Qatar MotoGP test: Petrucci tops wasted final day

Tech3 KTM’s Danilo Petrucci topped a final day of the Qatar MotoGP test ruined by high winds, with only five riders posting lap times.

Qatar MotoGP test: Petrucci tops wasted final day

High winds around the Losail International Circuit had blown a lot of sand from the surrounding Qatar desert onto the track, with no one bothering to post a lap time in the opening hour of running.

Petrucci ventured out in the second hour on his KTM, but only did two laps, the fastest of which – a 2m01.308s - around eight seconds off the outright test best set by Ducati’s Jack Miller on Wednesday.

The lack of action continued throughout the day, with KTM’s Brad Binder venturing out for a lap with just under four hours to go before immediately pitting.

With just over three hours of the session remaining, Honda’s Pol Espargaro moved ahead of Petrucci with a 2m01.303s but soon returned to the pitlane.

The session was red-flagged about half an hour later as the marshals were sent on track to try and clear the sand away.

 

Their efforts, however, weren’t enough to prompt a mass exodus from the pits, with Petrucci and Honda’s Stefan Bradl venturing out again when the session resumed.

Petrucci managed to improve to a still unspectacular 1m58.157s, with Bradl slotting in behind him 1.275 seconds adrift.

The pair were eventually joined by LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami, Binder and Espargaro, with the order on the timesheets reflecting that.

Factory Yamaha duo Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo did come out later in the session, but only to try a couple of practice starts – an area the former has been focusing on during the second test.

The session closed with Petrucci heading Bradl, while Nakagami slotted into third with a 1m59.814s ahead of Binder and Espargaro.

Miller’s unofficial outright Losail lap record of 1m53.183s kept him top of the combined test timesheets, with Vinales trailing him following his Thursday-topping 1m53.244s.

Much of the MotoGP paddock will remain in Qatar for the next three weeks (though some riders will return home before the opening round) and will observe strict COVID-19 bubble protocols.

The Qatar Grand Prix kicks off the season on 28 March, while the inaugural Doha GP – a last-minute edition to replace the postponed US and Argentine races – will run at the same venue a week later.

Next weekend the Moto2 and Moto3 paddock will have three days of testing at Losail ahead of the opening round of 2021.

shares
comments
2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike “ready” to race – Vinales
Previous article

2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike “ready” to race – Vinales

Next article

MotoGP champion Mir only "70%" ready for start of 2021 season

MotoGP champion Mir only "70%" ready for start of 2021 season
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022