Petrucci tops final Qatar test day ruined by high winds

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.

Petrucci tops final Qatar test day ruined by high winds

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.

Read Also:

The lack of action was a theme 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.

Top 5 test times

 Cla   Nº  Rider  Bike   Time   Delay   Laps 
9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'58.157   9
6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'59.432 1.275 3
30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'59.814 1.657 12
33 Brad Binder KTM 2'01.141 2.984 9
44 Pol Espargaró Honda 2'01.303 3.146 8
shares
comments
New Yamaha MotoGP bike “ready” to race – Vinales
Previous article

New Yamaha MotoGP bike “ready” to race – Vinales

Next article

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

MotoGP champion Mir only "70%" ready for start of new season
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021