MotoGP: Bastianini Fastest Friday Afternoon In Portugal (Updated)

MotoGP: Bastianini Fastest Friday Afternoon In Portugal (Updated)

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Enea Bastianini was fastest during MotoGP World Championship Practice Friday afternoon at Algarve International Circuit, in Portimao, Portugal. Riding his Ducati Lenovo Team Desmosedici GP24, the Italian racer lapped the undulating 2.85-mile (4.59 km) course in 1:38.057, which was not only good enough to top the field of 22 riders but was also well below Aleix Espargaro’s 2023 Race Lap Record of 1:38.872.

Jack Miller was the best of the rest with a time of 1:38.175 on his Red Bull KTM RC16.

After leading Friday morning’s session, Marc Marquez backed up his performance with a third-quickest time of 1:38.210 in the afternoon on his Gresini Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP23.

 

MotoGP Practice

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Bastianini, Miller & Marc Marquez grab the limelight on Day 1

The rollercoaster delivers a tantalising top ten as some key names head for Q1 – and some familiar ones fight back

 

Enea Bastianini (23). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Enea Bastianini (23). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Friday, 22 March 2024

Day 1 on the rollercoaster is in the books and it’s quite a trio leading the way to Q2 at the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal. Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) blistered his way to the top by 0.118, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jack Miller the closest on the chase in second as he got back into the top echelons. Then comes Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), still within only 0.153 of Bastianini at the top, and after topping FP too. The #93 also had a low drama crash – seemingly the limit testing kind – in the afternoon… 

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

When the afternoon session began, however, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at the top, first Miller and then teammate Brad Binder. Miller also had an extra eventful start to the session, crashing at turn five in the first 10 minutes of Practice, rider ok. The next gambit saw Marc Marquez and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Ducati) steal the KTM thunder, nudging the RC-16s off the top, but there was plenty left to shuffle in the ultra-tight top ten.

 

Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

As ever, the tension mounted as the clock ticked down, with those guaranteed 10 places in Q2 up for grabs. The fast laps came thick and fast, but there were a good few spills too, riders all ok but pushing to and over the limit. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) crashed within seconds of each other, and then it was Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) and Luca Marini (Repsol Honda Team) minutes later. 

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

After Bastianini had taken to the top, that’s where he stayed amid the drama, throwing down the gauntlet on Day 1. Miller made his late lunge for glory to slot into second, forcing Marc Marquez to settle for third. Martin ends the session in fourth, and the #89 was just ahead of Binder, who sneaked inside the top five in the closing minutes.

Sixth was a big statement from Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) after a very tough start to the season, with the Italian edging out Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) by just 0.002. The number 12 was also quick in Free Practice too, second behind MM93.

Reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was outside a provisional place in Q2 until the very final few minutes, moving up to P7 in real time but that becoming P8 once the clock ran out. Then comes another headline-making duo: Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and teammate Alex Rins complete the top ten on the Algarve, both straight through to Q2. Not since 2022 have the Iwata marque had both riders straight through. It was a late one too, bumping out rookie sensation Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3), Alex Marquez and Espargaro as they now head for Q1 on Saturday morning.

Bastianini on top. Miller in the mix. And Marc Marquez looking for the limits. That’s just the top three headlines as we head into Super Saturday, so tune in for more MotoGP™ as the world’s most exciting sport heads back out on the rollercoaster!

FP2: 10:10 (UTC)

Q1: 10:50

Q2: 11.15

Tissot Sprint: 15:00

 

Alonso Lopez (21). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Alonso Lopez (21). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 
Lopez edges out Canet by 0.013 on Day 1

In a fast and furious session, Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp) ended Practice 1 on top as he picked up where he left off in Qatar, setting a stunning 1:42.362 to edge out out Aron Canet (Fantic Racing) by just 0.013. Joe Roberts (OnlyFans American Racing Team) was only a further 0.170 behind as it got tight at the top in the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal.

Manuel Gonzalez (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) was fourth after topping the day’s opening Free Practice session, ahead of OnlyFans American Racing Team’s Marcos Ramirez. New Ducati signing Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) took P6 ahead of Jake Dixon (CFMOTO Inde Aspar Team). 2023 runner up Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Albert Arenas (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Celestino Vietti rounding outside the top 10.

