MotoGP Qatar FP1: Franco Morbidelli starts as he means to go on as Aprilia take P2
Franco Morbidelli has taken P1 overall in the first FP1 session as he breaks 1:54.
The first MotoGP FP1 session of the season started with Johann Zarco crashing within the first 5 minutes of the session, the Frenchman spending the rest of the session on his number 2 Pramac Ducati GP21 eventually taking P13 overall, many riders in the session fell victim to the asphalt at Qatar with Jack Miller, Pol Espargaro and Enea Bastianini all crashing during the session.
One rider who didn’t crash was Franco Morbidelli, the 2020 runner up continuing his 2020 form this year at Qatar as he eyes the championship after coming so close last year, the Italian scooped up 3 victories and 5 podiums and is aiming to add more to that tally this year, he was the only rider in the 1:54 bracket as he finished just 0.079 under the 1:55 barrier. In P2 we saw Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia which has historically performed at the circuit in Doha taking their best result of P6 overall here previously, the motorcycle has been majorly improved in 2021 becoming more reliable and looking incredibly stable on the brakes around the circuit.
Jack Miller suffered a crash at Turn 4 but it wasn’t enough to phase the Australian rider as he finished the session in P3 overall, he is another rider who is eyeing the title after impressing hugely in the pre-season in red but did we expect anything less? An Australian on a factory Ducati has been favoured by the factory in the past.
Following a pre-season spent with a sports psychologist Fabio Quartararo is back on form in P5, the Frenchman fell apart in his title assault in 2020 and ended up in P8 overall which was a disaster for the rider who has replaced Valentino Rossi in the factory team, Yamaha have employed the skills of Cal Crutchlow and are aiming for the title this year with Vinales also finishing in P6, this is not forgetting Valentino Rossi. The 9 x champion has moved to the Sepang Racing Team this year which has been more competitive than the factory team in the past few seasons, he took P9 overall meaning all 4 Yamaha’s were in the top 10.
Suzuki are running many of their 2020 parts which took them to the title as they were unable to test on the final day in the Qatar test following from some bad weather which meant the track conditions were fairly dangerous, Joan Mir took P5 overall with Alex Rins in P7 and the duo are not wanting anyone to take their title away from them as they aim to double up without Davide Brivio who has left the team to join the Alpine F1 team.
Francesco Bagnaia started his factory Ducati career in P8 with Miguel Oliveira starting his Factory KTM career in P10, the KTM suffering with the extra grip in Qatar which is slowing their bike down which is shown with Binder in P16 and Petrucci and Lecuona in P19 and P22 respectively.
In P15 we saw Pol Espargaro who makes his Repsol Honda debut, he has majorly enjoyed the Honda since his adaptation and has said the bike is much better than he expected it to be.
Featured image – MotoGP.com