It proved to be another productive evening in Qatar, both riders improving their overall speed and trying a raft of options on the RC213V machines as times continued to tighten among the top riders.
Having started well yesterday, both sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage were eager to continue their form and keep improving. With just over three hours of the test remaining, Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro led the timesheets in first and second as they put the 2021 RC213V through its paces.
After a positive first day adjusting to the RC213V, Pol Espargaro was again keen to get out on track and continue to lap the 5.4km long Losail International Circuit. With a day of riding and an evening of reviewing data away from the circuit, Espargaro was able to almost immediately improve on his best time from the previous day as his knowledge of the Honda continues to grow. Today Pol and his crew began to work towards longer runs as his base setting was refined.
Ultimately a 1’54.673 saw Espargaro finish the day in 12th, 1.2s faster than his best time from yesterday. With only 0.750s dividing the 13 fastest riders, there was nothing to choose between the top positions.
Stefan Bradl proved his day one pace was no flash in the pan, quickly getting within a few tenths of his best time and dropping into the 1’54s soon after. As the test entered the closing stages, Bradl was in command of the time sheets and looking very comfortable on board the RC213V. Bradl was able to keep pace as the times dropped, settling on a 1’54.210 to end the day in fifth.
Testing resumes on Wednesday, March 10 as the final three days of pre-season testing begins.