Marc Marquezin the Repsol Honda Box – on his last outing on July 25, 2020 for his team in Jerez, which he had to abandon after his attempt to qualify prematurely. Since then he has not raced on a racetrack for 8 months. Contrary to rumors to the contrary: He will not drive in Losail, the explanation can be found in our article “Marquez comeback reality” on this page (© MotoGP).

The third day of MotoGP testing – new lap record for Quartararo!

Just the fact that the Dorna in Losail did not show any live images from the first MotoGP tests offended countless streaming subscription customers. The only thing that was offered from the start of the test was the live timer with the continuously driven times. In addition, a short summary of more than poor nature. In the second week of testing, bankruptcies and breakdowns continue. The first of 3 test days on March 10, 2021 began with a live timer that did not work for at least a full hour. No live images, no sound from the track and no times. Only after 1 p.m. did the site finally work and the test times were displayed. It hardly gets any worse. For the test times, see below in this article.

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).

Three days of testing followed by a break of almost two weeks

We warn against rash interpretations of the times of the first and current week. Points will only be distributed on the route in 2 weeks. Therefore, there is still all hope for Valentino Rossi’s fans that the old master will be able to gradually improve. Above all, the race set-up will be important, which is the key to success in Losail. The track in Qatar is one of those where there are countless opportunities to overtake. You can lose a few tenths on the long start-finish straight, but the race is won by whoever is best from Turn 1 to the finish curve.

Maverick Viñales photographed by us on March 10, 2019 before the start of the last Grand Prix of Losail of the MotoGP class. For the Catalan, despite being in pole position in the first race, things didn’t go according to plan, and this was to be repeated several times a year later. Strong times in training and qualification, but often struggling with problems in the race.

Why you don’t win the race on the straight in Losail
The proof of this came before our eyes in 2019 in the WorldSBK record world champion Jonathan Rea in the WorldSBK. Every time we saw Bautista and Davies catching up on the straight and gaining up to 50 m on the leader from Northern Ireland. But at some point the best of all drove up and away from the opponents in the curvy remaining part and won confidently. Hence, the encouragement to the KTM fans: Don’t let your head hang just because 3 out of 4 riders were far behind on the 2nd day of the test! Losail will be driven for a full 5 days until the start lights go out for the first time on March 28th.

Photographed by us in October 2019 – start of the WorldSBK race in Losail with Johnny Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR) in front and Alex Lowes and Sandro Cortese (both Yamaha YZF-R1) behind. Note the position of the rear wheels compared to the driver’s start marker!

The provisional calendar for the 2021 season

It was interesting to see how most of the reporters, after the first version of November 6th, still believed completely uncritically in a realization of this wishful and fair weather program by FIM and Dorna. As if the pandemic and mutations had never existed and as if with Covid-19 vaccinations all problems would be blown away in no time. But in the meantime even the greatest optimists among them have turned around and, like us, no longer believe in overseas races from the start. The GP in Assen and the Sachsenring is hardly expected to take place as long as no spectators are allowed on the track. That is why the 2nd edition of the temporary Dorna calendar will receive many adjustments.

The result at 2 p.m.: The two asparagus brothers in front

In addition to the test drivers, the Suzuki drivers, Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaró were first on the track. At 2 p.m. the situation was as follows, before Franco Morbidelli drove a time that was supposed to be even faster than that of the two asparagus brothers. Below is the intermediate result at 2 p.m., just before Morbido set the first 1:54 time. Fabio Quartararo’s record remained unchanged for the time being. Only those who, apart from the French, manage a time of less than one minute and 54 seconds will be able to trump it.

141A. ESPARGARO1:55.049
244P. ESPARGARO+0.016
336J. MIR+0.673
446V. ROSSI+0.673
542A. RINS+0.742
620F. QUARTARARO+0.825
726D. PEDROSA+1.373
833B. BINDER+1.393
927I. LECUONA+1.461
109D. PETRUCCI+1.526
Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) – as one of the first drivers on the track and at 2 p.m. also the fastest of all, but only until Morbido unpacked the hammer and set a provisional best time on his combination of the previous year’s Yamaha M1 and the current edition (© MotoGP).

The result at 4 p.m .: Valentino Rossi in the top ten

The current best time of Repsol Honda newcomer Pol Espargaró is still almost 3 tenths above Quartararo’s record on day two of the test. All Yamaha riders are in the top ten at this point, plus a Suzuki, a Ducati and an Aprilia from Pol’s brother Aleix. While even Yamaha test driver Cal Crutchlow is still in the top ten, all KTM and Binder are missing as the best of the oranges was in P15. Incidentally, just after 4 p.m. Jack Miller set a new annual best time of 1:53.826, which clearly undercut Quartararo’s previous record from last Sunday. A little later, Francesco Bagnaia also followed suit with the second-best time of the day, with the two Ducati works drivers at the top from then on.

