The pre-season test for the IATC begins soon at Losail International Circuit, with three days of track action getting the grid in gear
The countdown is on to the first two rounds of the 2021 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, but first the grid will get suited and booted for a pre-season test to get some track time under their belts. The test takes place at Losail International Circuit in Qatar this year, with riders on track from the 19th to the 21st of March 2021.
This season, the IATC will share the test days with Moto2™ and Moto3™, with each class getting their own sessions across the three days as they gear up to head back out and compete.
Following the cancellation of last year’s edition of the Cup, the 2020 riders were automatically given the chance to continue in the IATC and most accepted. That means there are only five rookies joining the grid, replacing those who have graduated or elected not to return, but all will be eager to take it to the veterans from the outset as testing begins and they race to get up to speed.
As ever, the test will give us a first glimpse of what awaits in another stellar season of racing, but this year it could even be more pivotal than ever. Given the delay since the veterans were last out on their IATC machines and the impressive CVs of the rookies, the timesheets will make for interesting reading to see how the pack has shuffled – and how the new riders on the block slot into the pecking order. In addition, the return of Danial Sharil will be one to watch as he comes back to the fold after a long recovery from injury, looking to slot back into the frontrunners where he left off.
In 2021 there’s also something else to bear in mind: the test venue is also the venue for the first two rounds. That means it could play an even more vital role in deciding who leaves Qatar with the advantage, as riders can also use the track time to really dial in for the race weekends. Will it be the likes of 2020 winners and podium finishers Kanta Hamada and Taiyo Furusato on top? Or can the rest spring a surprise as we get back on track?
Stay up to date with the test on asiatalentcup.com and across social media as we get ready to race. 2021 starts now!