Photographed by us behind the main grandstand in Losail – camels and sunset in front of a highly questionable backdrop for tests and races. At least in view of the pandemic and in times when almost all governments are warning against unnecessary travel. MotoGP Zampano Carmelo Ezpeleta and FIM don’t care about it, they do their questionable thing sternly.

Day 2 for Moto2 test in Qatar – an absolute farce!

Actually, the test on the Losail International Circuit is an absolute farce as far as Moto2 is concerned. In the meantime it has leaked out that a total of only 111 laps per driver are permitted on the three test days. The reason given was that the standard Triumph engines would also have to survive the double race with the two Qatar Grand Prix on March 28 and April 4. We reported a few days ago about WorldSBK tests in Misano for some teams and drivers. Tito Rabat and Andrea Locatelli covered more than 90 laps a day with an outside temperature of just over 10 degrees Celsius. After the mishap with the delays in PCR tests, the evaluation of which apparently took up to two days, the teams are now experiencing the next bankruptcy.

Danilo Petrucci (Tech 3 KTM) – the Italian was obviously already practicing in a sandstorm on the 5th MotoGP test day for his first Dakar adventure, which is almost a compulsory exercise for a “Red Bull athlete”. However, the madness in Losail continues with the smaller classes (© MotoGP).

The direct consequence of an absolute bad planning with mishaps
We are one of the few or even the only ones who publicly questioned the implementation of MotoGP in Qatar from the start. Against this background, mid-range riders in the stinking-rich MotoGP series now have to artificially reduce their test, because the service life should not be overused. Originally even containers had been shipped to Malaysia, as later leaked. Although a test was out of the question due to the pandemic. We had already pointed this out at the beginning of January and by the time Dorna finally realized this, it was already too late. Money was literally thrown out the window by the Spanish company through mistakes. And now you save on some standard engines that don’t even take up a quarter of a container, that’s a bad joke!

Photographed by us during a visit to the Autodromo do Algarve in January – at around 20 degrees Celsius! While Jerez and Portimão have had perfect conditions for tests and races for weeks, the GP entourage had to go to Qatar for huge sums of transport and travel costs, where a sandstorm blocked a test day and further breakdowns keep coming to light. Against all reason, Dorna punched through this, and it was all about the dear money.

Moto2 – first sessions with only a fraction of the riders

The savings program with the Triumph engines had an impact. With Stefano Manzi, there was only one driver on the track in the first session. Against this background, you can also save yourself a ranking list. The newcomer to the Flexbox HP 40 team did exactly 10 laps and then drove back to the pits. The second session started shortly after 12:30 p.m. and a few more drivers are expected on the track. Test times are basically only of limited informative value anyway. It will only get really exciting from next Friday with the beginning of the first GP weekend.

Tom Lüthi photographed by us on the Losail grid – the Swiss man had to vacate his place in the Liqui Moly Intact team and Tony Arbolino was hired in his place. Many have counted Tom among their favorites for the title year after year, but he may not fulfill this wish in 2021 either. Most observers now only give him outsider opportunities.

The 5th session of Moto3 is over – Guevara on top

In the fourth session, only 18 of the 27 drivers present were on the track. With Tatsuki Suzuki, the first driver is already missing with a positive Covid-19 test. The fifth session was led by Izan Guevara ahead of John McPhee. However, the times were well above the fastest laps the day before. Because some drivers were still missing, we will not summarize the second session of day 2 at this point. In this article, of course, the ranking follows at the end of the day.

Petronas Sprinta Racing Newcomer Darryn Binder was the fastest rider in Moto3 so far and his team-mate John McPhee was third ahead of Filip Salac of the Rivacold Snipers Team (© MotoGP).

Status at 12:55 p.m.: Moto2 is currently back on the track with its “engine protection program”. A total of 5 drivers only drove out of the pits. It probably makes sense to publish the test times in the evening at the earliest. From a sporting point of view, the current events in Losail are currently a bad joke. If we had known earlier that the money was missing to transport 25 to 30 replacement engines, we would have called for his collection! But all of this could ultimately have been prevented with sensible planning and the start in Europe.

Conclusion at 3:15 p.m.: The protection program showed its effect for the Moto2 drivers. A total of 3 drivers were not on the track at all and only 6 of them drove 15 or more laps in more than an hour! Since there was no time improvement compared to the previous day for this reason, one can confidently do without the “ranking list” here as well. It is therefore expected that the third session will really get down to business for the first time that day. In Moto3, the second session was also driven and only a little more diligently than in the artificially slowed Moto2. The best times from the previous day remained untouched until 10 minutes before the end of the third session. The two Petronas Sprinta pilots Binder and McPhee are still leading in the combined timesheet.

Denis Foggia set a new best time at 3:45 p.m.: In Moto3, the Italian just set a new best time of 2:05.595. The Leopard Racing driver was replaced a little later by John McPee at the top and the summary of day 2 of Moto3 will be here shortly.