Check out the full results below and tune in when the Moto2™ field return to action on Saturday for their last chance to secure a spot in Q2 at 9:25 local time (UTC), before qualifying from 13:45.

 

 

David Alonso (80). Photo courtesy Dorna.
David Alonso (80). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Alonso throws down the gauntlet on Friday

After a lack of running in Free Practice due to track conditions, Moto3™ was back on track for a frantic 35-minute session in the afternoon, and with one protagonist for much of it. Winner of the Qatar GP and current Championship leader, David Alonso (CFMOTO Gaviota Aspar Team) was in the serious groove, at times over a second clear, to take top honours. By the end of play though, BOE Motorsports’ Joel Kelso set a remarkable 1:47.239 without a tow, cutting Alonso’s gap down to just 0.037. Matteo Bertelle (Rivacold Snipers Team) rounded out the top three, but it’s six tenths back to the Italian before the timesheets tighten up.

Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished the day in fourth ahead of CIP Green Power’s Riccardo Rossi, Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Angel Piqueras (Leopard Racing) in seventh. MLav Racing’s Scott Ogden was eighth in Practice 1, edging out Qatar podium finisher Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) and Stefano Nepa (LEVELUP – MTA) – rounding out the top 10.

After more limited track time on Day 1, however, it can all change again on Saturday! Check out the full results below and come back for more at 8:40 (UTC) before qualifying from 12:50.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

Quartararo and Rins Gain Direct Entry into Q2 on Portimao Friday

Portimao (Portugal), 22nd March 2024

GRAND PRIX OF PORTUGAL

PRACTICE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins kicked off the Grande Prémio de Portugal weekend with a positive feeling. A cloudy but dry FP1 prepared them for putting the hammer down in an equally overcast afternoon Practice session. The teammates bided their time and pounced at exactly the right moment, when the yellow flags cleared, and ended the day in 9th and 10th place respectively in the classifications, earning them direct places in tomorrow’s Q2.

9th F. QUARTARARO 1’38.552 / 20 LAPS

10th Á. RINS 1’38.560 / 22 LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team got straight to work on the Grande Prémio de Portugal Friday. Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins saved the best for last. After multiple yellow flags during the final stages of the Practice session, the duo perfectly timed their hot laps. They secured 9th and 10th place respectively and will take part in tomorrow’s Q2.

Quartararo had put in 20 laps in the morning session to prepare for putting in his bid for a place inside the top 10 in the afternoon. Having finished the morning stint in 11th, he knew he was close to his goal. When the Practice got underway, the Frenchman showed he meant business by featuring inside the top 5 for the first two thirds of the session. Multiple late crashers caused yellow flags in the final stages, making it more challenging to get a clear lap in. El Diablo had to wait for the last few minutes to set a 1‘38.552s on lap 19/20, to take ninth place in the Practice timesheets, 0.495s from first. It got him straight into tomorrow’s Q2.

Rins was in his element at the Portimao circuit. He was quite literally ‘flying’ over the hilly circuit during FP1, finishing in seventh place. The steps made in the morning session had the Spaniard feel confident that he would be able to challenge for a spot in Q2. In the afternoon, he put in the needed work throughout the 60-minute Practice and showed his experience when it was hammer time. With yellow flags out on track, he saved his tyres as much as possible before pushing to the limit on his 22nd and final lap. His 1‘38.560s put him in 10th place in Practice results, 0.503s from first, earning him a spot in Q2.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

Team Director

We started the Portimao weekend well. Having both our riders inside the top 10 and lined up for Q2 is a job well done. Of course, this is always our aim, but we know that, realistically, that’s not so easy to achieve at the moment. The competition is fierce, so we are working on extracting every ounce of performance out of the package we have. The track was a bit dirty today, and usually we struggle in those circumstances, but today we were ok. We started well in FP1, and it allowed Fabio and Álex to be ready to push in those crucial final minutes of the Practice. They both did a great job. The GP is still long, and many things can happen, but a good start on Friday does certainly help.

FABIO QUARTARARO

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

It was great to get into Q2. We managed to get in a good lap at the end of the session. We made some mistakes today, and there are a few things to adjust, so hopefully we can use tomorrow morning and we will find that we’re a little bit better. I think it’s great for Yamaha to see both riders push at their 100% level. I think that Álex and I are pushing each other to be better and that we can do a great job together as we continue to work in this direction. The bike feels quite good but, unfortunately, it rained quite a lot yesterday, and there was a lot of dust, so the track wasn’t ‘grippy’. But I think it’s positive to be in Q2 riding in these conditions, and hopefully tomorrow we can make a big step forward.

