MotoGP: More From The Portuguese Grand Prix

MotoGP: More From The Portuguese Grand Prix

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Monster Energy Yamaha:

Persistence Pays Off in Portugal for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Portimao (Portugal), 24th March 2024

GRAND PRIX OF PORTUGAL

RACE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo showed consistent pace and defensive riding in the 25-lap Grande Prémio de Portugal Race, and it earned him seventh position. Álex Rins didn’t have the feeling he was looking for today and ultimately crossed the finish line in 13th place.

7th F. QUARTARARO +20.130 / 25 LAPS

13th Á. RINS +31.334 / 25 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo showed strong defensive riding at the Grande Prémio de Portugal Race and his persistence was rewarded with a seventh place and 9 points. Álex Rins wasn’t as competitive as he had hoped for on the Sunday at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve but kept pushing and went on to score his first 3 points of the season thanks to a 13th place.

Quartararo began his quest from P9 and held his position on the opening lap. However, the top-10 rider group soon split up. El Diablo was mostly riding by himself in the first 10 laps but later got company from Miguel Oliveira and Marco Bezzecchi. He kept them at bay until seven laps before the end. When the three riders commenced a battle, it ultimately resulted in the Frenchman circulating in tenth. With three laps to go, Francesco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez crashed out, and on the last lap also Maverick Viñales’ race ended early. This moved Quartararo up to seventh at the chequered flag, 20.130s from first.

Rins had a strong start from P11 and slotted in behind his teammate in tenth position after the usual opening corner tussle. But the Spaniard was unable to stick with Quartararo and soon had to direct his attention to charging riders. Defending his position proved difficult for the number-42 rider as he struggled with his feeling with the front tyre, and he gradually fell back to 16th place. However, he reaped the benefit from several late crashers and climbed back up to 13th in the final classifications, 31.334s from the front, scoring his first points of the 2024 season.

Today’s results see Quartararo keep his 11th place in the overall standings with now 15 points. Rins is in 18th position with 3 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP are 8th in the team championship with 18 points, and Yamaha is in 4th position in the constructor‘s championship with 15 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team will be back in action at the Portimao track tomorrow for a private test. The MotoGP World Championship will resume in three weeks’ time at the Circuit of The Americas with the Grand Prix of The Americas.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

Team Director

It was a tough Race. In the end, Fabio is in the top 7 and Álex scored his first points, but this was mostly due to the late race incidents. Our riders gave it their best shot, and every point counts, but we can’t be satisfied with our overall performance level during this Race. That said, today’s data will be useful for us. We have a private test in Portimao tomorrow. We will use this opportunity to try some set-up solutions to improve the feeling with the front tyre in time for COTA, which is tough on the front tyre. We will also test some new items that we’re working on, because we are keen to introduce updates throughout this season.

FABIO QUARTARARO

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

After yesterday’s Sprint, I expected to finish a little bit closer to the front guys today, but in terms of position I expected this. We have some good data to analyse, and hopefully we can make some steps forward. It looks like the weather tomorrow will be quite bad, but hopefully we will have a good day to try some things. Apparently, we have many items to test, so that will be great. Hopefully the weather will allow us to test them. We have many small things that we have to improve step by step. We’re on the right way, but we need to be patient.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

ÁLEX RINS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

These are my first Yamaha points, but maybe it wasn’t enough for us. But the second Race is done – it was a hard one. These two races, Qatar and Portimao, didn’t go as I expected. We need to work a little bit more on our own. After this Race, I realised I need to do something different on the bike because I had similar problems today as I had in Qatar. I was struggling a lot with the front. Tomorrow, when we have a private test here, maybe we will need to focus more on the set-up than on the new parts. It’s just our second Race, and we need to get used to the bike and need to understand it.

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Determined Mir fights through early damage to secure points in Portugal

Joan Mir showed his grit as he matched the pace of the top ten to recover from early contact and secure more points aboard the Honda RC213V as Luca Marini continued to hunt improvements.

Round two of the 2024 MotoGP World Championship came to a dramatic conclusion at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the Repsol Honda Team. Recovering from a tough Qualifying, Joan Mir found himself in the mix of the second group and suffered contact and damage on the first lap after a strong opening to the race. The #36 gritted his teeth and steadily made his way through the field and into the points as he mirrored the pace of the top ten. Ultimately crossing the line in 12th, Mir leaves Portugal with clear areas to improve in mind but satisfied with how he and the team overcame the troubles of Friday.

