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Fabio Quartararo Quickest After Two-Day MotoGP Test at Qatar

The first official MotoGP test of 2021 was a two-day affair completed last Saturday evening in Qatar. Fabio Quartararo, now a member of the factory Yamaha squad, posted the quickest lap time, followed by Jack Miller (Ducati) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

The heavily revamped Aprilia MotoGP bike was very quick throughout the test beneath Aleix Espargaro, and the team hopes to run with the front group this year. You can see full results of the test here. Testing will resume at Qatar in two days, and the opening round this year is also at Qatar (on March 28). Here is the press release from Quartararo’s team:

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team got into the swing of things on Day 2 of the Qatar MotoGP Official Test. Riders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales spent today‘s seven hours of available track time to improve their feeling with their bikes and concluded the day in 1st and 7th place respectively.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales were on form at the Losail International Circuit today, taking 1st and 7th place respectively in the Day 2 and the combined Qatar MotoGP Official Test standings.

With some more laps under his belt, Quartararo quickly got back into the groove. Sticking to his testing plan for today, he put in a time attack towards the end of the session. He rocketed to the top spot in the Day 2 and combined results on lap 52 of 59. He was the only rider to drop under the 1‘54s-mark, with a fastest time of 1‘53.940s, and holds a 0.077s advantage over his closest rival.

Viñales enjoyed a productive and positive day. He concentrated on perfecting his riding style to suit the 2021 YZR-M1. Though he suffered a small crash in Turn 2 when the temperatures dropped, the Spaniard was unhurt and able to continue. His 1‘54.395s best time, set on lap 55 of 66, earned him seventh position in both today‘s and the combined Day 1-2 timesheets, 0.455s from first.

The team will be back at the Losail International Circuit on Wednesday, 10th March for Day 3 of the Qatar MotoGP Official Test, again held from 14:00 – 21:00 (GMT+3).

MASSIMO MEREGALLI, TEAM DIRECTOR

We are not yet where we want to be with our schedule, but we have been able to gather quite a lot of information that we will closely study in the next two days. Each rider explored different areas of improvement. We will prepare a mix of all the positively evaluated solutions for Wednesday. Overall, we are quite satisfied with the pace that both our riders have been able to keep over these last two days. Fabio set a strong time during his time attack. Maverick hasn’t done one yet.

FABIO QUARTARARO

I’ve been doing a lot of training in the off-season, motocross and also flat track, but riding a MotoGP bike is a different story. I am looking forward to some days off now so the blisters on my hands can heal. Still, I am so happy that we get to ride again in two days, because I am enjoying it so much! We improved the pace, that’s something really positive that we take away from today. The feeling is great, and I made good lap times. We will use these upcoming two days off to look at the data and decide on the next steps.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

We are aiming for consistency this season. I am happy and pleased about the test. Yamaha has been working hard this winter. At the end of today‘s session, we did five or six laps that were really good for us. Those were the lap times we were looking for. I concentrated on my riding style and tried to go with the flow. I was surprised that I could ride 1‘54s even when there wasn‘t that much grip. I can‘t wait to be on the bike again on Wednesday and do more fast lap times.

28 Comments

  1. dt-175 says:

    franco morbidelli will beat both factory yamahas again this year also.

  2. falcofred says:

    #99 MM is a fantastic rider and a great champion, but last year was my favorite year since the early years of the four stroke. I enjoy a race and a championship where you don’t know who is going to win until the last corner of the last lap.
    I love it when Miguel Oliveira slipped under Pol Espargaro and Jack Miller to take Tech 3’s first MotoGP victory.

    • fred says:

      I understand what you’re saying, but it’s hard for me to get excited about supposedly top-rung racing when the top rider is out with an injury. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Marc back in the saddle. Right now, it seems like the only other “alien” on the grid is Fabio, but there are quite a few very good riders in the field.

      I prefer a season where there are bikes and riders who are at the top of their game almost every race, rather that teams that only bring their A game once every 2 or 3 events.

