The 2021 Moto2 season officially began today in Qatar for Americans Joe Roberts and Cameron Beaubier with the two MotoAmerica Champions taking part in the first day of the official test at the Losail International Circuit. For Roberts, it was a return to the site of his first career Moto2 pole position a season ago; for Beaubier, it was his first look at Losail as he embarks on his rookie season of Moto2 racing.
Italtrans Racing Team’s Roberts ended day with the third fastest time, a 1:59.554, on his second-to-last lap of today’s third and final session. The 1:59.554 was just .211 of a second off the fastest lap of the day, set by Red Bull KMT Ajo’s Remy Gardner. Roberts earned pole position in Qatar last year with a lap of 1:58.136.
Beaubier’s best lap came on his final lap of the day, the American Racing Team rookie lapping at 2:00.844 to end the day 25th overall. Beaubier improved by 1.964 seconds from the second session to the third session.
Aspar Team’s Aron Canet ended the day just ahead of Roberts and just behind Gardner in the top three. Marc VDS’s Sam Lowes and Gresini Moto2’s Nicolo Bulega rounded out the top five on the opening day of the three-day test.
Neither Roberts nor Beaubier went out in the first session as track conditions at that time aren’t similar to race conditions for the night race so the majority of the teams elected not to waste its laps early.