Luca Marini made a lightning start to the 25-lap Portuguese Grand Prix aboard the Repsol Honda Team machine and immediately found himself in the mix with his fellow Honda riders. Working on his own pace and continuing to deepen his understanding of the Honda, the #10 completed another 25 laps in race trim on the Honda RC213V machine. 17th as the checkered flag came out, the Italian was pleased with what he and the team achieved from Friday morning to Sunday evening.

The MotoGP World Championship will resume in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas, April 12 – 14. Alex Rins took Honda’s lone victory of the 2023 season there and the unique Texan track saw Luca Marini take his debut MotoGP podium in the same weekend.

Joan Mir

12TH 

“I am happy with how we performed today, if you look just at the final results page it maybe wouldn’t seem like it. On the first lap we had a huge contact with Morbidelli, my leathers on the right side were almost fully black and the bike suffered a lot of damage and I was sent wide. It was quite hard to manage with all the damage, but even like this we were able to match the pace of the guys battling for the top ten. The key point we need to work on is improving our Qualifying so we can avoid these type of incidents. Everyone in the team and HRC have done a great job to improve from where we were on Friday so I want to say thank you to them.”

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

Luca Marini

17TH 

“We had a better race today than in Qatar and also compared to yesterday, I am happy with the changes we have made to the bike. I was enjoying riding towards the end of the race which was a good little step ahead. Joan Mir has a better feeling on the bike and certainly more experience so he’s able to extract more from the bike, it’s motivating, and we need to study what he is doing. It’s a positive weekend, despite the result, because we got a lot of really good information, and we know what areas to follow and also which areas we should not with the setting. There’s room to keep improving.”

 

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Honda.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

 

 

 

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

TOP10 FOR BEZZECCHI AND DI GIANNANTONIO IN PORTUGAL

Points for both riders of the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team who cross the finishing line respectively in P6 and P10 
 
Portimao (Portugal), March 24th 2024 – Marco Bezzecchi and Fabio Di Giannantonio both hit the Top10 at the Portuguese GP which took place today at Portimao. The riders of the Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team finished the second GP of the season in sixth and tenth place.

Starting from the second row of the grid, but struggling in the initial stages of the race, Marco manages to keep a good pace and recover from the 12th place, thus signing his best result of the season so far (12 points in the general standings). 

Fifth row at the start, but constant pace over the distance, on the Ducati Desmosedici GP, for Fabio capable of a good comeback up to the limits of the Top10 after a more complicated weekend than expected (15 points in the standings).
 

MARCO BEZZECCHI – 72

We have collected a lot of info and this is the most important thing. Today’s race wasn’t fantastic, but a definite step forward compared to Qatar. I managed to do some good laps, not at the level of the strongest riders, but my confidence with the bike has improved. The real problem was the first corners, I wasn’t incisive and the pressure on the front tire immediately increased. In those conditions it’s even more difficult, then alone I felt better and didn’t finish badly.

 

Marco Bezzecchi (72) leads Augusto Fernandez (37) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing.
Marco Bezzecchi (72) leads Augusto Fernandez (37) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing.

 

FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO – 49

I’m not very happy with the race, certainly the potential we could express today was much higher, but we made a mistake which compromise our recovery. On the one hand, knowing what the problem was helps us, also considering that we are only at the second race with the Team. We go to the US ready to do well. Overall the balance is positive, we improved from Friday to the race. 

 

Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) leads Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing Team.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) leads Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy VR46 Racing Team.

 

PABLO NIETO, TEAM MANAGER

The general balance of the weekend is certainly more positive than Qatar, especially considering that we managed to get both riders into the Top10. We had some gifts at the end of the race, but in any case it is important to be there close to the strongest guys. Marco is not yet completely comfortable with the bike, but he has made a great steps forward and is becoming competitive again. Fabio is also doing well, perhaps for the first time since he has been in this Team he has struggled more than expected, but he continues his work with the crew.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

A SUNDAY TO FORGET IN PORTUGAL: A CRASH RULES OUT ALEX, A COMING TOGETHER BRINGS MARC’S EFFORT TO AN EARLY END

#PortugueseGP race. The ingredients for a good Sunday were all there, especially after a good start from both standard bearers of Team Gresini MotoGP. From 8th and 12th on the grid, respectively, Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez were able to immediately make up some positions in the very beginning before the first hurdle of the day came. 
 