ÁLEX RINS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

The bike is the same as it was in Qatar. We didn’t have time to try new things, but from FP1 on, I felt confident on the bike. This track is quite different from Lusail, and I was able to adapt much quicker. In Practice, I was quite competitive, and I was able to enter Q2. It’s a great achievement for me. For a long time, I couldn’t be in Q2, also due to the leg issue. It’s been many GPs since I was last in Q2, and we have room to improve. We have similar points of improvement as we had in Qatar, so we are gathering information and improving the things we have and try to benefit from this as much as possible.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Tech3 Racing:

TIGHT FRIDAY’S PRACTICE SEES ACOSTA AND FERNANDEZ MISS OUT ON TOP 10 ON DAY 1 OF PORTUGUESE GP

The fun started in Portugal on Friday as the action of the Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal, the first European stop of 2024, got underway on the amazing Portuguese rollercoaster, located in Algarve. Eyes were logically on MotoGP™ rookie Pedro Acosta, after the Shark’s sensational debuts in Qatar, but was he going to perform too on a circuit with no previous experience on the RC16? On his side, Augusto Fernandez returned to Portimao, just one year after his debuts in the main class, as he was on the lookout for a better weekend than the opening round in Doha two weeks ago.

The opening Free Practice 1 started in tricky track conditions on Friday morning following the sandy rain from overnight, so Pedro Acosta remained careful for his first MotoGP™ ride on the rollercoaster. The young Shark rode his best lap in 1’41.609 after nineteen laps completed in forty-five minutes. He sat in P15, just behind his teammate Augusto Fernandez, and 0.766 seconds from the second Red Bull KTM Factory bike. The afternoon’s Practice happened in conditions more suitable for times to go down, and the young Shark was well aware of it. Flying Shark alert! Acosta took his best lap time down to 1’38.599 as he seemed to enjoy his ride on the rollercoaster. The rookie remained provisionally in the top 10 most of the session, leaving us all thinking that he was going to make it 2/2 on a Friday, but that was without Alex Rins coming to steal Acosta’s thunder in the last seconds! Rins took P10 and left Acosta 0.039 seconds outside of the direct Q2 spots. The number 31 will have to go through his first MotoGP™ Q1 on Saturday morning.

Augusto Fernandez arrived in Portugal all ready to go at it again with the target to perform better overall this weekend, after he left Qatar on a positive note with noticeable improvements made during the main race. The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is a layout that MotoGP™’s 37 enjoys, where he scored his first points in the main class last season, so he was eager to get things started. In this morning FP1, Fernandez managed to make himself a spot within the top 15, in P14 with a 1’41.531. In the afternoon, times went down for everyone, and that also included Augusto who managed to bring his time down to 1’39.160, but that was not enough to fit in the top 10 at the end of an extremely tight session, with eighteen riders less than one second from each other. Augusto took P21, despite being just 1.103 seconds from the fastest rider, and he will join his teammate in Q1 when the qualifying shootout kicks off at 10:50 local time on Saturday morning.
 

Pedro Acosta 

Position: 11th

Time: 1’38.599

Laps: 24

“Good first day in Portimao! We could not ride many laps in the morning because of the track conditions, but still, we used it to understand the lines, and get used to the bike on a new track for me in MotoGP. In Practice, we made a really big step compared to the morning, and we had a good rhythm. If we can make a few little steps tomorrow, we will be able to be even closer to the front guys, this is our goal for Saturday.”

 
 

Augusto Fernandez 

Position: 21st

Time: 1’39.160

Laps: 23

“We are still working really hard to improve and try to feel good again on the bike. Everyone was so close today, so we are far in the standings but not that far time-wise, but it was a tough day. We have a few ideas for tomorrow, so let’s get to work tonight, and try to have a good Saturday.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

MARC AMONG THE PROTAGONISTS IN PORTUGUESE FRIDAY 

The first European outing for the 2024 MotoGP season saw Marc Marquez’s star shining bright. With far-from-ideal track conditions, the #93, for the first time aboard the Desmosedici machine around the Portimão track, was able to top the timesheets in the morning free practice before securing the direct seed for Q2 with the third-quickest time in the final session of the day. Ahead of him only Bastianini and Miller.
 
