Jack Miller (Ducati) – the Australian is currently the most-cited favorite for the season opener and even for the entire 2021 season. With only one MotoGP win in his career and 9 podiums in six years, this is indeed amazing (© MotoGP).

To background noises and the question of the World Cup favorites

With most of the drivers now at home between tests and the first race in Losail, very few of them stayed in Qatar. Including the extremely sensible Suzuki driver Alex Rins. Just like Takaaki Nakagami, the Spaniard did not allow himself to be persuaded to rush into a vaccination offer in a hospital in Doha. Instead of constantly praising himself, Dorna Boss Ezpeleta should be a little more modest, especially for the vaccination theater in Qatar. It was basically absolute cheeky, how the Spanish marketing company of MotoGP went about it.

Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) – often called the “Inspector Gadget of MotoGP”. The likeable racing driver from Barcelona is someone who thinks outside the box. In order to avoid unnecessary risks, he is even one of the few who stay in Qatar (© MotoGP).

Questionable approach by Dorna and strange understanding
It is more than questionable to notify the drivers and team members until late in the evening on Thursday that there is a spontaneous vaccination campaign against Covid-19. After that, it is also to be expected that they will all drive to a hospital early on Friday morning to get vaccinated. Nobody would have had the chance to speak to their doctor on the phone beforehand, which is exactly why many people canceled. It is somehow typical for the Dorna, of all places, to push their way through the vaccination sequence in the extremely controversial desert state. This is called pure selfishness and a strange understanding of decency towards fellow citizens at home. As a peak of cheekiness, Mr. Ezpeleta praised himself in the interview without understanding: As a sports marketing company, he was extremely unsportsmanlike!

Instead of water dust, there was sand dust on the track in Qatar on Friday, as this picture from Repsol Honda’s newcomer Pol Espargaró shows. It was completely irresponsible to let the drivers drive shortly after their vaccination, but luckily most of them let it go because of the sandstorm (© MotoGP).

For supposed security through vaccinations and other risks
Why does Valentino Rossi even get vaccinated if he was already infected in 2020, shouldn’t he be immune afterwards? And why should the riders get vaccinated in the morning and then sit on their almost 300 hp bikes at noon (if there had been no sandstorm)? Almost everyone knows: You shouldn’t do any sport after vaccinations like this! This is written on almost every drug pack and, for example, do not drive a vehicle. Some people wonder whether Dorna is really so stupid that none of her people know about it. The claim that the Dorna allegedly increased safety through vaccinations was also strange. However, almost every child knows today that despite being vaccinated, one can also become a Covid-19 virus carrier!

Petronas Yamaha SRT “newcomer” Valentino Rossi – although the Italian was absent from Aragon last year due to a Covid-19 infection, he also got vaccinated. Understandably, this confused many viewers as well as the fact that the MotoGP entourage in Qatar is now casually skipping the vaccination sequence (© MotoGP).

The common mistake after testing in Sepang or Losail

Determining favorites using Losail tests does not work
It’s not that easy to name the favorites for the MotoGP season 2021. This is at least true if you want to proceed seriously. In the previous year, it showed how many were wrong with their forecasts. Hardly anyone named Joan Mir and this was mainly because of the constancy of the world champion and not primarily because he was usually the fastest. This is probably one of the basic evils of many commentators, who often even rely on test results in order to derive favorites from them. According to almost everyone in the MotoGP paddock, Sepang and Losail can hardly be compared with any other route on the calendar. In this respect, the test results of the last few days only allow conclusions to be drawn about the first double race, but by no means the rest of the season.

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – the Italian named Jack Miller as a World Cup favorite, which seems astonishing given his MotoGP record. Maybe it’s just a diversionary maneuver, because deep down Morbido probably believes that he is ripe for the title himself (© MotoGP).

The opposite way – quite interesting

Since many or almost all always go the supposedly logical and easy way to determine the title contenders, we are intentionally reversing the norm here. Instead of taking from the many drivers who are eligible for the title, we will list here what speaks against some of them. In the end, there are still a few left. And, at the end of the season, we will then see who was correct with his prognosis.

What speaks against Jack Miller
The Australian is considered to be very susceptible to crashes and has only won one Grand Prix in 6 MotoGP years. The year 2016 was the only time he managed to do this so far. Andrea Dovizioso as his predecessor was much more consistent than the original from Down Under, but even the Italian never made the last step after three runner-ups. Ducati has been chasing the title for half an eternity.

The 2016 season with Jack Miller’s only win so far – that was quite a while ago. It was the second season for the Australian, who without this triumph might have lost his place in the premier class.

What speaks against Francesco Bagnaia
If you want to be precise, the new Ducati works driver only had two sensationally strong races last year. He lost one of them to an engine failure through no fault of his own. A third time he was eliminated due to a fall, which is why the first race in Misano with 2nd place can be counted as the only highlight so far. In his rookie year, Pecco was not able to convince at all. Many others would have lost their place in MotoGP at that time. The young Turinese is definitely one of the fastest drivers right now. But as with Miller, he has so far shown too little consistency in the premier class.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – Just like Jack Miller, he has never managed a constant MotoGP season in contrast to his fellow brand colleague Johann Zarco. The Frenchman, on the other hand, had already finished sixth in the World Championship twice in the Yamaha customer team in 2017 and 2018 (© MotoGP).

