With a season’s worth of experience under his belt, Pol Espargaro’s Algarve GP weekend got off to a strong start with consistent top five pace while Stefan Bradl got back up to racing speed.
Cooler conditions, air temperature just 17 °C during FP1, presented a new situation for the MotoGP paddock upon their return to Portugal. Temperatures would slowly rise over the course of the day as blue sky remained throughout and meant running was uninterpreted.
Coming from his strongest weekend of the year in Misano, Pol Espargaro was immediately on the pace of the front-runners once again. A 1’40.795 sat him in seventh at the end of Free Practice 1 after spending the session lapping in the 1’40s with ease. Improving his best lap by over one second in Free Practice 2, Espargaro ended the afternoon in fifth overall and only 0.402s behind 2021 MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo who topped the day. The position puts the #44 in a provisional Q2 slot with Free Practice 3 tomorrow morning a final chance to improve. Despite his time and overall position, Espargaro feels there is still more work to be done to improve his chances on Sunday.
Replacing the injured Marc Marquez, Stefan Bradl picked up where he left off from his previous four appearances on track this season. Working methodically, Bradl was able to make similar improvements to his best lap time and finished 18th overall. A 1’40.700 had him 1.3 seconds behind Quartararo and within a second of his Repsol Honda Team teammate. Content with the opening day, continuing to improve alongside the permanent MotoGP riders remains Bradl’s main focus for the weekend.
Action resumes in the Algarve at 09:55 Local Time on Saturday, November 6 with FP3. Qualifying begins at 14:10 Local Time later that day.
Algarve Grand Prix Combined Free Practice Classification
|1||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1'39.390|
|2||Bagnaia Francesco||63||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.132|
|3||Miller Jack||43||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.221|
|4||Mir Joan||36||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||0.290|
|5||Espargaro Pol||44||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0.402|
|6||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.499|
|7||Marquez Alex||73||SPA||LCR Honda||Honda||0.652|
|8||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.679|
|9||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||LCR Honda||Honda||0.732|
|10||Rins Alex||42||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||0.786|
|11||Martin Jorge||89||SPA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.789|
|12||Morbidelli Franco||21||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.835|
|13||Petrucci Danilo||9||ITA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.841|
|14||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.894|
|15||Marini Luca||10||ITA||SKY VR46 Avintia||Ducati||0.933|
|16||Bastianini Enea||23||ITA||Avintia Esponsorama||Ducati||1.077|
|17||Binder Brad||33||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.108|
|18||Bradl Stefan||6||GER||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1.310|
|19||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.545|
|20||Lecuona Iker||27||SPA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.707|
|21||Rossi Valentino||46||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1.784|
|22||Dovizioso Andrea||4||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1.824|
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve has 15 corners – nine right, six left. The undulation in Portimao is incredible and the front straight will allow the MotoGP™ riders to really stretch the legs of their machines, before a unique downhill descend into Turn 1. There’s a reason it gets called… read more.
|Longest Straight||969 m|
|Pole Position||1'38.725 (167.4Km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)|
|Race Lap||1'39.450 (166.2Km/h) Alex Rins (Suzuki, 2021)|
|Race Time||41'46.412 (164.8km/h) Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha, 2021)|
|2021 Winners||Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) | Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)|