The #73 crashed – uninjured – out of the encounter at turn five with very little time spent on track, a tumble that took away any hope for points to the Spaniard, in a weekend that was already made quite complicated due to an unfortunate result in Q2. Marc’s race outcome was all in all very similar, but the dynamic was completely different…
 
With four laps left, the #93 makes an overtaking manoeuvre on Bagnaia, but the counter-attack of the Italian at the following corner results in a coming together that send both riders on the ground. The #93 was able to jump back on the bike and finish 16th as he crossed the line with a bitter taste in his mouth. A fourth place would have translated in the second position in the standings…

16th – MARC MARQUEZ #93

“A racing incident that none of us would have wanted. We go home with no points, but after a positive weekend in which we found continuity and speed. The stewards have decided that the incident deserves no sanction and we accept the decision. Pecco tried to defend his position, maybe with a little bit of optimism. The result still is the one nobody would have wished.” 

 

Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Marc Marquez (93) picks his crashed bike up in Portugal. Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.

 
RET. ALEX MARQUEZ #73

“Shame, because we had a good start. I pushed a lot as today’s MotoGP forces you to do a little bit more in the early laps. I gave my all and unfortunately, I ended up crashing. I got back on track simply because had it rained, everything would have changed, but after a few laps I decided to pull out of the race. A Sunday to forget, but we’ll try again at Austin.”

 

Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by GASGAS Factory Racing:

SENSATIONAL FIRST MOTOGP™ PODIUM FOR GASGAS AS PEDRO ACOSTA CARVES THE ALGARVE

MotoGP 2024 – Round 02 of 21, Algarve International Circuit – Race

Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Pedro Acosta continues to inject youth and energy into 2024 MotoGP and the rookie showed his rapid learning curve once more with a 3rd place finish at the demanding Algarve International Circuit for only his second outing on the GASGAS RC16. Augusto Fernandez grabbed his first points of the season in 11th at the Grand Prix of Portugal as the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 team watched Moto3™ star Daniel Holgado score his first win in red!

Pedro Acosta completes the 25-lap chase with three sensational overtaking moves, his first podium finish in just his second MotoGP race and the first Grand Prix trophy for GASGAS!
Augusto Fernandez pushes for his first Grand Prix points of the year and meets the checkered flag in 11th

More speed and glory for Daniel Holgado with Moto3™ victory! The Spaniard also bags his second consecutive podium finish in 2024 and P1 in the early world championship standings

Portimao missed some spring sunshine but brought action, fans and entertainment to the 2024 MotoGP story. Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 headed into the 25-lap Grand Prix race on Sunday with some indication of tire performance and their potential thanks to an engaging Sprint on Saturday where Pedro Acosta logged a ‘PB’ with 7th place and Augusto Fernandez discovered more feeling and competitiveness on the #37 machine.

Acosta’s 7th place grid position (after experiencing the intense dive through Q1 and Q2 on Saturday) meant he was able to concentrate on his form and potency in the opening laps and then establish his race pace. The rookie was 9th in Qatar two weeks ago but swiftly sliced into that position and higher from the off. He overtook Brad Binder, Marc Marquez and then stalked world champion Francesco Bagnaia for a long period, climbing all over the Italian’s rear wheel. He finally relegated his rival to 5th with a delicious move into Turn 3. The last lap granted Pedro P3 to become the third youngest premier class podium finisher in history and his first spray of podium Prosecco!

Augusto battled with two other riders around the edge of the top ten and came home with a deserved 5 points for 11th. An improvement over Qatar a fortnight ago and a shot of confidence for the Grands Prix to come.

After building their pitbox setup and structure for European rounds, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 now repack the flight cases for another long-haul appointment. The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin will bring round three to life in three weeks.

Pedro Acosta, 3rd: “What to say about today?! From the beginning of the race the bike was working unbelievably. I am still not 100% comfortable in the Sprint at the moment – but it is coming – and in the longer races with the full tank and the harder suspension I feel much better. I have been racing like this all my life! But, man, we have to be super-happy! Our first podium in MotoGP! The team have been working super-hard. For example, we tried some things in warm-up this morning to help us in the first laps and they worked. The bike has been super-nice from beginning but, step-by-step, we are arriving to the point of getting the pace that we really want it.”

