After Friday's Qatar Shakedown - featuring test riders, rookies and riders from Concession manufacturer Aprilia - the Official test, open to all riders, began at 2pm on Saturday.

With the Sepang test cancelled, today is the first time most riders have been on a MotoGP bike since the chequered flag waved at Portimao last November.

Joan Mir and Suzuki will therefore be starting their title defence, while Saturday marks the debut of Pol Espargaro at Repsol Honda and Danilo Petrucci at Tech3 KTM.

Other riders changing teams but not machines include Fabio Quartararo at Monster Yamaha, Valentino Rossi at Petronas Yamaha, Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia at Ducati Team, Johann Zarco at Pramac Ducati, Alex Marquez at LCR Honda and Miguel Oliveira at Red Bull KTM.

CLICK HERE for live updates during the 2021 Qatar MotoGP Test

The MotoGP regulars will be joined by Factory test riders, including Shakedown pace setter Stefan Bradl (Honda) - also substituting for the injured Marc Marquez - new Yamaha signing Cal Crutchlow and 31-time MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa (KTM).

Crutchlow will be sharing M1s with Yamaha's Japanese test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kohta Nozane. The three bikes, which appear to include both the 2019 (A-Spec) and 2020 (Factory-Spec) models, are labelled '#T1', '#T2' and '#T3'. Official timing only lists the bike, not the rider.

Testing takes place from 2pm to 9pm each day, followed by ten minutes reserved for practice starts.

The second and final pre-season test will then be held at the same circuit on March 10-12, venue for the season-opening race on March 28, then round two on April 4.

Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar – January Update

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

28 March

Qatar (Evening race)

Losail

2

4 April

Doha (Evening race)

Losail

3

18 April

Portugal

Portimao

4

2 May

Spain

Jerez

5

16 May

France

Le Mans

6

30 May

Italy

Mugello

7

6 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

8

20 June

Germany

Sachsenring

9

27 June

Netherlands

Assen

10

11 July

Finland (Subject to homologation)

KymiRing

11

15 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

12

29 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

13

12 September

Aragon

Aragon

14

19 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

15

3 October

Japan

Motegi

16

10 October

Thailand

Buriram

17

24 October

Australia

Phillip Island

18

31 October

Malaysia

Sepang

19

14 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo

Postponed Grands Prix:
 11 AprilArgentinaTermas
 18 AprilAmericasCOTA
Reserve Grand Prix Venues:
  Indonesia (Subject to homologation)Mandalika
  RussiaIgora Drive
2021 Pre-season Testing:
 5 MarchQatar Shakedown TestLosail
 6-7 MarchQatar Official TestLosail
 10-12 MarchQatar Official TestLosail
 

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