After the two preseason tests held a few weeks ago, Ducati Lenovo Team riders Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia are back in Qatar for the inaugural Grand Prix of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship, which will be held this weekend at Losail Circuit. The circuit in the outskirts of Doha will also host the second round of the season the following weekend, from 2nd-4th April.
The track, present on the calendar since 2004, has seen Ducati take 11 podiums so far, including five victories. The most recent came in 2019 with Andrea Dovizioso, in the last edition of the GP contested by the premier class. In fact, last year, due to the restrictions caused by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the MotoGP race was cancelled a few weeks before the start of the Championship.
Off the back of the results obtained in the two test sessions, which saw him top the combined standings and unofficially improving the circuit's lap record, Jack Miller will take to the track aiming to be among the protagonists in the race.
Having successfully concluded the preseason testing, Francesco Bagnaia, who made his MotoGP debut in Qatar with the Ducati of the Pramac Racing Team in 2019, also arrives at Losail, intending to fight for the top positions.
Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team, #43)
“Finally, we are back in action for the first Grand Prix of 2021 this weekend. The official Qatar Test had been really positive, and I have never felt so comfortable on the bike before starting the Championship as this year. My feeling with the Desmosedici is great, and also, our speed is not that bad. I hope we will find good track conditions all weekend to prepare ourselves well for both races that we will have here in Losail. For sure, also our rivals will be really competitive here, but I am determined to start the new season on a high, fighting for the top podium as I did at the end of last year”.
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team, #63)
"I'm really excited to finally face my first Grand Prix as an official rider of the Ducati Lenovo Team. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, and I can't wait to experience the adrenaline of the first lights out of season. After the two test sessions we've had over the last few weeks, we arrive at the first round of the year with a solid base to work from. It will be important to improve our time attack to guarantee a place in the first two rows of the grid in qualifying. I'm very excited, and I feel I can fight for a good result in the race!".
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back in action for the first free practice session of the Qatar GP on Friday 26th March at 3:40 pm local time (GMT +3.00).
Name: Losail International Circuit
Best lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:54.927 (168.5 km/h) – 2016
Circuit record: Márquez (Honda) 1:53.380 (170.8 km/h) – 2019
Top speed: Márquez (Honda) 352 km/h - 2019
Track length: 5,4 km
Race distance: 22 laps (118.4 km)
Corners: 16 (6 left, 10 right)
Podium: 1° Dovizioso (Ducati); 2° Marquez (Honda), 3° Crutchlow (Honda)
Pole Position: Viñales (Yamaha) 1:53.546 (170,5 km/h)
Fastest lap: Quartararo (Yamaha) 1:55.039 (168,3 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 43
GPs started: 154 (99 x MotoGP, 49 x Moto3, 6 x 125 cc)
First GP: Qatar 2015 (MotoGP), Qatar 2012 (Moto3), Germany 2011 (125 cc)
Wins: 7 (1 MotoGP + 6 Moto3)
First Win: Netherlands 2016 (MotoGP), Qatar 2014 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 9 (1 MotoGP + 8 Moto3)
First pole: Argentina 2018 (MotoGP), USA 2014 (Moto3)
Fastest laps: 3 (2 MotoGP + 1 Moto3)
Points: 544 (MotoGP) + 403 (Moto3)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race number: 63
GPs started: 134 (29 x MotoGP, 36 x Moto2, 69 x Moto3)
First GP: Qatar 2019 (MotoGP), Qatar 2017 (MotoGP), Qatar 2013 (MotoGP)
Wins: 10 (8 Moto2 + 2 Moto3)
First win: Qatar 2018 (Moto2), Netherlands 2016 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 7 (6 Moto2 + 1 Moto3)
First pole: France 2018 (Moto2), Britain 2016 (Moto3)
Fastest laps: 7 (2 MotoGP + 3 Moto2 + 2 Moto3)
Points: 101 (MotoGP) + 480 (Moto2) + 271 (Moto3)
World Titles: 1 (Moto2, 2018)