1’38.210 was today’s best lap for the eight-time world champion, still far from the outright lap record of 1’37.2 he set last year on a Honda. He also had the first crash of the season, a simple low side without consequences. 
 
Alex Marquez also had a tumble, which “only” affect his overall performance for today. The #73 finished half a second away from his brother, but the forced return to the pits in the decisive minutes of the afternoon practice resulted in a 12th place finish – and a mandatory participation to Q1. 

3rd – MARC MARQUEZ (1’38.210s)

“It was a positive day, despite the crash. It’s all part of the learning curve and we’re doing well. We know where we’re losing time, and we know why. T4 has never been by strongest part of the track, I have never managed to get the last two right-handers the perfect way. The crash happened because of the heavy traffic on track and the Ducati is harder to manage in someone else’s slipstream. Still, it was my mistake, but it’s good anyway: it was a matter of time before my first crash and everything helps.”
 

12th – ALEX MARQUEZ (1’38.809s)

“The crashed ruined our plans a little and once I got back to the track, I wasn’t feeling fully comfortable with the soft tyre, and I still was doing a not-so-bad lap. Then I found some traffic, with Mir following Pecco. I managed to overtake him, but still lost some time. Q1 is always a big price to pay, but we did everything to be competitive. Right now, we only need to focus on Q1, then we’ll turn our heads on the sprint race and the full-distance Sunday encounter – qualifying is now key.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Saturday improvements the target for Mir and Marini

Two busy sessions opened the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend for Joan Mir and Luca Marini as they worked to adapt the Honda RC213V to the Algarve circuit.

Overnight showers left gloomy conditions and a dirty circuit as the MotoGP World Championship prepared for Friday action at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Running during Free Practice 1 would see track conditions steadily improve with more running, but clouds remained lingering overhead.

Joan Mir ended the day in 19th, half a second back on the cut off for the top ten with a best lap of 1’39.119. After a promising start in Qatar and good memories from Portugal last year, the #36 was hoping for more but believes improved track conditions will help on Saturday.

A frustrated Luca Marini is determined to right the wrongs of Friday tomorrow, the Italian suffering a fall on his final lap of the afternoon between turns seven and eight. Unharmed, Marini was unable to improve on his 1’39.781 and ended the day in 22nd.

Now a busy evening of work awaits the Repsol Honda Team as they look to put today’s data into action and make overnight improvements. Both riders and team and adamant of improvements to come for Qualifying and the Sprint.
 
 

Joan Mir

19TH  1’39.119

“We are working hard, and I hope that tomorrow with better conditions on track we can do more. Honestly, I was expecting more from today and we are struggling more than I thought we would. When the track grip is low I think we lose a bit more than our rivals so the aim is to close this gap tomorrow – we will get better as the grip improves. Let’s keep working and I am sure that there improvements will come.”
 

 

Luca Marini

22ND  1’39.781

“This is a very unique track and we need to put together all the pieces of our package for it. Tomorrow we can improve, keep working and making these small steps in the setting more and more. Unfortunately, I touched the white line between seven and eight because the wind was higher than at the start of the session and it pushed me a little wide. A bit dirty and I lost the front when I grabbed the brake. It’s a shame because I was feeling strong and like I could do a good lap, I wasn’t losing anything to Bastianini in the first sectors.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team:

MARCO BEZZECCHI DIRECTLY INTO Q2 AT PORTIMAO

Good start for the rider of the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team who set the sixth best lap time in the free practices. Fabio Di Giannantonio, in P12, is a breath from the Top10 
  
Portimao (Portugal), March 22nd 2024 – Overall a positive start for the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team at the Portuguese GP with Marco Bezzecchi directly qualified for tomorrow’s Q2 (11.15 am local time) and Fabio Di Giannantonio in the slip stream of the Top10.

Immediately at ease on the Portuguese track and satisfied with the steps forward on the Ducati Desmosedici GP, Marco signed an excellent 1’38.409 in the final minutes, a  lap time that means a gap of just three tenths from the Top guys (Bastianini, 1’38.057).

Excluded from the Top10 by just 75 thousandths after a session where he was always among the fastest Fabio, who will be forced to take to the track for Q1 (10.50 am local time). He finished with a best lap of 1’38.635.
 