 

Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing.
Pedro Acosta (31). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing.

Augusto Fernandez, 11th: “A big step today. I managed the low grip after a good start and also had some good fights. I made a few mistakes because I wanted to push more but we know we need to make steps and take points. Our pace is here right now but happy to get points and want to keep building. Congrats to Pedro. Incredible!”

 

Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing.
Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing.

Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager: “What an unbelievable result and unbelievable weekend here in the Algarve. We knew Pedro could have good pace here this weekend and with a good start he could stay with the leaders but what a race. We saw all his talent when he moved to the front and passed those riders, those champions. A great result for the Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 team so we can only be happy and enjoy the moment. We are looking forward to seeing him again a bike as soon as possible! Congratulations also to Augusto and who doesn’t give up. He is facing his problems, and he is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He was near the top ten and if he keeps working like this then he will be back near the front very soon.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Trackhouse Racing:

PROGRESS AND POINTS

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

Warm Up: 9.40am – 9.50am – Dry track

Air Temperature (end of session): 69.8°F / 21°C

Track Temperature (end of session): 69.8°F / 21°C

#25 Raul Fernandez

P8 – Best Lap: 1’39.559

Completed: 6 Laps – 17.1 miles / 27.5 kilometers

Top speed: 212.7 mph / 337.5 km/h

#88 Miguel Oliveira

P18 – Best Lap: 1’39.893

Completed: 6 Laps – 17.1 miles / 27.5 kilometers

Top speed: 219.3 mph / 341.7 km/h

RACE: 2pm – Dry track: 25 Laps – 71.32 miles / 114.8 kilometers

Air Temperature (end of session): 75.2°F / 24°C

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

#88 Miguel Oliveira – P9 (Race Points: 7 Championship Standing: 14 Total Points: 8)

Race Time: 41’ 42.067 Best Lap: 1’39.480

Average speed: 102.58 mph / 165.1 km/h Top Speed: 217.85 mph / 350.6 km/h

– Started from 15th on the grid with a Michelin hard front tire and medium rear.

– Immediately made progress on Lap 1 up to 11th and then improved to 10th before being forced him wide in turn 1, late in the race which put him back to 12th. 

– Retirements ahead meant a 9th place finish and 7 valuable Championship points.

#25 Raul Fernandez – DNF (Race Points: 0 Championship Standing: N/A Total Points: 0)

Race Time: 5’ 04.370 Best Lap: 1’39.331

Average speed: 105.07 mph / 162.9 Km/h Top speed: 213.67 mph / 343.9 km/h

– From lights out and 16th on the grid, gained a spot on lap one running a hard front tire and medium rear.

– Gained another place on lap 2, up to 14th before crashing out on lap 4 and forced to retire.

Trackhouse Racing MotoGP – Team World Championship Standing: 9th – 8 points

Next Round: Grand Prix of the Americas – Circuit of the Americas, Texas, USA : April 12-14

MIGUEL OLIVEIRA

“It was what I could do. The opening lap and the first few corners have been quite ok. I managed to overtake Rins and Quartararo and I was on course to a top 10 finish, ninth place without crashes. But unfortunately, when Bezzecchi overtook me in the first corner, he took me a little bit wide and I had to stop the bike and go around the whole turn one and two, where I lost three positions. It’s a real shame because with all the crashes, we could have finished in P6, which would have been very uplifting this weekend. But we have to take the positives; in the race, it was the best bike I rode during the weekend. I could fight, be competitive and do something in terms of results. It’s definitely another starting point to build up from here so, hopefully, in Texas we can continue the progression.”

 

Miguel Oliveira (88) leads Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.
Miguel Oliveira (88) leads Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.

 

RAUL FERNANDEZ

“I’m lucky that I’m ok. It was honestly a very stupid crash, a rookie mistake. During the track walk I told my crew chief that you need to be calm in this corner when you get a bit offline and I actually didn’t manage to do that. Until then, I felt good with the bike, I had a good pace, I did a 39.2 in one lap. But maybe I was a bit too ambitious at the beginning of the race. I saw we had the pace, I was closing and I was there but I made the mistake. I would like to say sorry to the team. It’s not nice to start the season like this, but this is just the beginning. For sure, we have more opportunities and in two weeks we are at COTA, a track I really like. So, we should forget this Sunday now and focus on the US.”

