Moto3: PETRONAS 1-2 as Darryn Binder tops Qatar Test day one

Published on March 19, 2021
By Short Shift News

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing new boy Darryn Binder left it late on the opening day of the Moto3 and Moto2 Qatar test, topping the timesheets ahead of team-mate John McPhee and Rivacold Snipers’ Filip Salac.

Moto3 officially got their 2021 seasons underway with PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Darryn Binder and John McPhee topping the timesheets. The South African left it late to put his number 40 Honda at the front of the pack, setting a 2:05.750 but only leads the Scotsman by +0.026s. Salac’s day one pace left the Czech rider third on the leaderboard. The 19-year-old was only +0.040s off Binder’s top time.

The Losail International Circuit greeted the Moto3 riders with warm weather, but many chose to sit out the opening session, waiting for the cooler temperatures around their race-start time. The two categories were split into three-sessions each, with times toppling from 09’s down to Binder’s 05’s – as the South African adapts to the Honda-powered PETRONAS machine.

Leopard’s Dennis Foggia and Gresini’s Gabriel Rodrigo continue Honda’s domination, with the Japanese firm locking out the top five. Jaume Masia’s switch to Red Bull KTM AJO saw him end day one in sixth place, ahead of Andrea Migno, who switches to Honda for this season.

Jaume Masia in Red Bull KTM AJO colours

Romano Fenati was leading Husqvarna, finishing eighth ahead of the GasGas machine of Albert Arenas’ replacement, Izan Guevara. Niccolo Antonelli rounded out the top ten as he adapts to life as an Avintia KTM rider. In typical Moto3 fashion, the top ten was covered by just +0.621s.

Jeremy Alcoba finished 11th with Pedro Acosta ahead of Sergio Garcia, the second GASGAS Gaviota Aspar machine. Riccardo Rossi and Kaito Toba rounded out the fastest 15 riders.

Day two commences on Saturday, 20th March with track action kicking off at 09:40 local time.

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