Marco Bezzecchi reversed the testing form as Moto2 returned to Qatar for the first FP1 session of 2021.

The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider finished second best to Britain’s Sam Lowes after the recent Qatar test, but edged ahead as FP1 drew to a close, finishing with a best of 2m 00.305s.

There was not much to separating the pair, with the times below test pace and the track records - Lowes was just 0.016s behind his early rival for the Moto2 title.

Fabio Di Giannantonio worked hard, but looked comfortable on his Federal Oil Gresini to climb to third as the session wound down.

That moved Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) down to fourth. His move to Kalex saw him look more at ease and confident on his return to Moto2 action, though he didn’t improve after setting his top time on his fourth lap.

Remy Gardner improved in the closing stages for fifth, cementing his pre-season form with Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Behind the all Kalex top five, Jorge Navarro claimed sixth for MB Conveyors Speed Up on the Boscoscuro (formerly known as Speed Up).

Jake Dixon returned from his injury woes with a solid seventh. The Petronas Sprinta rider, like Bendsneyder, relied on his early laps for his best time.

Reigning Moto3 Champion Albert Arenas was the best of the rookies moving up from Moto3 - he left it late to rise to eighth as he gets to grips with his Inde Aspar Team machine.

Raul Fernandez was not far adrift with the ninth fastest lap for Red Bull KTM Ajo, while Marcos Ramirez had enough pace to complete the top ten in the first session for American Racing.

Ai Ogura had the dubious honour of being the first rider to crash this season - he tumbled at the last corner with three minutes remaining. Tenth at the time of his fall, he dropped to twelfth by the chequered flag.

Yari Montella was the best of the rookies not moving up from the lightweight class. Arriving from the European Moto2 championship as the winner he settled in with 17th for MB Conveyors Speed Up.

Cameron Beaubier makes his Moto2 debut after his fifth win in the AMA Superbike series. The American found the transition more difficult and placed 27th amongst more experienced riders.