The conclusions of the 2021 MotoGP preseason

The house of Borgo Panigale does not miss Dovi, at Yamaha they are hopeful, Pol has adapted to the Honda, Suzuki works, Aprilia depends on Aleix and KTM stagnates.


The shortest preseason in MotoGP history came to an end yesterday and left several conclusions that serve to give an idea of what the first two races of the season can hold, both scheduled in Qatar, which has been the scene of the five test days spread over two tests.

For some, as they recognized in Suzuki or the newcomers, it was a task that the last day will be ruined by how dirty the track was due to the sand that invaded the asphalt as a result of a sandstorm.

The preseason king, if you can call him that because of how short it has been, was Jack Miller with his Ducati, but with three Yamaha strapped to his back. Honda suffered many falls, up to 10, but rubs his hands with Pol's fantastic adaptation. In Aprilia they are only in the hands of Aleix. And KTM has been the great disappointment of the winter.

Ducati: does not miss Dovizioso

High competition sport is so cruel that no one remembers Andrea Dovizioso in the Ducati box. The Italian gave three consecutive MotoGP runners-up to the house of Borgo Panigale not so long ago (2017, 18 and 19) and a lot of life in his complicated attempts to beat Marc Márquez, but that is now history in the red box they are delighted with the bet they have made for Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia.

In addition to greatly improving the atmosphere in the box, the results are also good on the track. The Australian finished first, as the preseason king, with a time in the Qatar tests of 1.53.183 with which he set a new record. Pecco, meanwhile, finished fifth, 0.261 from the lead and also gives off good feelings. They don't miss Dovi, and they don't miss Danilo Petrucci.

The two new factory drivers liked the Ducati's new fairing, with that F1-inspired flow carrier on the sides that better manages the intake of air and reduces the use of anti-wheelie. By avoiding lifting the front wheel as much as possible without the help of electronics, the engine is less cramped by electronics when it comes to gas and, therefore, accelerates faster. Innovation works, at least on this track and in the wind.

Another factor that is always in Ducati's favor, especially on circuits with straights as long as Losail, is its enormous top speed. Johann Zarco set a new record at Losail by taking his Desmosedici to 357.6. And another positive point for the Italian factory is to see that its satellite pilots also work. Zarco made it into the top ten (9th) and rookies Jorge Martín (14th), Enea Bastianini (15th) and Luca Marini (21st) had a more than decent debut.

Yamaha: great in great conditions Franco Morbidelli's room (+0.140). In addition, Valentino Rossi went from less to more and finished 11th at 0.810 from the head, with a time of 1: 53.993 that was his first lap to Losail below 1:54, and look who has made laps.

In the second test, they reconfirmed the good feeling of the new chassis, which they intend to resemble the 2019 one used by Morbidelli, which in turn resembles the classic Yamaha frame. In perfect grip conditions, the M1 is perfect. What remains to be seen is what will happen when there are grip problems. They would have liked the preseason to take place in more places, just to be clear, but for now they feel ready for the first two races, both in Qatar.

Suzuki: Missed one day of testing

Lots of tests in Suzuki's box in these tests, which included a new engine for the 2022 season that its drivers wouldn't ride on the GSX-RR right now if they could. Yes, they can opt for the new chassis for the first two races, but according to their statements they prefer the one from last season.

Joan Mir finished seventh at 0.644 and Álex Rins finished eighth at 0.677. Both were left with the feeling that they missed a day of testing. The sandstorm that ruined the last day was fatal to them because they were left without doing the racing drills they intended and without finishing the job with the new chassis. Even so, they are seen plugged in and their mount continues to be the most balanced on the grid.

Honda: waiting for Marc with a promising Pol

Marquez's return to the official Honda box is closer, which is great for everyone, but after the two tests in Qatar there is less rush than before thanks to the good role shown by Pol Espargaró in his debut on the back of the RC213V. Miller said of him that he had been the winner of the test, because of everything he had to prove, how fast he had been able to go on a lap and the good pace offered. His 10th place at 0.716 says less than he actually got.

The negative note for the golden wing in this test has been the excess of falls. Up to ten have accumulated among its four pilots. Álex Márquez takes the cake with five in four days of testing, the last one leaving him with a two-millimeter fracture in the metatarsal of his right foot. The new LCR Honda rider finished 18th, 1,509 from the lead. His boxing partner Takaaki Nakagami made 12th at 1,079. And tester Stefan Bradl was 13th at 1,244. As seen, all behind Pol in his debut.

Aprilia: Aleix against everyone

Aleix Espargaró is more alone than one in his attempt to take Aprilia to the MotoGP podium, because rookie Lorenzo Savadori is very green, 26th to 2,571 of the fastest time. The Spaniard, on the other hand, was among the fastest in the first and second tests, with a hopeful sixth place at 0.457 of Miller.

After the first two days, Aleix came up a bit saying that he was fed up with finishing twelfth and that he wanted to get on the podium. Out of desire it won't be, but although the new Aprilia is better than the previous one and has evolved, the rivals do too. The engine of now is less electronically capacitated than that of the last year because it is more reliable and that gives more benefits. Of course, those of Noale's house can prevent Aleix from even catching a cold, because it is his only asset.KTM: step back

KTM was one of the great sensations of last season, with its first MotoGP victory, the work of Binder in Brno, and then two more by Oliveira, which placed it as a brand to consider for the new course. However, the two tests in Qatar have been a drop for the morale of the orange troop as reflected in the times table: Miguel Oliveira 16th (+1.343), Brad Binder 17th (+1.508), Danilo Petrucci 19th (+1.712) and Iker Lecuona 23º (+2.012) .

The Austrian factory is working on the engine, to get more speed and acceleration, but with the difficulty that comes with the engines being frozen for this season. This is to reduce costs due to the pandemic, so without the concessions that KTM had by regulation before its good results it is much more difficult to evolve.

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