What speaks against Maverick Viñales
Known as the surprise bag, the Catalan is one of the few to beat Marc Marquez face-to-face in his prime. Just like Fabio Quartararo, Maverick is one of the strongest drivers when it comes to a fast lap. But so far he has always had phases where he did not feel at all, especially in the race. Like Miller and Bagnaia, he has so far failed to prove the consistency over a whole season.

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – the two opposites when it comes to the first Corona year 2020. The Spaniard was often one of the fastest, but sometimes failed in the race and the Japanese is considered a model of consistency, but never made it to the podium (© MotoGP).

Which is why it should be difficult for Pol Espargaró and colleagues
The Honda is considered to be one of the most unpredictable bikes when it comes to controlling the front. In combination with the Catalan, who has so far buried too many chances in the gravel, an unfortunate liaison. In order to achieve the necessary constancy, which is almost impossible for a title, the “Asparagus Tarzan” needs a little miracle. We didn’t even list his teammates separately. With Marc Marquez, an almost even greater miracle is necessary if, contrary to expectations, he should be back early and immediately back to his old strength. A return before Jerez is almost unthinkable for the second Repsol Honda driver and then the train in the World Cup should have already left for him. The same applies to his brother Alex as Pol, he already fell too much during the tests and will continue to do so during the course of the season.

Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda) – He is unlikely to be lacking in speed, but the danger is his tendency to end up in the gravel too often. As soon as Marc Marquez is back, the pressure on him could also be enormous and lead to even more mistakes than usual for him (© MotoGP).

At KTM without Pol Espargaró there is hardly any land in sight
As it currently stands, KTM will probably be relegated to the second class again without the test advantage from last year. Binder, Petrux and Oliveira will definitely manage to be among the leaders in individual races. But to fight for the title you have to be able to compete in the first double race of the season. However, it does not look like that with the oranges at the moment. Apparently, Pol Espargaró is missing an important link in the chain at KTM, which Petrucci obviously cannot replace.

Danilo Petrucci in front of Brad Binder (both KTM) – the two are always good for a podium or even a victory. Seen over the whole season, however, it will probably not be enough for any of the oranges to be at the forefront (© MotoGP).

The remaining and realistic World Cup favorites

Out of respect for his title, you should first name Joan Mir despite the lack of number 1 on your bike. We are among those who underestimated him the season before last. After a weak start to the season, the Spaniard showed what he’s made of. In the same breath you can name his teammate Alex Rins. Anyone who saw him catching Marquez at the finish line at Silverstone 2019 will hardly get past the Suzuki driver for 2021 either. At Yamaha, Quartararo and Morbidelli are the clear favorites. With Rossi as an insider tip, things should go well for the “Dottore” right from the start. At Ducati, Johann Zarco is the only top rider who has already been in the top 6 of the MotoGP final accounts twice. This makes him the only one of the Reds who has been fast and consistent so far. At Honda, Takaaki Nakagami could be the only one with the necessary consistency over the whole season to develop into a beacon of hope.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) in front of Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Ducati) – while hardly any of the rookies are likely to win the title, the Frenchman learned his lesson last year. If the Yamaha 2021 shows fewer weaknesses than in the first Corona year, the young man from Nice is a clear contender for the title (© MotoGP).

The combined test results of the 2nd week in Losail

We have listed the two test drivers in italics. Even if Stefan Bradl will probably drive for Repsol Honda instead of Marc Marquez in the first 2 to 4 races, he is still not planned for the whole year. At Yamaha, Crutchlow will probably only be used if one of the four drivers should injure himself or if there is a positive Covid-19 test again.

1. Jack Miller, Ducati, 1:53,183
2. Maverick Viñales, Yamaha, + 0,061
3. Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha, + 0,080
4. Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha, + 0,140
5. Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati, + 0,261
6. Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia, + 0,457
7. Joan Mir, Suzuki, + 0,644
8. Alex Rins, Suzuki, + 0,677
9. Johann Zarco, Ducati, + 0,716
10. Pol Espargaró, Honda, + 0,716
11. Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, + 0,810
12. Takaaki Nakagami, Honda, + 1,079
13. Stefan Bradl, Honda, + 1,244
14. Jorge Martin, Ducati, + 1,300
15. Enea Bastianini, Ducati, + 1,322
16. Miguel Oliveira, KTM, + 1,343
17. Brad Binder, KTM, + 1,508
18. Alex Márquez, Honda, + 1,509
19. Danilo Petrucci, KTM, + 1,712
20. Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha, + 1,815
21. Luca Marini, Ducati, + 1,839
22. Iker Lecuona, KTM, + 2,012
23. Dani Pedrosa, KTM, + 2,457
24. Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki, + 2,459
25. Lorenzo Savadori, Aprilia, + 2,571

The provisional calendar for 2021

There are still many changes to be expected, especially with regard to the overseas races and events that may be canceled without spectator permission. These include, for example, Assen, Sachsenring and Silverstone.