We head to Europe this week, for the first time this season, as the grid arrives in Portimao for the Grande Prémio 888 de Portugal.
After 2 weeks in Losail, we leave Qatar behind for another year, where both Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP men showed their resolve against the Ducatis in the desert. Maverick Viñales took the first win of 2021, and Fabio Quartararo took the second. In both races, the rest of the podium was filled out by the men in red, with both Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia taking their maiden Pole Positions also. With how competitive the class has been so far, it’ll be interesting to see how things change this time around.
In 2020, Portimao hosted the season finale, and home hero Miguel Oliveira took the victory from Pole. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider will be one to watch this weekend, and not just for being the fan-favourite, as his 2020 race from start to finish was spent leading the pack. However, Oliveira’s season so far has been far from the front; while the KTMs have been improving, the best result currently has come from teammate Brad Binder, who achieved 8th place last time out. So, we’ll have to see just how the orange crew will turn out.
The main attraction of Portimao, however, will be the return of the mighty Marc Marquez. With every media outlet focused on the 6-time MotoGP Champion, the fans are getting revved up for quite the show. Despite this, however, it must be remembered that Marquez has been out of the game for 9 months due to his injury, and with the grid being as cutthroat as it has been so far, it would be no surprise if the Spaniard wanted to simply ease back into racing… but, it is Marc Marquez we’re talking about, so who knows!
Let’s just hope the class hasn’t left their fierceness in Doha.
MotoGP’s Free Practice 1 will begin on Friday at 09:55 Local Time (GMT +1).
Feature Image: MotoGP.com