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Final Qatar MotoGP Test Sees Ducati’s Jack Miller Break Lap Record

Three more days of testing at Qatar have come to an end with the riders now focusing on the first race at the same circuit in two week’s time. The final day of the three-day test was essentially worthless with very few riders taking very few laps due to high winds and sand blown onto the track.

Despite this, two of the testing days saw good conditions under the lights at the Middle Eastern circuit. Ducati’s Jack Miller set the fastest time overall, dipping under the track record previously set by Marc Marquez (Honda). The next three quickest laps were posted by Yamaha riders, including Maverick Vinales, Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.

Honda star Marc Marquez is still recovering from the fractured arm he suffered earlier last year and he was unable to participate in the Qatar tests. Although his condition is reportedly improving, it is still unknown whether he will attempt to ride at the opening round in two weeks. His new teammate on the Factory Repsol Honda team, Pol Espargaro, appeared to be adapting well to his new Honda by posting the 10th quickest time during the test — the fastest Honda rider.

Take a look here for the full combined test results. Stay tuned for coverage of the 2021 MotoGP championship here on MD.

14 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Just watched an old video of Mick Dothan scoring a pole at Assen. The announcer says, “it looks like Honda’s 25 pole position streak will not be broken today..”. 25.

  2. mickey says:

    Marc was out putting laps on an RC213V-S yesterday at Barcelona yesterday and was looking pretty fast. Said it felt great to be back on a full sized bike again. I wouldn’t put it past him to be racing soon.

  3. mickey says:

    Jack is pretty fast. All the Aussies I have known personally have been pretty fast riders. They seem to be missing a fear gene.

    Being fast at Qatar testing doesn’t mean much for the season (ask Vinales) but you get your name in the news a lot. At Qatar many riders are testing frames, motors, electronics, aero’s etc. Not a lot of them went for 1 lap speed runs on the few good days they get for testing. All the Ducati’s were very fast thru the speed traps.

  4. fred says:

    Actually, 3 riders broke (unofficially) the old lap record, under almost perfect conditions. Then the wind and dust returned and most of them didn’t complete a timed lap on the last day.

    My personal opinion is that Marc has a solid chance at the championship, if he is able to race by LeMans, or even Mugello. There are quite a few unknowns there, but Marc is a very determined and impressive young man.

    • Jeremy says:

      He has a good chance regardless, but especially if things go like they did last year where everyone seemed to take turns bringing their A-game to raceday. Marc brings his A-game every weekend.

      He may not be completely dominant: He will have not been on a bike for a year, and his physical condition can’t possibly be peak, but I think he’ll still be a force to be reckoned with.

    • Marcus says:

      Marc may be finished. He’ll still be a force to be reckoned with but as he did right after his injury, he’ll show up, make a few laps to appease his fans and sponsors then hit the shower.
      He’s a competitor, if he’s not 110% I don’t think he’ll want to race.

  5. Pablo says:

    Jack has always been able to lay down fast laps, his and Ducati’s problem are making the tyres last race distance. I realy hope he can win some races this year and challenge for the championship.

    • Jeremy says:

      I hope so too. He was pretty effective on the bike last year despite not having any wins. It will be interesting to see if a full factory Ducati is the special sauce he was missing.

      • Dave says:

        I think all of the factories are hoping for this. Besides KTM and Suzuki, full factory was kind of the “anti-sauce” last year with support riders mostly outperforming the “A” team.

        • Jeremy says:

          Ha, no kidding. 2020 was definitely the year of the satellite. While Morbidelli was the only satellite rider in the top six of the standings he finished just 13 points behind Mir. And so many of the satellite bikes gave great performances. Interested to see how this year will turn out.

          • Dave says:

            I hope it doesn’t return to “normal”, insofar as I really enjoyed how many guys found competitiveness. Lots of winners, lots of standout performances.

          • Jeremy says:

            Yeah, I don’t know. I kind of get the feeling that things will fall somewhere in-between. I think there will be more guys that usual fighting for the win, but I think the front runners will be more consistent. I have no clever analysis to back that up, though, so who knows.

          • Dave says:

            I think you’re probably right. Yamaha is looking good so far and I’d like to assume they’ve got their engine bugaboos worked out. I expect Suzuki to be good again but if Yamaha is back to normal and Ducati improves at all, Suzuki and KTM (haven’t done any notable development) may be pushed back a little. Aprilia should be good enough to be mixing it up somewhere behind 5th place? I can’t believe that Honda will again be an x-factor again. Maybe Pol can work it out but he choked on the KTM that others won on last year.

          • Jeremy says:

            Always hard to tell from preseason testing, especially when that track is Qatar. 3 of the 4 Yamaha riders do look very fast, but then Yamaha always do well at Qatar. Miller looks really fast on a single lap and race pace. Suzuki and KTM look lost at the moment, but I think Suzuki at least will get their ducks in a row during the free practice sessions.

            Pol may not have won a race last year, but he was the highest scoring KTM. And I have to say, he is looking pretty darn fast on the Honda especially considering how little time he’s had on the bike. If Marc stays out during the first half of the season, I think Pol might put a win together.