Moto2: Luca Marini Sets the Pace as he Leads on Day One at Portimao

Published on November 20, 2020
By Jack Hammersley

Today the Moto2 class got an extra 15 minutes in both free practice sessions to help them get to grips with the new track and to help Dunlop gain valuable data needed for the race, and in case they return to Portimao in 2021.

Luca Marini has got off to the start he needed to this weekend, setting the only lap in the 1:42 bracket. Should he maintain his form, it could be enough to see him crowned Champion on Sunday, but first, he must have a good qualifying position as in the last five rounds Luca has struggled to get on the front-row. With Luca being one of the best starters on the grid, he’ll be looking to be on the front-row to get the holeshot into turn one on Sunday.

Despite still suffering from his injury to his right hand, Britain’s Sam Lowes was fast out of the box in both sessions, using his knowledge of the Portimao circuit to his advantage and being able to finish Friday in second position. There’s no doubt about Sam’s speed, but there are questions concerning the fatigue the injury will cause during the race, with his track being one of the most physical of the season, it may prove too much for the Marc VDS rider. Sam will tough it out though and will look to win the championship on Sunday.

Lorenzo Baldassarri has brought the improved form Valencia onboard the Flexbox HP40 Pons Kalex into Portimao, finishing day one in third place. Lorenzo has struggled all season long with setup but looks to have a good final outing with the Pons team before he returns to the Forward Racing Team for 2021. Can the Italian secure a podium in the season finale?

Championship leader Enea Bastianini starts the weekend off strong inside the top five, putting himself in a good place to secure the Q2 spot for tomorrow. Enea has less pressure to perform since he doesn’t have to secure a podium finish to lift the title. But Enea is looking to win the championship in style and has got a good understanding of the track and looks to be a contender for the win should he have a good enough qualifying position, which he’s lacked for a few rounds now. Can Enea get on the front two rows tomorrow in qualifying?

Marco Bezzecchi has had a quiet day in Portimao, setting fast consistent lap times, but not featuring inside the top five like his championship rivals. Marco has had weekends like this before during this season and usually comes out in Free Practice Three in fine form, can Marco improve his lap time to secure his spot in Q2 to fight for the front-row to give himself the best chance to achieve the much-needed victory to try and win his first World Title?

It was a day that recent winner Jorge Martin will want to forget; as he exited turn four on his first out lap, he suffered an engine failure, luckily no oil was spilt onto the track, but because of this, it has set back Jorge and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team. Jorge will now be on the back foot after missing 55 minutes of crucial track time.

Free Practice Three is scheduled to start at 10:55 (GMT+0) with the Free Practice session back to 40 minutes, who will be able to bag themselves the final 14 Q2 spots in 2020?

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