2021 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Result: Red Sky At Night...

... Ducati’s delight. The first Tissot watch of the season was up for grabs in Qatar and there were many interested parties. After a feisty Ducati versus Yamaha battle, Pecco Bagnaia’s naked wrist will find some comfort in tonight’s press conference, when he is rewarded for his first pole position in the premier class. The Italian also achieved an all time lap record with the first and only 01:52 time around the Losail circuit. Fabio Quartararo led the way after the first run and although he had to admit defeat to Bagnaia, the Frechman starts his factory career on the front row of the grid, ahead of teammate Maverick Vinales.

Bagnaia’s lightning quick lap also helped mentor Valentino Rossi make a jump on the timing screens and the precious slipstream bumped him up to the front row briefly, before getting demoted by his former teammate. The Doctor opens the second row of the grid, where he is joined by Jack Miller and the brand new top speed record holder Johann Zarco. With Franco Morbidelli qualifying seventh, all four Yamahas will be starting from the first three rows of the grid, surrounded by Ducatis. Aleix Espargaro made Aprilia the next best manufacturer with his eighth place, while Alex Rins closes the third row of the grid for Suzuki.

World champion Joan Mir passed the challenge of Q1 but wasn’t as fortunate in Q2, where the best he could do with one less set of soft tyres was tenth place. Fellow Q1 escapee Takaaki Nakagami joins him on row four, while Pol Espargaro in 12th grid position leaves the Hondas at the bottom of the Q2 pile. One of the highlights of Q1 was the elite rookie cohort, with Enea Bastianini missing out on Q2 by only five thousandths of a second and Jorge Martin crashing out while on course to set the session’s top time. The two rookies will open the fifth row of the grid, where they will be joined by Miguel Oliveira.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'52.772    
2 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'53.038 0.266 0.266
3 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'53.088 0.316 0.050
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'53.114 0.342 0.026
5 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'53.215 0.443 0.101
6 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'53.286 0.514 0.071
7 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'53.313 0.541 0.027
8 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'53.315 0.543 0.002
9 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'53.490 0.718 0.175
10 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'53.682 0.910 0.192
11 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'53.721 0.949 0.039
12 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'53.930 1.158 0.209
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'53.577    
Q2 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'53.728 0.151 0.151
13 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'53.733 0.156 0.005
14 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'53.840 0.263 0.107
15 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'53.915 0.338 0.075
16 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'53.958 0.381 0.043
17 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'53.995 0.418 0.037
18 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'54.122 0.545 0.127
19 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'54.240 0.663 0.118
20 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'54.443 0.866 0.203
21 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'54.627 1.050 0.184
22 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'55.183 1.606 0.556
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Joh-Z becomes the first man to reach 100m/s (360km/h) on a GP bike in an official session. I'm a bit of a numbers geek and I love little things like that, so thought I'd mention it. :)

Who will be the first person to achieve 100m/s... and still make the corner afterwards? :P

EDIT TO ADD: if the Ducatis are doing 362 at Qatar... what the hell are they going to manage at Mugello at the end of May?!

KTM have come a long way in a short time, still have work to do.

Suzuki need to improve in Qualifying. The champion M1R had to fight through Q1 to get to Q2. Both Suzukis behind Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia!

Congratulations Aprilia! Qualified better than all the Hondas, Suzukis and all the KTMs! Awesome!

I actually think 9th and 10th is OK for Suzuki. We know they're weak in qualifying and this is not a good track for them. I expect they'll both be in the running for a top six - if Mir and Rins can both come out of these two races with two solid points finishes, that'll be a strong start IMO.