Losail, Qatar

2021 Qatar MotoGP FP3 Result: Morbidelli Tops, Miller Tumbles

With track surface sizzling at over 45 degrees Celsius, there was not much learning to be done on Saturday afternoon in Qatar. Jack Miller's FP2 time was unchallenged at the top of the combined standings but an early tumble at turn 15 allowed Franco Morbidelli to take the laurels in FP3. The Italian started the session at the top and finished there too, with a brief interruption from former teammate Fabio Quartararo. Aleix Espargaro came within two tenths of a second of challenging Morbidelli but ended the session in the gravel trap at turn six.

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2021 Qatar Moto2 FP3 Result: Canet Climbs The Timesheets

Another hot afternoon at Losail meant that the intermediate class were just as successful as their junior colleagues in changing the combined top 14 configuration. So not at all. Sam Lowes started us off in familiar fashion at the top of the timesheets, where he spent quite some time until Aron Canet took over to close proceedings. With no improvements in the Q2 lineup, Lowes remained the fastest man over the three practice sessions, while FP3 leader Canet kept 14th place on the combined standings.

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2021 Qatar Moto3 FP3 Result: Garcia Gets Going

Day 2 in Qatar started warm and sunny but too warm and sunny to allow much progress on the combined timesheets. The lightweight class gave it a good go at challenging the top 14 hierarchy but with little success. After rookie Izan Guevara set camp at the top of the timing screens for much of the session, the final time attack saw teammate Sergio Garcia steal the spotlight to the checkered flag. Half a second slower was Andrea Migno, while Tatsuki Suzuki was the only rider to improve his time from Friday, jumping into third in the session but nowhere near the combined top 14.

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Qatar MotoGP Friday Round Up: Quick Ducatis, Early Qualifying, And The Quest For More Holeshot Devices

The normal build up to a MotoGP weekend sees the teams and riders spend FP1 figuring out which tires they think will work, then FP2 working on setup and then chasing a preliminary spot in FP2, leaving themselves plenty of work for Saturday, especially in FP4.

But Qatar is not a normal weekend. For a start, MotoGP arrives here after a total of five days of testing (well, four days, strictly speaking, as the last day of the test was lost to strong winds and a sandy track). Setups have already been found, tires have already been chosen.

Qatar's peculiar time schedule simplifies tire choice even further: the hard tires are built to handle the heat of daytime practice, and are too hard for the cooler evenings when qualifying and the race happen. So the choice is merely between soft and medium, and that choice, too, was largely made during the test.

So the teams arrive with less work to do, and can get straight into perfecting their setup and chasing a spot in Q2. That turned FP2 on Friday into a more frenetic affair than usual, the dash made even madder by the fact that the track is a second or more slower during the day than it is in the evening. If you missed out on Q2 in FP2, the chances of making it through during FP3, held in the afternoon heat, are slim indeed.

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2021 Qatar MotoGP FP2 Result: Miller Paints The Night Red

Scared off by the afternoon heat in Qatar, the premier class got straight back to business when the lights flashed green on the second practice session. While appreciated, the enthusiasm was quickly tamed by a short red flag adjournment a handful of minutes into the session. After the bits of debris were quickly swept away, it was Aleix Espargaro’s time to challenge the fleet of Ducatis provisionally set up at the top of the timing screens.

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2021 Qatar Moto2 FP2 Result: Musical Chairs With Lowes And Bezzecchi

Qatar swapped day for night, sun for floodlights and Bezzecchi for Lowes but it was the same strong men at the top of the timesheets. After Bezzecchi claimed the afternoon session, Lowes took his turn in the lead for the evening, one tenth ahead of the Italian and another two tenths from the next closest challenger, Joe Roberts. Xavi Vierge stepped it up in FP2 to trail the leader by three tenths of a second, while Remy Gardner completed the top five.

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2021 Qatar Moto3 FP2 Result: Toba In The Limelight

As night fell over Losail, things quickly got quicker for the lightweight class, who fought for those precious top 14 spots in much improved conditions. The floodlights showed Kaito Toba the way to the top of the timesheets shortly before the checkered flag waved and the CIP rider finished the evening four hundredths of a second ahead of Jaume Masia.

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2021 Qatar MotoGP FP1 Result: Morbidelli Opens The Show

After a long wait – but not as long as last spring – the MotoGP circus was flying in full formation in Qatar once again, the premier class joining the action alongside the juniors after two years away from the Losail track. The grid was not quite in full configuration yet, with only one Marquez in attendance as the other rests for another couple of races but rivals fought to keep the spotlight firmly on them as the season gets going. Despite windy, sweaty and slippery conditions, Franco Morbidelli achieved that and led the way throughout FP1.

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