Fabio Quartararo led the way at the conclusion of the final day of the opening MotoGP test of 2021 in Qatar, the Frenchman leading Ducati’s Jack Miller by 0.077.
The factory Yamaha man was keen to make an impression on his second day with his new squad after languishing down in 15th just over a second from pace-setting Aleix Espargaro following the first day.
While not posting any blistering times across the first half of the second day Quartararo came out swinging as the sun began to set, banging in the first sub 1:54 time of the test so far with a 1:53.940 to move clear of previous fastest man Espargaro’s Aprilia.
No other rider would ultimately be able to eclipse Quartararo as the clock ticked down to zero, Miller getting the closest as he posted a 1:54.017 with just over half an hour remaining to lead Espargaro by the end, the updated RS-GP continuing to look strong in the Spaniards hands.
Franco Morbidelli ended day two in fourth overall just a thousandth of a second behind the Aprilia, while Stefan Bradl completed the top five for the factory Honda organisation.
The German led the field as the test took its lunch break ahead of team-mate Pol Espargaro, the Honda duo heading a top four covered by just 0.187 as Aleix and Maverick Vinales’ Yamaha followed closely behind.
Johann Zarco ended the session sixth fastest ahead of Vinales and reigning premier class world champion Joan Mir’s Suzuki, while Francesco Bagnaia and Alex Rins completed the top ten.
Several riders fell foul of the windy conditions during the day, Alex Marquez falling for the second consecutive day while Pramac Racing rookie Jorge Martin also tumbled at Turn 16.
Takaaki Nakagami also suffered a spill during Saturday’s running, the LCR racer going down at Turn 2 just prior to the lunch break on his way to 13th by the end of the opening test-a position ahead of new team-mate Marquez.
KTM had a quiet day with their highest representative on the timesheets being newly-promoted factory man Miguel Oliveira in 11th overall, the double ’20 MotoGP race winner heading Pol by just 0.007.
Valentino Rossi meanwhile completed his first official event as a Sepang Racing Team rider down in 20th and 1.7 seconds from the top spot, the Italian falling in behind half-brother Luca Marini and Martin.
MotoGP’s second and final three day pre-season test will be conducted once again at the Losail International Circuit next week ahead of the campaign-starting Qatar Grand Prix at the same venue in three weeks time.