Alex Marquez tops the opening practice at Portimao

Alex Marquez tops the opening practice at Portimao

The Portuguese Grand Prix’s opening practice session saw Alex Marquez take the lead over Joan Mir, giving him the best possible debut on a Ducati.

While the majority of the weekend is predicted to be sunny, the MotoGP riders were met by a wet track before to the start of first practice, which may have led to the instant occurrence of the season’s first collision.

Franco Morbidelli, a Yamaha rider, was among the riders testing the conditions early on and quickly highsided off his M1 at the Turn 8 right-hander, but he was able to get back on and bring the bike in.

Following Morbidelli’s precedent and falling off his Desmosedici GP22, Gresini Ducati’s Fabio Di Giannantonio also appeared to dampen the enthusiasm for substantial initial runs, but soon enough riders began to emerge in large numbers.

As the session progressed, the track started to dry out, but Jack Miller moved to the top of the timing table on his KTM with a 1:41.520s.

Jorge Martin, however, was able to maintain strong traction on the constantly improving surface as he set three straight records for quickest times, his 1:39.206s putting him comfortably ahead of his fellow competitors.

Marquez, who first struggled on the faster course, gradually gained confidence, and as the clock was running out, the Spaniard hammered in a blazing 1:38.782 to take the lead.

Joan Mir, who had threatened Marquez in the closing stages, finished a stunning second on his Honda, trailing the Gresini rider just by 0.045s owing to a weaker final split.

The VR46 team of Marini and Bezzecchi maintained their excellent preseason form to finish the first practice session of the new year in third and fourth place respectively while Zarco moved up to fifth.

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales finished sixth, barely ahead of Martin, and Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha was a solid eighth. The Frenchman missed Marquez’s record by by 0.499 seconds despite using a used medium tyre rather than switching to fresh ones like his front-running competitors.

Reigning MotoGP world champion Francesco Bagnaia finished ninth on his Ducati, with Marc Marquez’s sister factory Honda rounding out the top ten.

The highest-placed KTM rider at the end of practice one was Jack Miller, who was 12th overall as the Austrian manufacturer struggled to find its fastest lap time. Miller was about seven tenths of a second slower than Marquez.

Enea Bastianini, who recently joined the factory Ducati team, finished 15th ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez of RNF Aprilia, while Augusto Fernandez, the lone rookie in the 2023 field, displayed convincing speed in 19th, finishing just ahead of his GasGas teammate Pol Espargaro and 22nd-placed KTM factory rider Brad Binder.

PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX PRACTICE 1 RESULTS

PosNameTeamBikeGap NextGap LeaderBest Time
1Alex MarquezGresini Racing MotoGPDucati1m38.782s
2Joan MirRepsol Honda TeamHonda+0.045s+0.045s1m38.827s
3Luca MariniMooney VR46 Racing TeamDucati+0.095s+0.14s1m38.922s
4Marco BezzecchiMooney VR46 Racing TeamDucati+0.096s+0.236s1m39.018s
5Johann ZarcoPrima Pramac RacingDucati+0.05s+0.286s1m39.068s
6Maverick ViñalesAprilia RacingAprilia+0.112s+0.398s1m39.18s
7Jorge MartinPrima Pramac RacingDucati+0.026s+0.424s1m39.206s
8Fabio QuartararoMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha+0.075s+0.499s1m39.281s
9Francesco BagnaiaDucati Lenovo TeamDucati+0.194s+0.693s1m39.475s
10Marc MarquezRepsol Honda TeamHonda+0.062s+0.755s1m39.537s
11Aleix EspargaróAprilia RacingAprilia+0.015s+0.77s1m39.552s
12Jack MillerRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM+0.006s+0.776s1m39.558s
13Alex RinsLCR Honda CASTROLHonda+0.037s+0.813s1m39.595s
14Franco MorbidelliMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha+0.034s+0.847s1m39.629s
15Enea BastianiniDucati Lenovo TeamDucati+0.053s+0.9s1m39.682s
16Miguel OliveiraCryptoDATA RNF MotoGP TeamAprilia+0.112s+1.012s1m39.794s
17Raul FernandezCryptoDATA RNF MotoGP TeamAprilia+0.1s+1.112s1m39.894s
18Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda+0.165s+1.277s1m40.059s
19Augusto FernandezGASGAS Factory Racing Tech3KTM+0.144s+1.421s1m40.203s
20Pol EspargaróGASGAS Factory Racing Tech3KTM+0.268s+1.689s1m40.471s
21Fabio Di GiannantonioGresini Racing MotoGPDucati+0.006s+1.695s1m40.477s
22Brad BinderRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM+0.509s+2.204s1m40.986s

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