Fatigue life of the 6206 deep groove ball bearings has been evaluated under various thin lubricant film conditions. Endurance testing demonstrates that the fatigue life is remarkably longer than previous formal experiments. In addition, examination of flaked areas showed some to have subsurface origins, even after testing with extremely thin lubricant films.Longer fatigue life has been attributed to improvements in bearing steel quality, as well as improvements in the surface roughness of the ball bearing raceways. With thin lubricant films, the film parameter Λ, and the roughness profile have a greater influence on ball bearing fatigue life.Qualitative analysis of the rolling contact surfaces of some of the bearings after test has been carried out, and the formation of oxidized and carbonated films has been detected. These films can be considered to be contributors to longer fatigue life.