MARCO BEZZECCHI – 72

A positive start, I’m happy for the whole Team! There is still a lot to do, but this afternoon we were able to achieve the qualification. I’m starting to see the result of the changes in my riding style and I have more confidence thanks to the new setting I’m not perfect yet, but now the bike is more manageable, especially when entering the corners. Let’s stay focused, the real fight is tomorrow. 
 

FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO – 49

I didn’t expect this start, I definitely struggled more than expected. In the entry of the corners, one of my strongest points in riding, I really struggled today. I have no grip at the rear, the bike doesn’t seem to follow me and slides a lot. I don’t know exactly what the problem is, we need to analyse the data and find a good compromise for tomorrow’s race. Considering I’ve always had a lot of rear grip, for me it’s a new type of sensation to manage.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

#PortugueseGP: Bastianini and Ducati Lenovo Team top Portimão Practice, Bagnaia eighth

The Ducati Lenovo Team has topped the timesheets at the end of the opening day at Portimão’s Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve, with Enea Bastianini the quickest rider in the afternoon’s Practice session, courtesy of a 1:38.057 lap-time logged with ten minutes to go. His teammate Francesco Bagnaia managed to make up several positions in the final moments of the session as he also secured a direct seed to Q2 thanks to the eighth quickest lap-time (1:38.541).

Thanks to the good work done with their crews, both Enea and Pecco managed to turn the tide of a Portuguese Friday that had started with a nineteenth and a thirteenth place, respectively, in FP1, which was characterised by far-from-ideal track conditions due to the poor weather that had hit the Algarve region in the previous two days.

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action tomorrow morning at 10:10 local time (GMT +1) for FP2, which will be followed by the Q2 session (11:15) and by the Sprint Race, which will get underway at 15:00.

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st

“It had been a while since I last was on top of the timesheets! It was a day of constant improvement: we didn’t start on the right foot, but we kept making progress lap after lap. We continued to work on the set up especially with regards to the issues we encountered in Qatar.  We did really well with the soft tyre, while there’s still work to be done with the medium compound. The track was very dirty this morning, so the important data will be the one from the afternoon session; I feel like I always make the difference on corner entry, and I feel really comfortable with this bike.”

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th

“We are still working. The GP24 requires something different at this track and it wasn’t easy: the track got cleaner at a slow rate and truthfully at the beginning it was hard to get a good picture on what we needed to work on. In the end we went in the wrong direction so we will double back tomorrow, but the most important thing for today was to finish in the top ten. Honestly, I’m happy we figured out which direction to take. Enea did a good job, he took a different path and it worked. We understood that we need to unload the front a little, so I’m confident everything will go the right way tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Trackhouse Racing:

Practice Report

Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal: Track length: 2.853 miles / 4.592 kilometers

Free Practice 1: 10.45am – 11.30am – Dry track

Air Temperature (end of session): 68°F / 20°C

Track Temperature (end of session): 64°F / 18°C

 

#88 Miguel Oliveira

P8 – Best Lap: 1’41.107

Completed: 18 Laps – 51.35 miles / 82.66 kilometers

Top speed: 211.6 mph / 340.6 km/h

 

#25 Raul Fernandez

P17 – Best Lap: 1’41.687

Completed: 18 Laps – 51.35 miles / 82.66 kilometers

Top speed: 210.33 mph / 338.5 km/h

 

 

Practice: 3pm – 4.00pm – Dry track

Air Temperature (end of session): 77°F / 25°C

Track Temperature (end of session): 86°F / 30°C

 

#88 Miguel Oliveira

P17 – Best Lap: 1’39.048

Completed:  22 Laps – 62.77 miles / 101.024 kilometers

Top speed: 213.67 mph / 343.9 km/h

 

#25 Raul Fernandez 

P18 – Best Lap: 1’39.048

Completed: 21 Laps – 59.91 miles / 96.43 kilometers

Top speed: 217.17 mph / 349.5 km/h
 

MIGUEL OLIVEIRA

“It was a difficult day. I was expecting a bit more from today, to be honest. I didn’t find myself quite at home with the bike and had a lot of difficulties, especially with the front end of it. In the fast corners, I couldn’t do much. Even trying to go softer with the tires in the end helped a little bit, but not much. It’s definitely frustrating to not find the speed to go through to the top 10. Everyone is looking for that now but, at the moment, it seems difficult, even if we are close. We all know we have to see what we can improve and let’s see if we can do it tomorrow.”

