Red flag impacted Friday in Portugal for Repsol Honda Team
A complicated afternoon session saw Joan Mir and Marc Marquez work to keep their places in the combined top ten, ultimately missing out by just a few tenths in the hyper-competitive MotoGP field.
The sound of MotoGP returned in earnest as round one of the 2023 World Championship season got underway in Portimao. A return to Europe for the first race of the year, fans were already lining the stands of the circuit as the premier class rolled out for Free Practice 1 just before 11:00 Local Time.
Spits of rain in the morning session would send the majority of the field back to their garages after only a few laps as they waited for the conditions to improve. After setup adjustments to suit the conditions, both Joan Mir and Marc Marquez returned to the track to make the most of the remaining track time.
Ending the morning in second place with a 1’38.827, the newest addition to the Repsol Honda Team was able to impress immediately as he led a strong session for the Honda RC213V. In the afternoon, Mir was again able to end the day as the fastest Honda – claiming 12th place with a best lap of 1’38.394. Just over 0.1s saw the double World Champion miss out on a combined top ten spot on his Honda Grand Prix debut, the #36 poised to fight for one of the two transfer spots in Q1. A crash during Free Practice 2 saw Mir walk away without serious consequence.
Marc Marquez’s day followed a similar pattern as he finished the morning inside the top ten before improving his time by over a second to a 1’38.419. Unfortunately, his improvements were not enough and finished the day as the 14th fastest rider, a harmless fall in the final minutes of the session ending his last chance of improvements.
Saturday will not only see the classic battle for pole position, but also the debut of the MotoGP Sprint – a shortened 12 lap race where riders will battle for half points.
“We were able to improve a lot from the test to today and I was able to feel a lot better with the bike. I think we left something more out there on track, so I am not fully satisfied. With our second tyre we weren’t able to make the most of it, but the team and I understand what we need to do in the future to improve this. That’s important. Of course, it’s a shame because we were having a great day. Tomorrow is a new day and I think we have a good chance to go through Q1.”
“All of the Honda riders were quite close today. I was feeling quite good with the bike today and our goal today was to get into Q2 and we just missed that. It will be an intense day tomorrow because everyone is riding very well and at the limit after the test. It wasn’t the best day overall today, it was a standard day, but I am aiming to make a step tomorrow and be a bit faster. The crash I had today was one of those crashes where you know it will come, I was braking too late after Turn 2 – I tried to save it but it didn’t work.”
Friday Practice - Portugal Grand Prix
|1||Miller Jack||43||AUS||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1'37.709|
|2||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.037|
|3||Bagnaia Francesco||1||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.147|
|4||Marini Luca||10||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||0.190|
|5||Martin Jorge||89||SPA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.282|
|6||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.306|
|7||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.403|
|8||Bezzecchi Marco||72||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||0.449|
|9||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.544|
|10||Bastianini Enea||23||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.547|
|11||Marquez Alex||73||SPA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||0.676|
|12||Mir Joan||36||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0.685|
|13||Rins Alex||42||SPA||LCR Honda||Honda||0.707|
|14||Marquez Marc||93||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0.710|
|15||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||LCR Honda||Honda||1.118|
|16||Fernandez Augusto||37||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing||KTM||1.173|
|17||Fernandez Raul||25||SPA||RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||1.195|
|18||Binder Brad||33||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.201|
|19||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||1.249|
|20||Morbidelli Franco||21||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1.269|
|21||Di Giannantonio Fabio||49||ITA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||1.712|
|22||Espargaro Pol||44||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing||KTM||2.421|
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||1'37.226 (170.0Km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2023)|
|Race Lap||1'38.872 (167.1Km/h) Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia, 2023)|
|Race Time||41'24.401 (166.2km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2023)|
|2023 Winner||Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)|