The Portuguese Grand Prix begins with 4 Spaniards within the first 4 locations: Maverick Viñales within the lead, Alex Rins in his wake, Honda riders Marc Marquez – spectacular for his comeback – and Pol Espargaro a number of hundredths behind. Traces of humidity on the observe slowed down the primary lap of the weekend.
The place to start out the abstract of this primary free apply session? By the occasion of the day, for sure: the return of Marc Marquez. Faraway from the circuits since July 25, 2020, the eight-time world champion climbed again into his Honda RC213V this Friday morning. A primary 265 days in the past, which centered all the eye of the cameras. And the least we will say is that this comeback went properly.
After a cautious first run, Marc Marquez got here out on the observe with a extra dedicated, aggressive driving model. An indication of confidence, on a bodily Portimao circuit in regular occasions, and made much more delicate by the damp spots on the bottom, as a result of thunderstorms the day earlier than.
These moist spots dried over time, placing the deal with the previous few minutes, the place the situations had been greatest. The lap occasions stored happening, as much as a brief 1’42. An optimistic end, Maverick Viñales was the quickest, scoring the reference (1’42.127) within the dying moments. He’s 151 thousandths forward of Alex Rins, however above all by 251 thousandths a Marc Marquez who was not anticipated in such a place from the beginning.
Admittedly, that is solely FP1 and the occasions are 2 seconds slower than these of the identical session in 2020. However the smile on his face when he returns to the field offers some good first indications. In addition to the arrogance displayed on such a tough path to drive. We must wait till the remainder of the weekend to substantiate it, however Marc Marquez’s return is properly and really within the making.
Yamaha, first second of fact in Portugal
Motivated with the arrival of his team-mate, Pol Espargaro follows in his footsteps in 4th place, simply Four thousandths behind. The primary non-Spanish rider within the standings is Johann Zarco, chief of the championship and likewise of the Ducati clan this Friday morning. He places proper behind him the official Desmosedici of Francesco Bagnaia, creator of a fantastic shoot. Frenchman Fabio Quartararo is within the recreation, seventh at Four tenths behind his main teammate, and eight small thousandths forward of Jack Miller.
Additionally galvanized by the return of his brother, Alex Marquez traces his means and integrates the top-10 (ninth), in addition to Danilo Petrucci (10th) who acts as the perfect KTM rider throughout this primary session. Particularly, the Italian drove sooner than Miguel Oliveira (17th), winner right here final 12 months, introduced as the person to beat by his opponents, however who is clearly ready for higher driving situations to point out himself.
No Petronas Yamaha rider is on this provisionally qualifying top-10 for Q2 (Valentino Rossi 11th, Franco Morbidelli 14th regardless of his 21 laps accomplished). World champion Joan Mir can also be lacking (13th). Not more than Jorge Martin (16th), excellent third within the Doha Grand Prix however who has warned that it might take time to make its mark in Portimao.
The tracks are getting drier on the time of writing, however a thunderstorm is anticipated within the afternoon. The rain might stop any enchancment within the lap occasions in FP2, which might postpone the primary absolutely dry session to FP3, scheduled for Saturday morning with sunshine,
Portuguese GP – MotoGP FP1:
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Championship after the Doha GP: 1. Zarco 40 pts, Quartararo 36 (-Four), three. Viñales 36 (-Four), Four. Bagnaia 26 (-14), 5. Rins 23 (-17)… Full classification right here
Portugal: Timetables / Friday TV program