GP Doha: Aleix Esapargaró starts strong; Morbidelli, two engine failure

When someone is happy, it shows in their piloting, and that can be applied to the case of Aleix Espargaró. After many years of pushing to take the group from the head to ApriliaThis course, the Catalan can take heart from the enormous evolution that the Italian motorcycle has given. He started the course with a creditable seventh place in Qatar, and now, in the second race of the year in Losail, wants to continue taking steps forward. He demonstrated it with the ambition with which he faced the first free practice sessions of the Doha GP not representative at all due to the track conditions, which are very different from those that the drivers will encounter in qualifying and in the race. This did not matter to him and he wanted to take advantage of it to continue exploiting the enormous confidence with which he is seen riding the Transalpine motorcycle. With her he kept a nice heads up against the clock with Maverick Viñales at the end of the session, surpassing himself in several laps until Aleix set the best time in the classification, with a 1’54 ”839. It was then that Alex Rins poked his head out with his Suzuki to be placed in the second place with a 1’54 ”839, leaving Maverick in third position (1’54 ”864). For his part, the world champion, Joan Mir, finished in 8th position, with much to say even when the track conditions are better.

Viñales, with great force

The pilot of Roses, World Cup leader After achieving the first win of the year with his official Yamaha, he once again demonstrated his good form with a motorcycle with which this year he seems to have taken a very important step forward in the fight for the title. This weekend, Maverick wants to get the double to leave Qatar as a firm leader before the possible return of Marc Márquez. Viñales will try to show his great rhythm in a much more representative FP2, already under the spotlights of Qatar, in the middle of the desert night.

For it, Maverick
worked two long runs, making it clear that he still wants to keep looking for more tenths on his motorcycle, without an iota of conformity in his attitude and yes a lot of work and ambition.

For his part, his teammate Fabio Quartararo, with the official Yamaha, was 7th with a 1’55 ”303.

Problems in the two Morbidelli engines

They should be much more concerned in the Petronas Yamaha pit due to the problems they had with Franco Morbidelli. The Italian was the leader of the session when he had his first problem of the session, with the engine of his Yamaha fuming, something that only invited us to think about the ghosts of the past of the tuning fork, which in 2020 suffered a lot with the reliability of its thrusters. But the worst was yet to come. Morbidelli, shortly after hitting the track with his second bike, suffered the same problem again.

Jorge Martín, first Ducati

Jorge Martin finished the session in fourth place, as first Ducati and the man to beat in the last sector, of pure speed. The Spanish rider took a step forward on the last of his three stints, setting a 1’55 ”019”, ahead of 1’55 ”125 on Morbidelli (5) and 1’55 ”263” of Petrucci (6th). Jorge, debutant in the premier class, showed to have made a lot of progress in adapting to his new bike, and apart from being the first Ducati, was surprised to see the other motorcycles in the house of Borgo panigale in distant positions. Jack Miller, who does not like these kinds of conditions, rode little and was 18th. For its part, Pecco bagnaia, podium on the first date, he was only 20th. And Jorge’s partner in PramacJohann Zarco crashed and finished 22nd without progress when he got back on track. All of them, with the fall of the sun and the appearance of the moon, are expected to progress a lot in their times and be up.

It will be necessary to see if it is Valentino Rossi, that he will have to work to improve the set up of his motorcycle to reduce the degradation in the rear wheel that he suffered in the first race of the year a week ago. For now the Italian was 17th in this FP1. For its part, Àlex Márquez was 13th with the Honda of the LCR.