Both Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl worked hard on the opening day of the season to lay the foundation for what is to come. Espargaro has earned a provisional second place.
Temperatures towards the 1940s gave the MotoGP World Championship a warm welcome to the Qatar GP on the opening day of the 2021 season. As is so often the case in Qatar, the floodlit Free Practice 2 conditions were drastically different as temperatures plummeted into the 1920s.
Despite the heat, Pol Espargaro was one of the first riders to compete in Free Practice 1 as he worked on his further adaptation to the Honda. A fall for Pol Espargaro at Turn 6 in the middle of the first RP resulted in the Repsol Honda Team debutant returning to the garage unharmed. Almost immediately, he returned to the hot Losail circuit on his second RC213V machine to continue running.
The cooler weather of FP2 led Espargaro to capitalize on the potential he had shown in testing as he battled for a position in the top 5. Unfortunately, after a fall in his last flight lap, he was unable to improve beyond 1’53.901 and tenth place overall. The lap time gives him a provisional Q2 place.
Like his teammate, Stefan Bradl tried to make the most of the first session regardless of the conditions. With temperatures that improved significantly for Free Practice 2, Bradl was able to complete 18 laps during practice and improved his time to 1’54.634 – 1.3 seconds faster than in the first RP. The German driver is eager to find his feeling from the test again. The RC213V behaves differently if the state of the line changes.
The Repsol Honda Team will be back on track for Free Practice 3 on Saturday, March 27th at 3:15 pm local time.