Aleix Espargaro tops the FP1 timesheets for Aprilia in Qatar.
Well well well, Aprilia in P1 eh? A solid start to the weekend for the Noale manufacturer after last weekend when Espargaro finished 5.934 seconds off the win which is their closest result to P1 ever in the class, the manufacturer is gaining some steam with Espargaro gaining more and more confidence in his newly improved RS-GP taking P1 overall, his time was 2.005 off the lap record so we can’t start placing bets on an Aprilia win just yet but it bodes well for the team as Aleix beats Alex Rins in P2 by 0.060 with last weeks winner Vinales just 0.085 from P1.
Jorge Martin makes an appearance in P4, the hugely impressive rookie stunned many going from P14 to P4 at the start of last weeks race muscling his way past his competition on the straight on his ultra-fast GP21, P5 for Franco Morbidelli seems good on paper but not when you consider his bike blowing up twice and running off track various times, he is asking some serious questions within Yamaha after his bike broke on the grid last week with his holeshot device malfunctioning. In an interview he said that he doesn’t feel like Yamaha’s main priority despite being the rider who finished as the 2020 MotoGP runner up for Yamaha, he is running the 2019 bike again this season after Yamaha did not give him an upgrade and it’s quite obvious to see he’s not too happy.
Danilo Petrucci seems to be the only KTM rider who can ride the bike today as he takes P6 after being able to count his race corners on one hand last week decking it on lap one, he finished within half a second of Espargaro with KTM praying for better fortunes this week around at Doha, he finished just 0.040 ahead of Fabio Quartararo who is the third Yamaha in the top 10 with Joan Mir in P8.
A Honda duo consisting of Stefan Bradl in P9 and Takaaki Nakagami in P10 capped off the top 10 as Luca Marini finished just 0.006 behind Nakagami in P11. It was not the best session for a few riders with Rossi in P17, plus Ducati factory riders Jack Miller in P18 and Francesco Bagnaia in P20, the Ducati duo previously saying that the bike doesn’t perform too well in the earlier sessions but once the track is cooler the bike performs much better so we will be eager to see what happens in FP2. The same goes for Johann Zarco in last place who suffered a crash.