First MotoGP test day of the year on March 6th in Losail
After the Shakedown Test was definitely not a time hunt, hardly anything will change on the first day with all the stars of the premier class. After all, there have already been time improvements compared to the first day and at the end of the first stint it will be interesting to see how the rookies do. For these and the test drivers, Saturday is already the second day of testing and all of these pilots took it easy on Friday. In the first hour and a half on Saturday, of the established drivers, only Pol Espargaró, Johann Zarco and Petrux were on the track. From shortly before 2 p.m. the next of the more experienced did their rounds.
Intermediate result of the top 10 at 4:10 p.m. – Zarco the fastest
Since the times are still around 1.5 seconds above the reference value from Maverick Viñales 2 years ago, their informative value is still relatively low. We had already pointed out in the preliminary report that the pilots would hardly risk their heads and necks for a best time until the first of two consecutive weekends in Losail. In this respect, the times with a slight improvement compared to the shakedown on Friday reflect exactly this. Nevertheless, improvements can still be expected in the course of the day. We had already predicted in advance that Johan Zarco would feel very comfortable on the Ducati GP-21 early on.
Top Ten at 5:30 p.m. – Aleix with the first 1:54 time
Aleix Espargaró is always to be expected on a fast lap. The brother of Honda’s newcomer Pol clearly demonstrated this again in Losail. The Catalan undercut Johann Zarco’s previous best time by almost half a second and was the first to stay below 1:55 this year. But that’s still a good second missing from the best time of Yamaha Ass Viñales.
Top Ten at 6:00 p.m. – where are the KTM riders?
In the meantime, four drivers have already set a faster time than Zarco, who set the first top time in the afternoon. Although all KTM pilots were on the track shortly after 12 noon from the start, not a single one of them is now represented in the top 10. Quartararo is also holding back rather discreetly for the time being, but the young man from Nice can of course shake a best time off his sleeve at any time. His weakness is currently at most not being among the best when it is wet. However, rain is very rare in Qatar and therefore it is often very dusty and extremely dry there. Up to this point the fastest rookie was Jorge Martin in 18th place, 1.48 seconds behind Aleix’s previous record.
The final timesheet for the first test day in Losail in 2021
With just over a second of the best time from 2 years ago, Aleix Espargaró remained the fastest driver on the Aprilia in the end. All brands are represented at the front, but the significance of the strength ratios for the season opener is close to zero. At least Stefan Bradl can no longer claim that the Honda is not competitive and that he has too few test kilometers when he continues to represent the permanently injured Marc Marquez. On the contrary, he and Aleix will be the driver with the most kilometers in the first Grand Prix of the year on March 28th. There were no surprises, with the exception of the modest times of some drivers who were on the track from the start. Including Brad Binder, as well as the two veterans Pol Espargaró and Danilo Petrucci. The second day of testing on the Losail International Circuit continues on Sunday.
The moment of truth will not strike before March 26
Even if many writers like to try to portray it differently, the sausage will only be about 3 weeks away. On March 26, 2021, the season will be launched with the FP1. Any driver who risked too much beforehand could endanger his season opener with an injury. Therefore, the informative value of the first test drives of this season is of little value. It is also to be expected that not all drivers will reveal their cards before the first GP weekend. Above all, it’s a shame that the senseless postponement of the start of the season to Qatar means that the fans have to forego live broadcasts of the training sessions. Even the buyers of the MotoGP subscription were fooled into this. Only abridged summaries of the day are shown there.