Quartararo pips Miller for fastest time in Sunday MotoGP test

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo beat Ducati’s Jack Miller by 0.077s to record the fastest time on the second day of MotoGP testing in Qatar.

Quartararo pips Miller for fastest time in Sunday MotoGP test
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As is typical during the Qatar test, the Losail circuit was sparsely populated in the early part of the session, with KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa setting the early pace at 1m58.290s as one of just four runners on track in the first hour.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco rounded out Hour 2 fastest of all with a 1m55.796s on his 2021 Ducati, with the Italian marque testing its new front holeshot device along with KTM, Honda and Aprilia. Francesco Bagnaia pipped his Pramac replacement to the top of the standings as the third hour of running began, the factory Ducati rider lapping in 1m55.560s.

The Italian’s run at the top was short-lived, however, as Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales moved well clear with a 1m55.187s just a few minutes later, and bettering that to a 1m54.845s next time by.

This stood undefeated for the next hour, before HRC test rider Stefan Bradl began a stint at the top of the timesheets with a 1m54.658s. That time was eventually beaten by the other works team Ducati of Jack Miller – who spent much of the day evaluating a new aerodynamic package – with around two and a half hours remaining.

The Australian’s 1m54.367s kept him top of the pile for the next 30 minutes, before Saturday pacesetter Aleix Espargaro put the new Aprilia ahead with a 1m54.152s.

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Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli – who continued to evaluate his slightly updated ‘A-spec’ M1 – came close to deposing Espargaro, lapping just 0.001s outside of the Spaniard’s effort as the final hour began.

Eventually Espargaro’s reign was ended by Morbidelli’s former teammate Quartararo who, after a tough first day readjusting to his MotoGP bike, set the best lap of the test, the factory Yamaha rider clocking a 1m53.940s around 40 minutes from the finish. Quartararo’s lap remained top through to the chequered flag, the Frenchman heading Miller and Aprilia’s Espargaro.

Morbidelli was fourth on his SRT M1 ahead of Bradl and Zaro, while Vinales slipped back to seventh.

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He headed reigning world champion Joan Mir, who was an early finisher on Sunday having spent his day evaluating Suzuki’s new chassis and various electronics set-ups.

Bagnaia and the second Suzuki rider Alex Rins rounded out the top 10, with KTM’s Miguel Oliveira 11th on the RC16 ahead of Honda new boy Pol Espargaro.

LCR’s Alex Marquez suffered another fall on Sunday, coming off at the last corner and doubling his team’s repair work after teammate Takaaki Nakagami also took a tumble. Pramac rookie Jorge Martin tallied up another crash after a heavy fall on Friday during the shakedown and was 19th at the chequered flag behind Avintia’s Luca Marini.

Marini’s team-mate Enea Bastianini was once again the fastest rookie in 16th after posting a 1m55.486s lap.

SRT’s Valentino Rossi, Tech3 duo Danilo Petrucci and KTM’s Brad Binder were the last of the full-time riders on the timesheets.

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Qatar MotoGP test, Day 2: Top 10 times

 Cla   Nº   Rider   Bike  Time   Gap   Laps 
20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'53.940   59
43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'54.017 0.077 57
41 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia 1'54.152 0.212 69
21 F.Morbidelli Yamaha 1'54.153 0.213 63
6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'54.210 0.270 61
5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'54.356 0.416 55
12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'54.395 0.455 66
36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'54.515 0.575 48
63 F.Bagnaia Ducati 1'54.651 0.711 48
10  42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'54.658 0.718 49
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