The FIM MotoGP World Championship began its European season today with the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimão.
Qualifying took place on a damp track that dried over Saturday’s two grid-setting sessions. In the crash-filled second session, Pramac’s Johann Zarco won pole over Suzuki’s Joan Mir. Honda’s Marc Márquez had to settle for ninth on the grid instead of a spot on the second row. Márquez lost his fastest lap after yellow flags were thrown during the lap due to his teammate Pol Espargaró crashing.
Zarco was beaten out of the blocks at the race start. Mir would lead the first lap by over a half-second, with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo in second place. Meanwhile, Suzuki’s Álex Rins had an opening lap of the gods further back in the field. Rins quickly made his way to tenth from 23rd, passing 13 other riders.
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Quartararo took the lead from Mir during the early stages of the race and never looked back. By the midpoint of the 25-lap Grand Prix, the reigning world champion had a three-second lead. The fight between Mir and Zarco for second place would be the only fight at the front. Zarco would overtake Mir for the position, but Ducati’s Jack Miller would end this battle. With seven laps to go, Miller dropped his bike in the first turn and collected Mir.
Marc Márquez would only advance higher than his starting position on his own once, after a difficult battle against his brother Álex Márquez. He beat Álex across the finish line in a photo finish for sixth position, a far cry from his spectacular performance at the Circuit of the Americas.
Fabio Quartararo eventually won the Portuguese Grand Prix by over five seconds, with Johann Zarco in second and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaró in third. With his brilliant ride, Quartararo now leads the World Riders’ Championship on 69 points. Nice!
Race Result - Top 15
- Fabio Quartararo
- Johann Zarco
- Aleix Espargaró
- Álex Rins
- Miguel Oliveira
- Marc Márquez
- Álex Márquez
- Francesco Bagnaia
- Pol Espargaró
- Maverick Viñales
- Andrea Dovizioso
- Luca Marini
- Franco Morbidelli
- Remy Gardner
- Marco Bezzecchi
MotoGP will return next week for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.