Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia tops the timesheets at the end of Day 1.
The Italian stormed to the top with a time of 1:39.866, being the only rider to hit the 1:39s so far this weekend. Behind Bagnaia is Fabio Quartararo in P2; the victor of the last race improved on his FP1 result of 7th place, one-upping his time by over 2 seconds.
Following closely behind the Frenchman is Joan Mir in third, the champ sits just 0.079s behind the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider. Teammate Alex Rins ends Day 1 in 4th place, just 0.049s back from Mir.
Jack Miller remains strong even in Europe; the Aussie currently resides in P5, with a time of 1:40.336. Miller has been very consistent in the Qualifying sessions so far this season, will he be able to claim Pole?
Talk-of-the-town Marc Marquez ends today in 6th. After flying to third in FP1, it seems that slowing down is never an option of the Repsol Honda Team man. However, we are yet to see how the Spaniard will fare when it comes to Race Day, so anything is still possible.
Maverick Viñales topped the opening session’s timesheet this morning, but ended the day in P7. Despite sitting down the order, the Yamaha rider remains just 0.560 seconds from Bagnaia in first.
The Pramac Racing pair have had very mixed results today. Johann Zarco currently sits in 8th, while Jorge Martin is in a very out-of-character P22. The Spaniard lead the rookies in FP1 with a 16th place result, but failed to capitalise in the second session. Both Ducati men finished on the podium last time out, with Martin leading the majority of the race from Pole, so for him to be at the back of the grid rings alarm bells.
Another rider whose result doesn’t add up is Aleix Espargaro. The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider ends the day in P14, wheras we’ve become accustomed to the Spaniard finishing close to the top on the Fridays of 2021. Teammate Lorenzo Savadori notably appears to be on the up, with a P15 in FP1, and ending the day in 16th on the combined timesheets, perhaps the Italian can earn some points this weekend.
Portugal’s 2020 winner Miguel Oliveira finishes today as the top KTM in 9th place, while the other men in orange are towards the back of the grid. The Red Bull Factory Racing rider’s teammate Brad Binder finishes in 17th, with Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing’s Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona end today in P18 and P21, respectively.
Takaaki Nakagami rounds out the Top 10, with teammate Alex Marquez in P11. The Japanese rider suffered a major fall in Free Practice 2, crashing at 260kmph. Despite the off, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider was back on the track within 25 minutes to take a very admirable 10th. With the pair’s positive results in both sessions – with Marquez taking a Top 10 result in FP1 also – we hope to see the LCR duo fighting at the front come Sunday.
Luca Marini leads the rookies in the combined timesheets in P13, just 0.018s behind Repsol Honda Team’s Pol Espargaro. The SKY VR46 Avintia rider is the final rider to remain within 1 second of the man at the front, just 0.895s off the pace. Teammate Enea Bastianini ends today in P20, and will be looking to improve tomorrow if he is to make a dent in the Top 10 once again.
The Petronas Yamaha SRT duo are still struggling to be competitive, as Valentino Rossi finishes in P15, while Franco Morbidelli hangs back in 19th place. After the disaster that was both Qatar races, the fans are desperate to see the pair back to their fighting selves in the coming races. Let’s hope they have a cracker of a Qualifying session tomorrow.
With the Ducatis remaining strong even in Portugal, will you be betting on red?
MotoGP’s FP3 will begin at 09:55 Local Time (GMT +1).
Feature Image: MotoGP.com