Miguel Oliveira has topped the first free practice session of the weekend at the newly resurfaced Algarve circuit.
MotoGP riders enjoyed an hour and 10-minute session at the Algarve circuit as they dialled their machines in with the undulating 2.85-mile Portuguese circuit.
It was home-hero Miguel Oliveira who ended the opening session on top, setting the lap record of a 1:40.122, +0.040s clear of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales.
As riders got to grips with the Portimão circuit, teams and riders that tested here were clearly benefiting as Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia team-mate Lorenzo Savadori completed the top four.
KTM’s Pol Espargaro started the weekend on the right foot. The Spanish rider is still chasing his first KTM win, and began his final weekend with the Austrian manufacturer in fifth, +0.558s off the top time.
Cal Crutchlow also started his final Grand Prix weekend in the right way and welcomed a return to the top ten. The LCR Honda rider wrapped up the opening session in sixth ahead of newly-crowned MotoGP World Champion, Joan Mir and Frenchman Fabio Quartararo – who starts his final weekend with the PETRONAS SRT team.
Takaaki Nakagami and Stefan Bradl completed a Honda nine and 10, with Alex Rins in 11th, +0.838s down on Oliveira’s pace-setting time. Rins led Andrea Dovizioso and a struggling Franco Morbidelli, who comes into the Portuguese Grand Prix on an engine that’s ran seven Grand Prix’s.
Johann Zarco and 2020 rookie Alex Marquez completed the top 15 as both start their final weekend with their respective teams. Jack Miller backed up the comments made at the single-day test held in October. The Australian struggled to 16th place ahead of Pramac team-mate Francesco Bagnaia. Both will be hoping to make improvements and return to the top ten this afternoon.
Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi trailed their fellow Italian in 19th and 20th with Brad Binder, Tito Rabat and Red Bull KTM Tech 3 replacement rider, Mika Kallio.
The second MotoGP free practice two commences at 14:00 local time for another hour and 10-minute session. Can Oliveira maintain his advantage on home soil?
Featured image: MotoGP.com