MotoGP Betting: 2021 Qatar GP Analysis
The 2021 MotoGP season kicks off on Sunday, March 28 with the Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit, Lusail, marking the 17th running of the race. Last year, the race got canceled after the Qatari government put quarantine measures in place as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, however, both Moto2 and Moto3 races happened as initially intended because teams of both divisions were testing at Losail the previous week. Let’s take a closer look at some of the favorites to win the 2021 Qatar GP so you can bet against their MotoGP odds.
MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix Betting Analysis
The opening races of the season are unpredictable as it is, but there are two big news that make the Grand Prix of Qatar and the 2021 season as a whole special and in some ways a bit more uncertain. The six-time Moto GP World Champion Marc Marquez along with his medical team decided he will skip the season opener as he prolongs his recovery from his 2020 season-ending injury while referring from announcing his possible return. The back-to-back Qatari champion, Andrea Dovizioso, meanwhile, took a sabbatical for the 2021 season and will instead focus on a return in 2022.
Regardless of the two big absentees, the field in Qatar won’t lack big names, including the reigning MotoGP champion Joan Mir, Fabio Quartararo, Alex Rins, and Jack Miller, who are billed as the main four favorites to start the 2021 season with a W. But which of the five is most likely to claim the checkered flag on Sunday?
Jack Miller – Odds to win: 4.50 (+350)
Jack Miller finished last season in seventh place, with only 132 points, so it might be weird to see him priced as the main favorite to claim the W next weekend, however, there is a good reason for that. Miller had done exceptionally well in practice races and he would arguably finish last season much higher had he not retired in four races (Andalusian GP, Emilia Romagna GP, French GP, and Teruel GP).
What’s more, Miller has finished outside of the top-five in only four races he has finished, which includes four podiums in Austria, Spain, and Portugal. At this point, it’s also worth noting that despite his incidents in 2020, last term was still Miller’s best season to date, so there is definitely a world he can surprise now, that he rides alongside Francesco Bagnaia at Ducati Lenovo Team.
Alex Rins – Odds to win: 5.50 (+450)
There are arguments to be made Alex Rins should be the favorite for this race and probably any of the following races. The 25-year-old Spaniard in a very respectable third place with 139 points – 32 short of his teammate Joan Mir. Although this might be a hot take, but Rins seemed like the better rider of the two, which he has proven time and time again throughout the season, but unfortunately fell short in the end.
Alex Rins is on the bike than can win the world title and is definitely skilled enough to go the distance, so we can expect great things from him this season. The only slight concern we have with Rins is that he has not finished better than fourth in Qatar on a MotoGP bike, but then again, neither has Jack Miller, nor the third-favorite Joan Mir.
Joan Mir – Odds to win: 6.00 (+500)
Being the reigning MotoGP champion, it’s only fair to have Joan Mir as one of the favorites to win in Qatar and no one should be surprised if he manages to do so. That said, he will need to step it up a notch in the qualifiers, to gain an early advantage, which could prove beneficial in the tight race between the top-four favorites.
Mir has appeared in Qatar only four times in his career and only once as a MotoGP rider. Although he has won the race in 2017 while driving for Honda’s Moto3, he has since struggled to finish higher than eighth in 2019. Mir might be the reigning world champion, but at the offered odds, he is not worth a shot, largely because of how closely matched the field is.
Outsider: Francesco Bagnaia – Odds: 19.00 (+1800)
Francesco Bagnaia had a tough start to his MotoGP career, claiming only one podium so far, and has also experienced a fair share of crashes. Regardless, he will be eager to prove his worth in Qatar, where Ducati usually do well, granted they had a few iffy results at this track as well.
The long straights will suit Bagnaia’s bike that is capable of ridiculous speeds, however, it will be essential for the Italian rider to post a good qualifying time just to start the race in the front row and take advantage of Ducati’s launch control. Bagnaia has been solid in training, posting the fifth-fastest overall combined time, which makes him an appealing longshot bet.
Beating the likes of Mir, Rins and Miller won’t be an easy task, however, he has been faster than Mir, so there is definitely a world where Bagnaia secures a podium finish.