 

Raul Fernandez (25) leads Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) and Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.
Raul Fernandez (25) leads Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) and Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Trackhouse Racing.

 

WILCO ZEELENBERG – TEAM MANAGER

“After a hectic weekend in Portugal, which was the home race of Miguel, we had some issues, no grip and finally a ninth place, which is not amazing but brings seven points. Job done, but of course, we want more. Clearly, in the race, the bike was the best we had it the whole weekend. Miguel was in P9 before he had an incident with Bezzecchi, he went really wide, lost 2.5 seconds and then he missed the connection to the three boys in front. Then, of course, being 12th and having three riders crashing out gave us ninth place, which is a good result. Raul had a bad start, was attacking very well in the beginning and he was fighting with Augusto Fernandez and taking a tight line, lost the front while fighting to go forward. Lesson learned. I think we have a lot to come for the upcoming rounds, because the speed is there.”

 

DAVIDE BRIVIO – TEAM PRINCIPAL

“At the end of the day, we scored some points, which is positive. Of course, we expected and wanted more than that. I can take the positives of this weekend. In the race, Miguel found the best feeling of the weekend but, unfortunately, starting from that position made it difficult to get more. Also, Raul was very confident all weekend with his bike. Let’s take this home and to the next race. The weekend in Portugal was very important for Miguel, unfortunately, we couldn’t completely reach what we wanted but we will try again. It’s a long championship and if we continue to work like this we can find a way to make both comfortable on the bike and that’s our target. But we know, we have to work”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

#PortugueseGP: Second place for Bastianini and the Ducati Lenovo Team at  Portimão, a crash for Bagnaia following a coming together in the final stages

Jorge Martín the race winner aboard Pramac Racing Team’s Desmosedici GP

The Ducati Lenovo Team scored a second-place finish in the Portuguese GP race courtesy of Enea Bastianini, who put together an excellent performance that saw him in close proximity to the race lead up to the chequered flag. Francesco Bagnaia was out of contention with three laps to go while battling for fifth place due a coming together at turn five.

Bastianini showed a consistently quick race pace throughout the 25-lap race. After setting the fastest lap of the encounter in 1:38.685secs – new race lap record at Portimão – Enea moved up to second place at the start of the final lap, securing his maiden podium of the season.

After being part of the battle for the podium in the early stages, Bagnaia spent most of the encounter in a strenuous effort to defend fourth place. With three laps left, a coming together with Marc Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) and the subsequent crash at turn five resulted in an early end to Pecco’s race, who was running in fifth position.

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action on April 12-14 at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas for the third Grand Prix of the 2024 season.

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd

“It was a good battle. I never stopped believing until the end, but Jorge Martín pushed very hard and did a perfect race, so I had to settle for second. This is a special result for me, as Portimão isn’t among my favourite tracks. Surely, it’s a really great circuit, but prior to this weekend I had never been able to be really strong here. The three of us at the front did some push and pull throughout the race, but in the end the win was an impossible task today. Having Maverick (Viñales) ahead of me made my life a bit more complicated as he was really strong in the fourth sector, and I was never able to get close enough to him in the rest of lap. Things may have been easier had I been in front of him, but I was a bit nervous in the opening lap and made a few too many mistakes. I would like to thank the team and my family for their support because it wasn’t easy to return to top positions after such a complicated 2023 season.”

 

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

 

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – DNF

“I got a good start but unfortunately chose the wrong line at turn three: I closed the line a bit, while the outside would have been a better choice. I wanted to overtake Enea in the early laps as I saw him having a bit of a difficult time, but at some point, I started experiencing a lack of grip at the rear-end which prevented me from pushing as hard as I wanted. We weren’t at our best and it’s clear we couldn’t find the perfect solution, even though the feeling was very good both yesterday and this morning. It’s a pity; we’ll now focus on the next race as after the warmup I felt I had the potential to battle at the front – but we weren’t able to capitalise. I’m particularly sorry because we have worked well, but we were missing something in today’s race.”