      • mickey says:

        Fabio is not an alien. Fabio is a lot like Lorenzo in that he is very fast when things are perfect. If they are not perfect he is lost and a mid packer or worse.

        Same with Vinales..very fast as long as things are perfect, but a hiccup in the universe can make him run 12th or worse.

        Yamaha is either blessed or cursed depending on the temperature, the air pressures, the moon phase etc

      • Ray says:

        I agree with you Fred. I’m looking forward to seeing MM race again. I hope some of these other fair weather riders step up to Moto GP level and give him someone to race against. If not I’ll enjoy watching him beat all the riders who should step down and race WSB. I really enjoyed MM last race up until he crashed. He’s shown time and again he’s the best rider in the field. He saved the bike in the corner, and came from last on dirty tires to catch up with the leaders . Who else on the paddock has that ability.

  3. joe b says:

    with MM93 missing last year, it seemed like it was Yamaha’s championship to loose. And they did. Reading where Suzuki’s bike, has a balance, that favors it over a long race, and others seemingly tried to make their bikes one lap wonders, can Yamaha find traction late in the race? And will a trio of fast V4’s be able to hold back the Suzuki’s, not giving them room to work in the corners, while their superior straighaway speed, keeps them up ahead? Will MM93 return, and be competitive? I cant wait for the season to start. Sitting on the edge of my seat already.

    • Jeremy says:

      Always feels a bit like Christmas this time of year
      Let’s get to racing already!

    • Dave says:

      Suzuki had been emulating the Yamaha but the latter just lost their way last year when it had been the most steady and reliable package on the grid. Morbidelli lucked out by campaigning on the “old” bike and he was a rocket in the late season races.

      Hopefully they can get their stuff headed in the right direction again. Maybe they should try to pit next to Suzuki?

  4. Motoman says:

    Would love to see two or three racers fighting for the championship this year. I have a sneaking suspicion that Marquez keeps that from happening as much as I don’t want him to.

  5. Tom R says:

    So, where is MM?

  6. Jeremy says:

    I kind of get the feeling this will be Fabio’s year. But last year once Marc was out for good, I thought that surely Dovi would string a championship together, so you just never know. I sure am ready to see some racing though.

    • Dave says:

      I hate to entertain conspiracy theories but it kinda seemed like Dovi’s pace deteriorated right after the prospect of him re-signing with Ducati did. Jacks bike was fast. I want to believe team’s 1st priority is to put the brand on the box.

      • Bob Krzeszkiewicz says:

        I had high hopes for Dovi but I can’t tell if his heart’s not in it anymore or he’s just lost a step. But I’d hate to see him end his career like Loris Capirossi. 2011 had 17 full time riders and 5 wildcards. He finished 17th. Not a good way to go out. Especially since he finished 16th in 2010 as well. Couldn’t go any lower.

      • Jeremy says:

        I would think he had to know, once it became obvious that he wouldn’t be signing with Ducati, that 2020 was potentially his last chance to ever win the premier class championship, so I honestly don’t think his lack of pace had to do with the souring of the Ducati relationship. Who knows though. His drive certainly seemed diminished though I couldn’t say if that was a result of the Ducati mess or just the inability of himself and the team to figure out how to use the new tires.

        • mickey says:

          I think Dovi got discouraged. For one he couldn’t come to grips with the Michelins. 2 thinks were breaking down in his relationships with Ducati, and 3rd he realized it was his best shot in 2020 but young guys were just going gangbusters and he wasnt.

          • Jeremy says:

            Yeah, it was definitely a perfect storm of things that just weren’t going Dovi’s way. It would be hard for anyone to stay motivated if you are just sitting there taking punches from all angles.

  7. mickey says:

    Good to see the boys back…. most of them anyway.

    Looking forward to Marc’s return.

    Hate to see another season screwed over due to Covid though.disruped schedule, no fans in the stands, dropped races

  8. falcodoug says:

    Go Aprilia!