 
RAUL FERNANDEZ

“Today was a very strange day. In FP1, I didn’t have a great feeling in terms of grip but, it is the first day and I wasn’t comfortable with the bike – didn’t get along with the settings. We had only one real practice in the afternoon, as in the morning, the track conditions have been very difficult. Yet, we know what we have to do to go fast. I couldn’t push the way I wanted, but we know that we are strong and we have an idea and a direction. I have all the team and the Aprilia guys behind me and I’m sure they will give me some solutions for tomorrow.”

 
WILCO ZEELENBERG – TEAM MANAGER

“It was our first day here in Portimao and after a shower overnight, with a lot of sand. Of course, everybody struggled with the lack of grip. Our boys had the same issue – trying to find more traction in the corners and especially on the exits. We were not able to go into Q2 straight away, which is obviously disappointing because that’s always our aim on the first day. Looking at the forecast tonight, they don’t expect any more rain, so the grip will for sure improve a lot tomorrow. We have another practice of half an hour to fix our situation and also to see if there’s already some extra grip available tomorrow morning. After that, we have to try to get to Q2 and try to be as close to the front as possible. Let’s see what we can do and then achieve in the Sprint.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Castrol LCR Honda:

Johann Zarco completes Friday sessions in Portugal

CASTROL Honda LCR rider Johann Zarco finished 20th on Friday at the Autodromo do Algarve.
 
Johann Zarco and the crew found the first practices on Portuguese soil challenging due to weather conditions the previous night. Despite the struggles, the rider admits to seeing the bike’s potential and positives to fix the current situation. 

After gathering information and identifying areas for improvement, Zarco and the crew are now committed to taking a step ahead of tomorrow to be ready for the Sprint. 
 

 

Johann Zarco 20th

(1’39.147)

“We’ve been unlucky with the track conditions; that was the main problem. I thought we could be faster, as we’ve got the potential, but somehow, we’ve struggled with the rear grip. However, we are not that far, and if we get to change some small details, I believe we can enjoy the Saturday sessions and the Sprint”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Idemitsu LCR Honda:

First day of track action for Nakagami in Portugal

IDEMITSU Honda LCR rider Takaaki Nakagami finished 16th on Friday at the Autodromo do Algarve.

Friday sessions were demanding for Nakagami and the crew: the challenging track conditions and a lack of rear grip prevented the Japanese from squeezing the potential of his Honda. However, despite the position, Takaaki emerged as the first Honda of the classification, less than a second away from the leader (+0.9).

With a clear understanding of the areas that need improvement, the team is optimistic that the upcoming changes could unlock Nakagami’s full potential ahead of tomorrow’s session and Sprint. 
 

 

Takaaki Nakagami 16th

(1’38.962)

“I thought I could be faster today, but we’ve found some problems on track, and I struggled to get the speed. It looks like all the Honda riders are finding similar problems, so we are now analyzing the data to take a step and do better tomorrow”. 

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

Viñales straight through to Q2 on Friday in Portimão

ESPARGARÓ, FOURTEENTH, WILL HAVE TO BATTLE IN Q1

Good performance for Maverick Viñales, who managed to go straight through to Q2, despite a bout of gastroenteritis that impacted his condition. The Spanish rider impressed, demonstrating excellent race pace and a good feeling on this track. 

It was a complicated day, on the other hand, for Aleix Espargaró due to a crash without consequences toward the end of the session. On his final time attack, the Spanish rider was doing an outstanding time, but the yellow flag kept him from moving up in the standings, relegating him to fourteenth place. 

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ

“With the second bike, after the crash, I was extremely fast, especially in T1, but the yellow flag due to another crash unfortunately  held me up. The bike is working well – today was my mistake. I’m optimistic about tomorrow and I’m certain that we’ll be able to battle for the positions that count.” 

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“Sensations were outstanding in spite of my physical condition which kept me from riding as I would have liked. In any case, we were able to do an excellent session and I am highly motivated for tomorrow. We tried various configurations on the bike, especially in terms of settings, and everything worked well.” 

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Ivan Ortola grabbed pole position during FIM Moto3 World...

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      More, from a press release issued by Dorna: Espargaro takes...