 

Francesco Bagnaia (1) leads Pedro Acosta (31) and Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Francesco Bagnaia (1) leads Pedro Acosta (31) and Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

A bitter Sunday for Viñales and Aprilia

A PROBLEM WITH THE GEARBOX TAKES VIÑALES OUT OF PLAY WHEN HE WAS LYING SECOND, ESPARGARÓ COMES BACK TO FINISH EIGHTH

Consistent with the performance demonstrated in the Sprint Race, Maverick Viñales had a brilliant start, moving immediately into second place. The Spaniard held the position throughout the race until, on the final lap, a problem with the gearbox cost him any chance of finishing a perfect weekend.

Straight away on the opening lap, Aleix Espargaró was the recipient of contact from another rider which relegated him to nineteenth place. From the rear guard, he launched an incredible come back, making up positions and managing to finish eighth. 

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ

“I’m really disappointed for Maverick because he had an incredible weekend and he deserved the podium, but unfortunately, that’s how racing is. I was unable to find the right feeling all weekend. I was lacking grip at the rear. In any case, I still set a good pace coming back from the rear and I’m taking some important points home.”

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.

 

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“From the sixth lap I could tell that something wasn’t working right with the gearbox. I was losing a lot of time on the straight. I still felt like I could have won, though. It’s a shame about the technical problem. In any case, I’m happy because I know that I gave one hundred percent. This weekend we took a huge step forward. We got our speed back and we demonstrated that the RS-GP24 can win. Now we’ll head to Austin, a track that I like and where I’ll arrive more motivated than ever.”

 

Maverick Vinales (12) leads Enea Bastianini (23) in Portugal. Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Maverick Vinales (12) leads Enea Bastianini (23) in Portugal. Photo courtesy Aprilia.

 

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:

REWARDS IN PORTUGAL AS BINDER AND MILLER GO 4-5 FOR MOTOGP™ POINTS AT ROUND TWO

MotoGP 2024 – Round 02 of 21, Algarve International Circuit, Portugal – Race

Brad Binder rode to 4th place and Jack Miller was 5th to cap another competitive and positive weekend of MotoGP for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and for what was the second Grand Prix of the campaign and only the fifth to be held at the Algarve International Circuit. In Moto3™ Jose Antonio Rueda earned his first silverware of the season with a strong charge to 2nd.

Redemption for Brad Binder with 4th place from 25 laps on Sunday after the slip and DNF in the Saturday Sprint in Portugal. The South African retains 2nd in the world championship standings

Jack Miller extends his fast form throughout the weekend in Portimao to end the Grand Prix with a well-earned 5th and his first points haul: rising to 9th in the MotoGP rankings
Personal best Moto3™ Grand Prix finish for runner-up Jose Antonio Rueda as Celestino Vietti fights back to 7th in Moto2™

Qatar, Portugal and now a third continent next with the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at COTA in Texas on April 12-14

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing reset their objectives for the Grand Prix of Portugal and for what was a strategic and cagey 25-laps in southern Europe. The Algarve International Circuit may have missed the sunshine on race day but there was plenty of color to be had in the contest for maximum points and where Brad Binder (starting 10th) and Jack Miller (launching from 5th) had their say.

Both KTM RC16s made their customary bright getaway from the grid and Brad and Jack were joined by starlet rookie Pedro Acosta as Austrian machinery filled three slots in the mid-top ten. Binder and Miller had to measure their pace with their tire wear and levels of effective grip as the race distance counted down. Incident and accident marked the running order in the space of the final three laps and the two orange bikes took full benefit to cross the line in the top five. The points ensure that Brad stays P2 in table after two rounds and Jack posted his first score to sit 9th.

The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas will bring MotoGP to a U.S. audience with the annual visit to the long and varied Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The world championship will reconvene in Texas in mid-April.

Brad Binder, 4th: “It was cool to take 4th today even though we had some help with it. It was a really tough weekend and I struggled to get comfortable and that meant it was hard in the race because I wanted to push and go with the boys. I had to ride smart and make sure I didn’t make the same mistake as yesterday. To have 4th after a hectic and hard weekend…we’ll take it.”

