Johann Zarco started the 2021 season at full speed. While discovering Team Pramac’s Ducati as part of a Grand Prix weekend, the Cannois made the powder speak, even before finishing second in the Qatar GP, Sunday, equaling his best MotoGP result. The day before, on the Losail circuit, he won the absolute speed record for a rider in the category, on the handlebars of his latest generation GP21. Until now, the reference in the matter was held by the Italian Andrea Dovizioso, credited with 356.7 km / h in the third free practice session on the Mugello track in 2019.
Not content with breaking this record, Johann Zarco especially became the first pilot in history of the motorcycle speed world championship to break the 360 km / h bar, at the end of the long straight line of the Losail circuit (1068 m). During the fourth free practice session, the GP21 carrying the number 5 was flashed at 362.4 km/h ! In qualifying, two other Ducati riders surpassed Dovizioso’s old benchmark, without reaching 360 km / h. They are Zarco’s teammate, the Spanish rookie Jorge Martin (358.8 km / h in Q1) and the Australian Jack Miller, driver of the official team (357.6 km / h in Q2) , according to the data communicated by the official website of the discipline.
Ducati, the record monopoly
From year to year, the Ducati confirms its reputation as a formidable machine in terms of pure velocity, not to mention its ability to take dazzling starts thanks to a technical system dedicated to this exercise. Proof of this is, last Saturday, the Italian Francesco Bagnaia took pole position (1: 52.772) by shattering by six tenths of a second the record previously held by Marc Marquez (Honda), while the next day, the Yamaha by Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales installed on the front line were literally filed before the first corner by a quartet of Ducati.
Moreover, beyond the references previously mentioned in free practice or qualifying, the best speed peak recorded during the race is also the prerogative of a Ducati. It was set at 356.5 km / h par Andrea Dovizioso in 2018 as part of the Italian Grand Prix. Apart from Losail, the other circuit which lends itself to this kind of record is obviously that of Mugello, due to its even longer straight line (1141 m). As a reminder, this season, the Italian Grand Prix is scheduled for May 30, 2021. But for now, eyes remain focused on Qatar, which is preparing to host a second race weekend in space. of a week. Depending on the weather conditions, this event called the Doha GP could be the scene of a new speed record.
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