Bengaluru, April 2: Less than a week after the first MotoGP race weekend of the 2021 FIM World Championship season, it is time to go again under the floodlights of Losail International Circuit in Qatar for the TISSOT Grand Prix of Doha.
In 2020, we saw five circuits host back-to-back Grands Prix. Only the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in Spain witnessed the same winner twice in a row, giving us an early indication that Yamaha and Maverick Vinales cannot go into this weekend complacent and they will not.
In the Doha GP pre-event press conference, title race leader Vinales was quick to suggest that no weekend is ever the same, and that he expects all of his rivals to gain some speed. Therefore, he and Yamaha need to find something extra to stay ahead.
"No! It's never perfect, very difficult to be perfect at all the tracks," said the Spaniard, dismissing the thought that his opening race of 2021 was perfect.
"We've to improve and do something different his weekend. Not every weekend is the same, we saw last year that when there was two weekends in a row, everything changed a lot. So we've to be ready for any situation. Anyway, we know we've a good potential and we will try to fix it if we cannot go at the maximum."
Vinales is right in more than one way. In 2020 we learned that a lot can be very different despite racing at the same circuit one week after the next, but at the same time, riders and teams who were quick at the first weekend were also able to maintain - and improve - heading into the second.
Qatar vs Doha: the same Losail circuit under lights, but a completely different weekend.
The riders will all - hopefully - find improvements, some more than others. It is going to be another fascinating MotoGP encounter across the desert in the weekend, with the first premier class track action getting underway with FP1 at 3.40pm local time (6.10pm IST) on Friday (April 2).
The Indian audience can catch all the action live on Eurosport channel.
(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)