All eyes were on the Repsol Honda Team garage as Marc Marquez made his long-awaited return to the track, Pol Espargaro narrowly missing the top ten after a busy first day in Portimao.

The MotoGP World Championship returned to Portugal for the second consecutive year as round three began at the Algarve International Circuit. It marked Marc Marquez’s return to competition for the first time since 2020 as he joined Pol Espargaro inside the Repsol Honda Team garage for the first time.

265 days after last appearing on the Repsol Honda Team RC213V, eight-time World Championship Marc Marquez was back out on track. A moment months in the making, Marquez and his team took a calm and diligent approach to their first session of the year together. Completing 14 laps, Marquez ended the morning session third and all involved were pleased with Marquez’s recovery and physical condition.

Able to ride without restriction, Marquez was eager to continue working in Free Practice 2. The afternoon session gave Marquez an opportunity to try a time attack, ending the session in sixth as the top Honda. 0.473s off first, Marquez is pleased with his riding on the first day and is working with his crew to maximize their performance over the remainder of the weekend.

Pol Espargaro was immediately up to speed on the Honda at Portimao, challenging for the top three during the first practice of the day as the track continued to dry out. Despite having only ridden the RC213V in Qatar previously, Espargaro was able to quickly adapt the Honda and himself to the demands of Portugal and ended FP1 in fourth.

Struggling for improved feeling, Espargaro spent much of the Free Practice 2 session inside the top ten. Unfortunately, he was knocked down to 12th in the closing minutes by the LCR Honda duo. Free Practice 3 presents the #44 with another opportunity to clinch a spot in the top ten for direct Q2 access.

Free Practice 3 at 09:55 Local Time tomorrow, Saturday April 17, offers a final chance to fight for the top ten and earn an early spot in Q2. This is the objective for both Repsol Honda Team riders.

Marc Marquez

6th 1'40.339

“It was a great day, a great feeling to be back in MotoGP. On the first run the track wasn’t so good but I felt good on the bike. I felt better in the morning because the arm was fresh, it was rested, and I had good power. In the afternoon I had to work more to warm up the arm and I could feel it was more tired. But we are in a better situation than what we were expecting before the weekend. I am riding the bike, following my own way and the lap times are coming well. The main question for me is still how the arm will react over the weekend. It is great to be back, we have worked very hard for this moment and it’s great to achieve it.”

Pol Espargaro

12th 1'40.743

“Today looks like a bad day, but it is not as bad as it looks. Our ideal lap time is very close to Marc which means we can achieve it and we are riding in a good way. Unfortunately, today I made a few mistakes and couldn’t make the perfect lap, it’s the problem I am having at the moment pushing with a tyre on a new track. I am making mistakes and running wide which, you pay for quite a lot. It’s just FP2, tomorrow we need to put the good lap in. Today was about learning this bike at this track and we spent a lot of the second session doing this because in the morning the track was not perfect.”

MotoGP 2021
Practice Round 3   Portugal

Portuguese GP Combined Free Practice Classification

Dry
Humidity
67%
Track Temp
35°C
Air Temp
22°C
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1'39.866
2 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.340
3 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.419
4 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.462
5 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.470
6 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.473
7 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.560
8 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.624
9 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.726
10 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.745
11 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 0.866
12 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.877
13 Marini Luca 10 ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 0.895
14 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.041
15 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1.259
16 Savadori Lorenzo 32 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.274
17 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.317
18 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.321
19 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1.350
20 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1.970
21 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 2.595
22 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 3.055
Location Information

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.

Length 4.592 km
Width 14m
Left Corners 6
Right Corners 9
Longest Straight 969 m
Constructed 2008

Records

Pole Position 1'38.862 (167.2Km/h) Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha, 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 Winner Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha)