Miller tops Portimao FP2 as Espargaro suffers horror crash

Miller tops Portimao FP2 as Espargaro suffers horror crash

KTM’s Jack Miller emerged as the fastest with Spanish veteran Pol Espargaro hospitalized following a horrific crash during a hectic practice session on Friday for the season-opening Portuguese MotoGP.

Jack Miller surprised everyone by taking the lead for KTM, while Marc Marquez was the most notable of many riders to crash in the second free practice session of Portimao MotoGP.

Mir continued his strong start to the weekend by moving up to fifth after the first hand full of laps after placing second on his Repsol Honda debut in the opening practice. However, Maverick Vinales took the lead from Aleix Espargaro when P2 got underway marking factory Aprilia 1-2.

Espargaro, a first-time winner at the Argentina Grand Prix in 2022, appeared competitive again after setting the fastest time on his subsequent lap, which also placed him third overall based on cumulative lap times.

Aleix Espargaro was fastest, while the other was making his way back to the pit lane on the back of a scooter after Pol Espargaro crashed at the last corner. With Jorge Martin in third place, Espargaro and Vinales were the only riders to break the 1:39 barrier with to their quick starts to P2 ranks.

Still coming in second on the combined times Mir started Practice 2 in 19th place but suffered a tumble on the final sector.

Augusto Fernandez and Marco Bezzecchi experienced quick crashes once the practice resumed. At turn nine, Bezzecchi lost control, and in sector 2, Fernandez did as well.

Fabio Quartararo split off the factory Aprilia riders after achieving a lap time of 1m 38.8s before red flags were shown due to timing screen malfunctions.

Action resumed, with Vinales again in the lead, Martin in second, and Espargaro in third, though Bagnaia was putting pressure on the Aprilia rider’s time.

Bagnaia was the fastest overall in the first two sectors, but he fell back in the latter section of the lap and placed eighth. However, he quickly put together a full lap after moving up to sixth place, turning that into second on the combined times.

The factory Ducati rider was swiftly establishing himself as the early race favorite as others struggled to display the same level of consistency at least on older tyres.

The gap between the top three riders, Marquez, Bagnaia, and Vinales, was just 0.013 seconds. Vinales had been one of the few riders who appeared to have a chance to challenge Bagnaia during the race.

With less than 30 minutes left, the opening time attacks started as Martin, Marquez, and Luca Marini all shattered Bagnaia’s official lap record.

Alex Marquez, who piloted the Gresini Ducati and finished second, put considerable pressure on Martin’s lap time, which was still unsurpassed at this point. Mir then separated the two Ducati riders after closing the gap to the Pramac rider to +0.024 seconds.

Espargaro was the first rider to beat Martin, setting a time of 1:38.253 seconds just before the chaos unfolded. Raul Fernandez was the first rider to crash before Pol Espargaro and Miguel Oliveira met the same fate.

Espargaro was unable to stand up as a second red flag was brought out, unlike Fernandez and Oliveira who both swiftly stood up despite the latter suffering a significant highside. He was treated for a considerable amount of time while still conscious at the side of the track.

Luca Marini crashed while pursuing teammate Bezzecchi on a lap that was supposed to propel him to the top of the standings.

Martin achieved the first rider-record for a sub-1-minute-38-second lap in a MotoGP official session at Portimao, following Bagnaia’s performance during testing. However, Bagnaia retaliated, going over two tenths faster and regaining his lap record.

Additional lap records were set, but Miller and KTM surprised everyone by prevailing following the Australian’s outstanding final sector in which he improved by a tenth and a half on Vinales, who had gone a tenth faster than Bagnaia.


1^11Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)1’37.709s28/30339k
2^4Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.037s25/27341k
3^6Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.147s23/24342k
4˅1Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.190s25/27342k
5^2Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.282s25/29340k
6^2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.306s28/29336k
7˅2Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.403s26/28340k
8˅4Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.449s23/24341k
9^2Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.544s20/25340k
10^5Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.547s28/30341k
11˅10Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.676s25/27338k
12˅10Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.685s15/20331k
13=Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.707s25/26335k
14˅4Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.710s22/25340k
15^3Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.118s25/27335k
16^3Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+1.173s20/21334k
17=Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.195s18/21338k
18^4Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.201s24/25343k
19˅3Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.249s23/24342k
20˅6Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.269s27/29340k
21=Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+1.712s20/24338k
22˅2Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+2.421s9/10340k

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