Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro narrowly edged out Alex Rins and Qatar race one winner Maverick Vinales to take top spot in FP1 at the Losail International Circuit.

Espargaro started the session as he ended it by going fastest, as he looks to build on Aprilia’s best performance in the MotoGP era from last weekend.

It was a tough start to proceedings for all the riders, as conditions were considerably hotter and more humid than at any point a week ago.

However, that wasn’t enough to stop lap times from being even quicker, with Espargaro going two tenths faster than the lap set by Franco Morbidelli this time last Friday.

Espargaro was replaced at the top of the leaderboard on a few occasions by Morbidelli, Danilo Petrucci and Vinales, but put in a 1’54.779s on his final lap in order to regain first place.

Behind Rins and Vinales, was the impressive rookie and top Ducati rider Jorge Martin.

Fifth was Franco Morbidelli who endured a difficult session with two separate, but very similar looking mechanical problems as smoke was coming from the rear of the M1 Yamaha.

The Italian was left frustrated in the pit box after cutting two stints short. This comes after more issues during last weekend’s race for the 2020 title runner-up.

Danilo Petrucci had a much better time on day one of the Doha Grand Prix than he did last weekend, as he finished a session in the top ten for the first time in 2021.

Fabio Quartararo was seventh fastest for the Factory Yamaha team ahead of World Champion Joan Mir.

Rounding out the top ten were the Hondas of Stefan Bradl and LCR rider Takaaki Nakagami.

As was the case last weekend, Johann Zarco was the first rider to suffer a crash, but was unhurt from the incident and finished in last place.

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