Portimao MotoGP: Oliveira sets FP1 pace on home turf

Home hero Miguel Oliveira topped FP1 for MotoGP’s first Portuguese Grand Prix since 2012 ahead of the 2020 season finale at the Algarve International Circuit.

Portimao MotoGP: Oliveira sets FP1 pace on home turf

MotoGP’s return to Portugal coincides with its first visit to the Algarve circuit, having previously run at Estoril. 

Friday’s practice sessions have been extended to 70 minutes each to allow ample time for track familiarisation at the Algarve Circuit – though a select few have MotoGP mileage already under their belts after last month’s test. 

Newly-crowned world champion Joan Mir set the early pace with a 1m43.169s, though lap times would steadily improve as the session wore on. 

The opening 25 minutes featured a trading of top spot between Oliveira on the Tech3 KTM, Suzuki’s Alex Rins, Pramac’s Jack Miller and the factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales.

The latter’s 1m41.427s would stand for another 15 minutes before Oliveira – who is incredibly familiar with the Algarve track – deposed Vinales with a 1m41.258s. 

This wouldn’t stand for long, however, as Honda’s Stefan Bradl who - along with the Aprilia duo – did ride his RC213V in last month’s test shot to the top of the order with a 1m41.235s.

Looking to overturn his recent miserable run, Fabio Quartararo admitted on Thursday his main priority is to simply have fun.

With the high grip levels from the resurfaced asphalt playing into the Yamaha’s hands, Quartararo went fastest with a 1m40.877s with just over 22 minutes of the session remaining.

The Petronas Yamaha rider would be dethroned by factory counterpart Vinales, who dipped underneath the best lap Aleix Espargaro set at the Algarve test by 0.008 seconds with a 1m40.162s.

But Oliveira lit up the timing screens on his final lap and produced a 1m40.122s to end the session 0.040s clear of the Yamaha rider. 

Aprilia’s Espargaro led his teammate Lorenzo Savadori in third, with Pol Espargaro rounding out the top five at the start of his final KTM appearance. 

Cal Crutchlow’s farewell MotoGP weekend as a full-time rider began with him in sixth spot on the LCR Honda, with Mir, Quartararo, the sister LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami and Bradl completing out the top 10. 

Rins didn’t go for a time attack late on and ended up 11th ahead of Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati and Petronas man Franco Morbidelli, while fellow Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi was a low-key 19th as he gets set for his final weekend with the factory squad.

The 22-rider field was completed by KTM tester Mika Kallio, who is replacing Iker Lecuona at Tech3 after the Spaniard tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

FP1 results:

Cla Rider Time Gap
1 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
1'40.122
2 Spain Maverick Viñales
1'40.162 0.040
3 Spain Aleix Espargaro
1'40.236 0.114
4 Italy Lorenzo Savadori
1'40.297 0.175
5 Spain Pol Espargaro
1'40.680 0.558
6 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
1'40.695 0.573
7 Spain Joan Mir
1'40.856 0.734
8 France Fabio Quartararo
1'40.877 0.755
9 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
1'40.878 0.756
10 Germany Stefan Bradl
1'40.920 0.798
11 Spain Alex Rins
1'40.960 0.838
12 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
1'40.961 0.839
13 Italy Franco Morbidelli
1'41.167 1.045
14 France Johann Zarco
1'41.181 1.059
15 Spain Alex Marquez
1'41.228 1.106
16 Australia Jack Miller
1'41.271 1.149
17 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
1'41.433 1.311
18 Italy Danilo Petrucci
1'41.928 1.806
19 Italy Valentino Rossi
1'41.946 1.824
20 South Africa Brad Binder
1'42.082 1.960
21 Spain Tito Rabat
1'43.154 3.032
22 Finland Mika Kallio
1'43.910 3.788
shares
comments

Related video

Smith a “valid option” for Aprilia MotoGP race seat

Previous article

Smith a “valid option” for Aprilia MotoGP race seat

Next article

Portimao MotoGP: Zarco quickest in FP2, Rossi 21st after crash

Portimao MotoGP: Zarco quickest in FP2, Rossi 21st after crash
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021