The longest season in MotoGP history will begin this weekend at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Marc Marquez and Joan Mir ready to battle in 2023.
With two busy pre-season tests completed, the Repsol Honda Team arrive back in Portugal for the first race of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship season. For just the second time since 2006, the season will begin in Europe and then move around the world over 21 Grands Prix. 2023 presents a new format to the weekend with a Sprint race introduced on Saturday where riders will compete in a shortened race format for half points (12 points for victory, down to 1 point for ninth). A full length Grand Prix will continue to take place on Sunday for the full 25 points.
Marc Marquez enters his 11th season in the iconic Repsol Honda Team colours, the eight-time World Champion now back to full fitness after three seasons impacted by injury. A busy off season had Marquez working through a number of items for HRC and the #93 is eager to now turn his attention to racing. This is set to be his third appearance at the Portimao circuit, Marquez achieving a best finish of sixth place aboard the RC213V in 2022.
The opening Grand Prix weekend of the year will see Joan Mir line up for the first time as part of the Repsol Honda Team, the 19th different riders since 1995 to wear the colours full time. Testing has seen steady improvements for the two-time World Champion and carrying this upward trajectory is his and the team’s primary focus in the early races of the season. Mir’s best finish in Portugal came in 2021 when he ended the race in third place.
Action begins with Free Practice 1 at 10:45 Local Time on Friday, March 24, followed by an hour-long Free Practice 2 session at 15:00 Local Time. The inaugural Sprint race be held at 15:00 Local Time on Saturday, March 25 with the Portuguese Grand Prix itself scheduled to start at 14:00 Local Time and run over 25 laps.
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)|