Jack Miller has decided to show the critics of his stoppies what he really can do on track.
Day 3 of MotoGP testing at Qatar was concluded with not one but two riders finishing the test under the lap record, these riders were Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo, the lap record around the Losail International is 1:53.380 set by Marc Marquez in 2019, Miller and Quartararo set times of 1:53.183 and 1:53.263 respectively, unfortunately, these times will not go on official records as lap record times must be set during a race weekend, however, Yamaha and Ducati are showing some serious speed even without engine upgrades.
Maverick Vinales was also able to get himself into the top 3, the Yamaha man taking P3 behind his teammate 0.247 behind the Frenchman. Being the now #1 rider in the team Vinales will be looking to prove that he can keep up with and beat his much younger teammate who has taken the MotoGP world by storm since his debut in 2019. Vinales has his eyes on the title and confirmed he is going into the season with the best mentality he’s ever had.
Vinales was sandwiched in between two Frenchmen with Johann Zarco just behind him in P4, Zarco was able to set a new MotoGP top speed record of 352.9 km/h (219.28 mph) for the Losail Circuit on his Pramac Ducati GP21, his lap time identical to Pol Espargaro.
Pol Espargaro has adapted to the Honda at a rapid rate after moving over from KTM. After initially confirming to many eagle-eyed fans and journalists that the Honda and KTM are not similar, he has also been able to confirm to everyone what we thought would be true, that he would be fast on the Honda. The Honda rider was able to obliterate his KTM time set in 2020 at the Qatar test of 1:54.623 by a massive 0.724, finishing the test in a solid P5 sharing an identical time of 1:53.899 with ex-teammate Johann Zarco, proving that the move has not only been successful but that he was able to adapt rapidly to the Honda.
Honda have ditched their 2021 frame and are instead working on a new aero which made an appearance with Takaaki Nakagami in the previous test, they are hoping will given them the same benefits Ducati’s new fairing has done given the extra top speed the Bologna bullet has found.
Aprilia are once again showing some incredible progress, Aleix Espargaro ended the test behind his little brother Pol in P6 which matches Aprilia’s best ever race result in the MotoGP class. Aleix focused on race runs today and improving the reliability of his RS-GP, his lap time was under the 1:54 barrier and was nearly 0.500 faster than his 2020 lap time at the circuit.
Suzuki took a 1-2 quite early on in the test before focusing on other areas, the Spanish duo of riders were able to place in the top 10 with Mir in P7 and Rins in P8.
Honda Repsol test rider Stefan Bradl was unfortunately forced to retire from today’s test after just 15 laps following a crash, he suffered some discomfort so the decision was made to rest him so that he can ride again tomorrow which left Pol Espargaro to be a one-man band in the Honda Repsol camp.
Cal Crutchlow once again tested for Yamaha who unveiled a stunning 60th-anniversary livery in retro Yamaha colours which can be seen below, the British rider once again completing testing duties for Yamaha at the test, riding the 2020 and 2021 variations of the M1 after it was decided to ditch the ‘TEST3’ bike which was the 2019 M1.
Cal Crutchlow with Yamaha’s livery.
Yet again we did not see a single KTM in the top 10 as they opted to test a much thinner aero to the one we have seen previously and a new chassis which was being developed by golden boy Dani Pedrosa. Miguel Oliveira placed in P12 with Petrucci in P17 whilst Binder and Lecuona were in P20 and P21 respectively, focusing more on rider feel than lap times.
Featured images – Yamaha (Crutchlow)
Ducati Media (Miller)