Moto3 Session 6 conclusion:
1, MCPHEE John, 2:05.286
2, FOGGIA Dennis, 2:05.595, +0.309
3, MIGNO Andrea, 2:05.692, +0.406
4, ACOSTA Pedro, 2:05.980, +0.694
5, SALAC Filip, 2:06.050, +0.764
6, TATAY Carlos, 2:06.143, +0.857
7, MASIA Jaume, 2:06.174, +0.888
8, FENATI Romano, 2:06.252, +0.966
9, GUEVARA Izan, 2:06.257, +0.971
10, GARCIA Sergio, 2:06.325, +1.039
11, SASAKI Ayumu, 2:06.446, +1.160
12, BINDER Darryn, 2:06.449, +1.163
13, ANTONELLI Niccolò, 2:06.517, +1.231
14, ARTIGAS Xavier, 2:06.606, +1.320
15, ÖNCÜ Deniz, 2:06.672, +1.386
16, RODRIGO Gabriel, 2:06.739, +1.453
17, ALCOBA Jeremy, 2:06.752, +1.466
18, TOBA Kaito, 2:06.798, +1.512
19, FELLON Lorenzo, 2:07.067, +1.781
20, YAMANAKA Ryusei, 2:07.141, +1.855
21, DUPASQUIER Jason, 2:07.192, +1.906
22, NEPA Stefano, 2:07.197, +1.911
23, KUNII Yuki, 2:07.348, +2.062
24, KOFLER Maximilian, 2:07.517, +2.231
25, IZDIHAR Andi Farid, 2:07.720, +2.434
26, ROSSI Riccardo, 2:07.760, +2.474
27, FERNANDEZ Adrian, 2:07.894, +2.608

The Scot’s best time was faster than the day before and an improvement on the time of 2’05.403 from 2019 with Romano Fenati’s fastest race lap. However, Aron Canet’s 2’04,561 with his All-Time Lap Record remained untouched. It continues with Moto2 and its 3rd session of the day.

Petronas Sprinta Racing Spearhead John McPhee – after the second best time the day before, the Scot set the fastest time in Moto3 of 2021 in the 3rd session of the day on March 2021 (© MotoGP).

Moto2 at 4:10 p.m.: Moto2 is currently in the third session of the day. As expected, almost all the drivers were already there in the last hour. With 1’59.211, Sam Lowes was the fastest man up to then on the track. He is now only one and a half tenths below Remy Gardner’s best time yesterday.

Moto2 at 5:10 p.m. – Test conclusion with Xavi Vierge on Top: After a Petronas Sprinta Racing driver set the fastest time in the junior class with McPhee, his team-mate Xavi Vierge followed suit in Moto2. With Morbido and Quartararo, the Malaysian team already placed two riders in the top 3 in the MotoGP. This is currently the optimum for the successful team sponsored by the state oil company. In Moto2, it is important to consider how small the gaps are. With the tenth best time, Joe Roberts was only 0.413 seconds apart from Vierge’s record. In Moto3, this gap is just over a second.

Moto2 – the times of session 6:
1, VIERGE, Xavi, +1:58.832
2, CANET, Aron, +1:58.858, +0.026
3, NAVARRO, Jorge, +1:58.888, +0.056
4, GARDNER, Remy, +1:58.894, +0.062
5, DIXON, Jake, +1:58.900, +0.068
6, BEZZECCHI, Marco, +1:58.921, +0.089
7, BENDSNEYDER, Bo, +1:59.185, +0.353
8, FERNANDEZ, Raul, +1:59.204, +0.372
9, LOWES, Sam, +1:59.211, +0.379
10, ROBERTS, Joe, +1:59.245, +0.413
11, ARBOLINO, Tony, +1:59.360, +0.528
12, FERNANDEZ, Augusto, +1:59.468, +0.636
13, OGURA, Ai, +1:59.568, +0.736
14, MANZI, Stefano, +1:59.569, +0.737
15, LUTHI, Thomas, +1:59.644, +0.812
16, GARZO, Hector, +1:59.656, +0.824
17, DI GIANNANTONIO, Fabio, +1:59.759, +0.927
18, CORSI, Simone, +1:59.762, +0.930
19, BEAUBIER, Cameron, +1:59.833, +1.001
20, ARENAS, Albert, +1:59.854, +1.022
21, RAMIREZ, Marcos, +1:59.904, +1.072
22, BULEGA, Nicolò, +1:59.913, +1.081
23, CHANTRA, Somkiat, +1:59.978, +1.146
24, BALDASSARRI, Lorenzo, +1:59.994, +1.162
25, SCHROTTER, Marcel, 2:00.035, +1.203
26, DALLA PORTA, Lorenzo, 2:00.083, +1.251
27, MONTELLA, Yari, 2:00.116, +1.284
28, VIETTI, Celestino, 2:00.538, +1.706
29, SYAHRIN, Hafizh, 2:00.941, +2.109