#PortugueseGP Friday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News


Another two tenths have come off the fastest ever lap of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, courtesy of none other than Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). “Thriller” lived up to his name to come out on top, defeating Maverick Viñales(Aprilia Racing) by less than half a tenth. Third goes to the previous record holder at Portimao, reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), as rollercoaster Day 1 sets the new era in motion.

Light rain in the opening stages of the session saw the majority of the grid watch the opening laps from the pitlane, but with about half an hour to go, the rain cleared and it was go time. A flurry of fast laps in the closing stages of the session decided the order, and an incredible lap came in from Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) to secure top spot.

Meanwhile Repsol Honda – aka Marc Marquez and Joan Mir – did some formation flying, and by the end of the session Mir secured second with some solid early signs. The Mooney VR46 Racing Team duo of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi also pushed hard in the morning, taking third and fourth.

The top Aprilia was Viñales in sixth, ahead of Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), who led the session up until the closing stages. Key title contenders Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Bagnaia had a relatively quiet session and finished P1 locked together in eighth and ninth, with Marc Marquez forced to settle for P10.

It was a stop start afternoon session with a first Red Flag due to systems issue at the track, but as the clock ran down the times continued to tumble. Martin set a mid-session banker, the first rider to get below the previous race weekend record, and with the pace set, the rest of the grid chased down the Spaniard’s lap time. The riders were pushing hard, including the 2022 Champion Bagnaia, who also had a high-speed moment, saving it heroically on his elbow as he hurtled through the fast-flowing final corner.

With 15 minutes to go, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) went top, before a second Red Flag caused another stoppage due to a crash for Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3). The Spaniard was taken to Faro hospital for further examination and more details can be found here.

Once the session was back underway, soft tyres were thrown in and another flurry of fast laps followed, as the riders competed to get into that all-important top 10 for a secure spot in Q2. With eight minutes to go, Pecco took his number-1-plated Ducati to the top with an incredible 1:37.856, but that was all she wrote for the Italian following his stellar lap as he swiftly retired from the session with an issue. That left a target, and the timing screens began to light up with just two minutes remaining. Two riders bettered Bagnaia by the flag: Miller and Viñales, who both flew into the 1:37 club to put themselves in prime positions heading into Saturday.

That left Bagnaia third ahead of Marini who bounced back into fourth, with Martin forced to settle for fifth. Quartararo takes sixth on Day 1… and had some company from Marc Marquez in the afternoon. Reminiscent of a few moments in recent seasons, the number 93 was locked onto the number 20 for a little while, and got caught out. Marquez went down at Turn 3 and lost his chance to improve further, finding himself out of Q1 but rider perfectly ok.

Behind Quartararo in sixth then comes not Marquez but Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), with Bezzecchi next up. Aleix Espargaro goes through in ninth, with the last rider in Q2 for now proving Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team)…. just! Alex Marquez, Joan Mir, Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Marc Marquez will now head for Q1.

Cold tyres caught out Bezzecchi and Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) early after the session was restarted. Both riders were up and ok, and back on track for the rest of the session. Miguel Oliveira (CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team) suffered a highside, rider ok, and teammate Raul Fernandez also crashed in the afternoon, rider ok.

Riders through to Q2:
Miller, Viñales, Bagnaia, Marini, Martin, Quartararo, Zarco, Bezzecchi, Aleix Espargaro and… Bastianini! Find the full timesheets below and join us for super Saturday with FP at 10:10, qualifying from 10:50 and then some history made at 15:00 as the first MotoGP™  Sprint begins.


The tale of Day 1 at the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal was a duel: Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) vs Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team). The Spaniard ended the day top by less than a tenth in the end, with Dixon second before a couple of tenths back to Filip Salač (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) in third.

Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino complete the top five, both also quick in testing, but it’s advantage Acosta and Dixon so far on the Algarve.

The top 14 go straight to Q2, see who makes the cut in P3 at 9:25 (GMT) on Saturday.


Day 1 of the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal saw Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) top the timesheets from Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI), the latter proving a popular prediction for Champion this season amongst the MotoGP™ field and off to  good start. Third goes to David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), making it three sophomores in the top three.

Veteran Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) was fourth, with Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) completing the top five. Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) headed the Honda machinery in P6.

The top 14 go straight to Q2, to find out who they are make sure to tune into P3 for the lightweight class from 8:40 (GMT) to 9:00.


Source: motogp.com


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