 

Brad Binder (33). Photo by Rob Gray - Polarity Photo, courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Brad Binder (33). Photo by Rob Gray – Polarity Photo, courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

Jack Miller, 5th: “I wanted a little bit more today. I wanted to go with the boys at the front early on but just didn’t quite have the pace mid-corner to get my claws-in and hang on for the [tire] drop. We got a bit lucky with some of the crashes at the end there…but we’ll take it. We have to have some luck sometimes! We still have a bit of work to do but this was a massive improvement over Qatar. The bike has plenty of potential, so we’ll do our homework, look at the data and come back for another go in Austin.”

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo by Rob Gray - Polarity Photo, courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Jack Miller (43). Photo by Rob Gray – Polarity Photo, courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Quite good feelings about today because it was not an easy weekend and to have these positions on a Sunday afternoon means we were not too bad. The gap could be better, the feeling for the riders also, but we took points for the championship and the Teams standings. Congratulations to Pedro. This is a good sign that the equipment is working well and for different riding styles and is a friendly bike. As a manufacturer we have to be proud of the work so far.”

 

 

 

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

Solid race for Nakagami in Portimao

 

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.

 

IDEMITSU Honda LCR rider Takaaki Nakagami crossed the line 14th on Sunday in Portimao.

After a tough weekend at the Autodromo do Algarve, Nakagami has carried out a consistent race: despite rivals not making it easy and not having the best feeling on the bike, the Japanese managed to get to his goals, which was grabbing some points for the championship. 

Overall, the Portuguese Grand Prix has been tougher than expected, and there are some areas to analyze and improve to make a step in the next race (Circuit of the Americas, 14th of April). 

Takaaki Nakagami 14th

“The situation compared to yesterday hasn’t changed a lot, but this morning we found something as we decided to do some modifications to improve the grip. I’ve got a better feeling, and we’ve kept it for the race. I could have taken a better position, but I lost a lot of time following Marini. Then I just tried my best and scored some points, which is always important”. 

 

 

 

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

Johann Zarco takes points in Portimao

 

Johann Zarco (5) leads Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Johann Zarco (5) leads Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.

 

CASTROL Honda LCR rider Johann Zarco finished 15th on Sunday race in Portimao

Twenty-five laps at the rollercoaster in Portimao served the Frenchman rider to finally get to the points. Zarco had some troubles at the start and lost some positions. However, he demonstrated cleverness, and without losing concentration, he managed to handle the race and got to the 15th position. 

Overall, the Portuguese Grand Prix has been more challenging than expected. The next weeks will be useful to determine which areas need to be analyzed and improved ahead of the next race (Circuit of the Americas, 14th April). 

Johann Zarco 15th
 
“It’s been a tough race; I didn’t expect to struggle this way. Lap after lap we’ve learned many things and, in the end, we’ve grabbed a point. We now have a direction to follow, which will help us in Austin”. 

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by OnlyFans American Racing Team.

Roberts Clinches Second Place as Ramirez Breaks into Top 10 at Moto2 Portuguese Grand Prix

 

Joe Roberts celebrates his second-place finish in Parc Ferme in Portugal. Photo courtesy OnlyFans American Racing Team.
Joe Roberts celebrates his second-place finish in Parc Ferme in Portugal. Photo courtesy OnlyFans American Racing Team.

 

Portimao, Portugal – March 25, 2024 – The OnlyFans American Racing Team
demonstrated their competitiveness at the Moto2 Portuguese Grand Prix, with
remarkable performances from both their riders. Joe Roberts delivered an
impressive performance, finishing second on the podium and securing second
place in the overall championship standings before heading to the team’s home
round at COTA, Texas.

Joe Roberts: “Man, what a race! I’m so happy for my team, it’s the first podium
back with these guys. Since Jerez, they’ve done such an amazing job getting this
bike working for me and I’m so excited for the next round at home.”

In addition to Roberts’ standout performance, Marcos Ramirez demonstrated his
skill once more, securing a strong ninth-place finish. Ramirez’ consistent pace
allowed him to effectively navigate the challenging race, contributing crucial
points to the team’s tally and moving the team up to second in the championship
standings.

The OnlyFans American Racing Team extends its appreciation to all partners,
sponsors, and supporters for their commitment. With determination and focus,
the team looks forward to building on this success and fighting for this year’s
championship.

Joe Roberts | P2 – +2.059

Marcos Ramirez | P9 – +7.758

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