144P. ESPARGARO1:54.272
221F. MORBIDELLI+0.255
320F. QUARTARARO+0.316
436J. MIR+0.391
512M. VIÑALES+0.618
66S. BRADL+0.702
782Yamaha TEST2+0.726
843J. MILLER+0.762
941A. ESPARGARO+0.777
1046V. ROSSI+0.790

Intermediate result at 5 p.m .: Miller on Top – Nakagami best Honda

The new annual best time for 2021 by “Jack Ass”, which was set shortly after 4 p.m., has remained unchanged so far. With Aleix Espargaró, after the Australian and on Sunday Fabio Quartararo, a third driver cracked the 1:54 mark. The Aprilia driver is always good for a fast lap, but will he finally be able to consistently deliver this performance in the race? While Stefan Bradl was pushed out of the top ten for the first time in a long time, Takaaki Nakagami is now the fastest Honda driver. The KTM drivers obviously have the most trouble on the 3rd day of the test. Oliveira was briefly in the top ten, but was quickly kicked out afterwards, but is currently the fastest of the oranges. Binder, Petrucci and Lecuona have never been able to get among the front runners.

143J. MILLER1:53.826
241A. ESPARGARO+0.145
312M. VIÑALES+0.269
436J. MIR+0.389
563F. BAGNAIA+0.410
644P. ESPARGARO+0.446
730T. NAKAGAMI+0.527
85J. ZARCO+0.594
921F. MORBIDELLI+0.701
1020F. QUARTARARO+0.762
Jack Miller (Ducati) studying his competition – it was the Australian who set a provisional new best time of the year shortly after 4 p.m. (© MotoGP).

One hour before the end – also Zarco in the 1:53 club

In addition to Quartararo, Miller and the two Espargaró brothers, Ducati ace Johann Zarco now also belongs to the 1:53 club of Losail. These five drivers have managed to stay below 1:54 so far, while Viñales narrowly failed to hit that mark. Nevertheless, the world looks absolutely fine for Yamaha for the time being, with currently 3 riders in the first 10. Unsurprisingly, on the third day of testing, Pol Espargaró finally outperformed his provisional team-mate Bradl, who is expected to contest both races in Qatar and possibly also the Portugal Grand Prix for Honda as a Marquez replacement. A return before Jerez is considered unlikely for the Catalans according to the rules of reason and taking into account his practical deficit on the racetrack,.

143J. MILLER1:53.826
244P. ESPARGARO+0.073
35J. ZARCO+0.134
441A. ESPARGARO+0.145
512M. VIÑALES+0.269
636J. MIR+0.389
763F. BAGNAIA+0.410
820F. QUARTARARO+0.419
930T. NAKAGAMI+0.436
1021F. MORBIDELLI+0.541
Pol Espargaró – the Repsol Honda newcomer stepped out of the shadow of Bradl, who had a test lead, on the 3rd day of testing. Together with Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), he is clearly one of the podium candidates for the Losail Grand Prix (© MotoGP).

Half an hour before the end – a new lap record for Quartararo!

Marc Marquez’s All Time Lap Record from 2019 has just been cracked by the Frenchman on his Yamaha. So far this was 1: 53.380 and was now undercut by Fabio Quartararo by a little over a tenth of a second. The almost 22-year-old from Nice improved Miller’s previous year’s best time by more than half a second!

120F. QUARTARARO1:53.263
243J. MILLER+0.563
35J. ZARCO+0.636
444P. ESPARGARO+0.636
541A. ESPARGARO+0.708
636J. MIR+0.815
712M. VIÑALES+0.832
863F. BAGNAIA+0.973
930T. NAKAGAMI+0.999
1021F. MORBIDELLI+1.104

End of day 3 with Miller ahead of Quartararo as the best of the day

A quarter of an hour before the end of the 3rd of 5 days of testing in Losail, Ducati factory driver Jack Miller managed to top Fabio Quartararo’s absolute record on his Monster Energy Yamaha. The Australian drove a tiny eight hundredths faster than the southern French only a quarter of an hour before. It then became apparent that no new hunt for another best time should be opened. In summary, it can be said that Yamaha and Ducati in particular currently have the potential for fabulous times. The Japanese’s two strongest drivers seem to be on a fast lap right now, Viñales and his new French team-mate. With the Reds, it is not surprising that Miller and Zarco set the highlights on the third-last day of Losail’s test. Unless everything is wrong, the hopefuls at Honda will be Nakagami and Espargaró. Aleix Espargaró showed another strong performance at Aprilia. But just like the two Yamaha riders, he first has to prove his potential over the full distance.

143J. MILLER1:53.183
220F. QUARTARARO+0.080
312M. VIÑALES+0.327
45J. ZARCO+0.716
544P. ESPARGARO+0.716
641A. ESPARGARO+0.788
736J. MIR+0.895
842A. RINS+0.960
963F. BAGNAIA+1.053
1030T. NAKAGAMI+1.079

The expected changing of the guard at Honda – KTM is currently the problem child
Unless everything is wrong, the hopefuls at Honda will be Nakagami and Espargaró. At Honda, the expected changing of the guard was finally carried out and Stefan Bradl has now been replaced as the best driver so far. In the first few days, the German visibly benefited from his test lead over several days over his brand colleagues. And the oranges? As was to be expected after their blatant test advantage last year despite excellent performances, KTM seems to have landed on the ground again. The Austrians seem to be the only problem child and it will be interesting to see whether they can improve in the next few days. Only Oliveira stayed halfway within reach of the top with 1.343 seconds. With the exception of Petrux, the other KTM riders were over 2 seconds behind the best. As on the first two days of testing, the strongest rookie was again Enea Bastianini.

Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) – he and world champion Joan Mir shouldn’t be written off too early because of their constant performance. In the end, both were in the top 8 and less than a second behind the new all-time record (© MotoGP).

It continues with test day 4 on Thursday.