Finally MotoGP is back! The first free practice of the 2021 MotoGP season will get underway Friday from the Losail track and the race for the championship title seems more wide-open than ever before. From the words of the protagonists during and after the tests of the last few weeks, there seem to be a lot of candidates for the title and these certainly include Fabio Quartararo who last year seemed to have the championship in the bag, after two victories in the opening two rounds and the absence of Marc Marquez. The 2020 season, however, did not offer much more satisfaction other than that of Jerez to the French rider who could only finish eighth at the end of the season. This year Quartararo has moved into the factory Yamaha team, an extra responsibility but also a lot of additional room for manoeuvre to adjust the M1 according to his needs. Will it be Fabio's year?
“Finally, the season is about to start! – he said - I did a lot of laps during the preseason test, and even though we were not able to ride on the last day, we still ended the test feeling positive. I‘m very curious to see if the track conditions have changed much since the MotoGP Qatar Test, but most of all I just want to ride my M1 again and start the 2021 season!”
Alongside Quartararo in the Yamaha garage, there will be Maverick Vinales, in his fifth season with the factory M1 and with ambitions galore for 2021. Maverick is now the "senior" rider of the team and his goal for the season has been clear right from the presentation of the bikes: winning the world title. During the tests the Spaniard showed a good pace, like his teammate and Jack Miller. Will this be confirmed over the weekend?
“This year‘s winter testing wasn‘t very long, but we still got a lot of work done – declared Maverick – and the Qatar Test was very positive. This is important. We are about to start the new season and we‘re on a good level. We know our strengths. We have a good rhythm and we‘ve also worked hard on the areas that we know we could further improve. Now it‘s time to start racing!”
As always, Maio Meregalli will be in charge of the official Yamaha team, obviously placing a lot of hope in his riders and looking forward to the coming season with optimism.
“All motorsports fans have been looking forward to this week, because MotoGP is back in action. The first race of the season is always especially thrilling: it‘s the first time we really get to measure ourselves against our competition. We‘ve made good steps during the Qatar Test, and we‘re feeling confident. A lot of hard work from Yamaha‘s engineers and our test riders went into this. Both Maverick and Fabio felt comfortable with the package we've prepared for them during the test, so now it‘s just a matter of starting the show!”