers to their streaming offer (© MotoGP).
Our photo to the paddock in 2019 – prayer tents are usually not needed for the drivers. In WorldSBK Kenan Sofuoglu usually had one with him, while Toprak Razgatlioglu seems much less religious than his mentor.

Test afternoon: Valentino Rossi’s return to the top ten

Initially, the two “asparagus brothers” were on top with Aleix in front of Pol. All Yamaha riders were also represented in the top ten at 4 p.m. Valentino Rossi also celebrated the return to the top ten hoped for by many fans. Until then, no one had cracked the magical 1:54 limit, which Quartararo was the first and only to undercut on Sunday. But a little later Jack Miller set a new annual best time of 1:53.826 and thus undercut the Frenchman’s mark. While Stefan Bradl was pushed out of the top ten for the first time in a long time, Takaaki Nakagami was the second fastest Honda driver.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) – stepped out of the shadows of test and reserve driver Bradl on the third day of testing and permanently represented in the top ten together with Pol from the early evening. Just like Bradl, however, the Japanese had a pretty violent crash to digest. The Bavarian therefore only drove 15 laps on the third day (© MotoGP).

Miller and Zarco the strongest Ducati pilots and in the 1:53 club

In addition to Quartararo, Miller and the two Espargaró brothers, Ducati ace Johann Zarco has also been part of the 1:53 club of Losail since Wednesday, March 10th. These five drivers have managed to stay below 1:54 so far, while Viñales initially just failed to hit this mark. But towards the end of the third day of testing in Qatar, the Catalan from Figueres near the French border set the third-best time. A little later after his new team-mate Fabio Quartararo managed a new record lap in Losail with 1:53.263, Jack Miller went one better. The Australian topped the Frenchman’s time by 0.08 seconds and now holds the new all-time lap record with 1:53.183 on the Ducati.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) – declared by us to be one of the favorites on the podium, the Frenchman and Miller made a great impression on the third of 5 test days in Losail (© MotoGP).

The tops and the flops

Especially Yamaha and Ducati currently have the potential for fabulous times. With Viñales and Quartararo, Monster Energy Yamaha is clearly one of the top favorites, at least in qualifying. With the reds, it is not surprising that Miller and Zarco set the highlights. Aleix Espargaró also showed another strong performance at Aprilia. But just like the two Yamaha riders, he first has to prove his potential over the full race distance. The KTM riders obviously had the most trouble on the 3rd day of the test.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) – the young man from Nice was very quick in Losail already two years ago. After a few failed races in the past season he just has to improve his constance in most races over the distance, then he will be one of the top favorites (© MotoGP).

The two-time GP winner last year as the only hope for KTM?
Oliveira was briefly in the top ten, but quickly flew out and back to P12. Nevertheless, the Portuguese currently looks like he is the strongest of the oranges. His brand colleagues Binder, Petrucci and Lecuona have never been able to get among the front-runners. The rookies continue to keep a respectful distance from the best of the guild. Bastianini once again made the strongest impression of the three Ducati Rookie-Musketeers. Below is a summary of the test times from the 3rd of 5 test days.

Brad Binder (KTM) – The winner of the 2020 Czech Grand Prix in Brno benefited greatly from the advantages of the oranges in the first Corona year in the previous year. Does KTM fall back into the third class with him, Petrux, Lecuona and Oliveira, like in the first 3 years? (© MotoGP).

Two more days of testing and then a break of almost two weeks

To jump to conclusions from the laptimes of the 5 test days is not our thing. Remember: Points on the track can only be won in the race. The circuit in Qatar belongs to the category of courses on which there are many opportunities for overtaking. You can certainly win or lose a few tenths on the long start-finish straight. But the race in Losail is usually won by whoever is fastest from Turn 1 to the finish curve and not on the straight.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati works driver until 2020) – the winner from 2018 and 2019 is no longer there and a return to the MotoGP paddock is unlikely for him. The only winners of the Qatar GP who are still there: The two Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales (© MotoGP).

The provisional provisional calendar for the 2021 season

In the meantime, even the greatest optimists have turned and no longer believe in overseas races. For the Grand Prix races in Assen, Silverstone and on the Sachsenring, there is hardly any chance to be held, provided that no spectators are allowed on the track. That is why the 2nd edition of the temporary Dorna calendar will receive many adjustments for sure.