2021 Doha MotoGP Qualifying Result: A Better Launch Than Elon's

The floodlights of Losail offered the perfect spotlight for the premier class qualifying show and Q1 already suggested that pole position was never going to be an easy bet but Q2 took it up a notch. Although parc ferme was always likely to be painted red, the eventual line-up wasn’t all that expected. Rocket rookie Jorge Martin started the session at the top of the timesheets but it seemed like championship leader Maverick Vinales had the measure of him – and everyone else – as he left the pits all guns blazing for his second run. Although the Yamaha man’s lap looked like a solid bid for pole, Martin found something special and grabbed a phenomenal pole position on only his second race in the premier class.

To complete a perfect Saturday for the Pramac crew, Johann Zarco joined his teammate in parc ferme, having taken second position on the grid and demoting Vinales to third for only four thousandths of a second. Jack Miller obviously hoped for more than fourth judging by his stomping back to the pits, while Fabio Quartararo was the only other blotch of blue paint in an otherwise red two front rows, closed by last week’s poleman Pecco Bagnaia.

Aleix Espargaro carries on shining on the Aprilia, this time in seventh position, being joined by the two Suzukis on the third row of the grid. Alex Rins and Joan Mir were separated by only four hundredths of a second, although the world champion had a much more eventful evening after fighting his way through Q1. Franco Morbidelli could not quite match his factory colleagues’ speed and will start from the fourth row of the grid, ahead of the only Honda in Q2, Stefan Bradl and top KTM and Q1 escapee Miguel Oliveira.

In a highly competitive Q1 session, rookie Luca Marini missed out on Q2 for only eighth thousandths of a second, after getting a helpful tow from Alex Marquez and demoting the Spaniard to 14th on the grid. The other side of the Tavullia household did not fare quite as well, Valentino Rossi finding himself in a fairly unusual 21st grid position.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'53.106    
2 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'53.263 0.157 0.157
3 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'53.267 0.161 0.004
4 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'53.303 0.197 0.036
5 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'53.469 0.363 0.166
6 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'53.654 0.548 0.185
7 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'53.705 0.599 0.051
8 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'53.745 0.639 0.040
9 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'53.785 0.679 0.040
10 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'53.794 0.688 0.009
11 6 Stefan Bradl Honda 1'54.224 1.118 0.430
12 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'55.096 1.990 0.872
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'53.931    
Q2 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'54.220 0.289 0.289
13 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'54.228 0.297 0.008
14 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'54.261 0.330 0.033
15 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'54.402 0.471 0.141
16 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'54.481 0.550 0.079
17 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'54.528 0.597 0.047
18 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'54.555 0.624 0.027
19 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'54.632 0.701 0.077
20 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'54.731 0.800 0.099
21 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'54.881 0.950 0.150
22 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'55.823 1.892 0.942
Round Number: 
2
2021
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Comments

Late last year, and again this year a bit of a pattern emerged and I'm starting to wonder if Pramac is better as setting its bikes up than Ducati for race day.