Testing is underway in Qatar, and the conditions are against the riders. Strong winds are blowing dust across the track, making riding very difficult indeed. That is reflected in the times: Stefan Bradl is fastest at 6pm local time, but his best lap of 1'58.427 is 3.5 seconds slower than Jorge Lorenzo's race lap record of 1'54.927 from 2016, and over 5 seconds slower than Marc Marquez' outright lap record of 1'53.380 from 2019.
The test riders currently lead the way, as the MotoGP rookies get their first taste of their bikes. Enea Bastianini was a late arrival to the track, the Italian having returned a false positive Covid-19 test, before a second test cleared him to participate.
Although there is a great deal of interest in how Cal Crutchlow might fare on his first outing as a Yamaha test rider, he is sharing testing duties with Kohta Nozane and Katsuyuki Nakasuga, and the three test bikes all have controls set up the same to allow them to hop between bikes, making it hard to tell who has set what time.
Testing continues until 9pm this evening.
Times at 6pm local time:
|Not qualified (Out 107%)||2'06.716|