Pol Espargaro led a Honda 1-2 with teammate Marc Marquez in a rainy FP2 for the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix, while Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia crashed.
The Algarve International Circuit near Portimao experienced rain throughout the Friday sessions, with a harder downpour arriving 15 minutes into the 45-minute Free Practice 2.
The Spaniard set the fastest time of the practice – 1:50.707s – in the early minutes, but further improvements from the field were few and far between as rain continued to drench the Algarve International Circuit.
Espagraro’s performance propelled him to second in the combined timings after finishing 17th in FP1, his tour only 0.051s behind Marquez’s first test gambit, putting the factory Honda team leading and second overall heading into Saturday.
Factory Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia had already fallen at the Turn 3 right-hander just seconds after setting the quickest time with a 1m51.789s. Bagnaia escaped the spill, but when he returned to the pits, he was photographed picking up a handful of gravel and presenting it to Ducati chief Davide Tardozzi.
Tardozzi later stated that Bagnaia will present the stones to the rider safety commission this evening, citing the size of the gravel at Portimao and the resulting safety issues — a topic that has already been raised.
With a time of 1m50.984s, Honda’s Espargaro relegated Bagnaia from the top of the standings. Espargaro went on to increase his time to 1m50.707s, putting him just over a second ahead of Honda teammate Marc Marquez at one point.
With a 1m51.318s, Marquez clawed back some of the gap, although he was still 0.611s behind. With about 30 minutes remaining on the clock, the rain became more intense, preventing anyone from challenging Espargaro’s record.
Marquez, managed to finished second fastest in FP2 behind his Honda teammate Espargaro, despite being 0.606s slower.
Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest on his RNF Racing Yamaha, but his 1:51.756s was not enough to get him into Q2, given the conditions were worse than in FP1. The Italian was ahead of Francesco Bagnaia, who had a devastating crash at Turn 3 just a few minutes after the green flag was thrown on the test.
On his Pramac Ducati, Jorge Martin finished fifth, ahead of Alex Marquez’s LCR Honda and Franco Morbidelli’s factory Yamaha M1.
In FP2, Maverick Vinales slipped his Aprilia into eighth place, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami’s second LCR RC213-V, and Miguel Oliveira of KTM rounded out the top ten.
Joan Mir and Johann Zarco did not finish in the top ten in this session, after finishing 11th and 12th, respectively, but their achievements in FP1 keep them in the running for a direct-to-Q2 spot.
Meanwhile, midway through the session, Marco Bezzecchi survived a high-speed accident at Turn 9, his Desmosedici sliding out from under him as he navigated the fast left-hander, forcing him to high-side in a similar manner to Nakagami’s FP1 mishap.
Bezzecchi also made through through FP2 unscathed, his FP1 time keeping him in an automatic pole shootout graduation slot overnight.
In the meantime, reigning series champion Fabio Quartararo struggled in the rain, finishing 13th in the second race of the day, barely ahead of current points leader Enea Bastianini.
MOTOGP PORTIMAO, PORTUGAL – FREE PRACTICE (2) RESULTS
|1||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||1’50.707s||5/8||328k|
|2||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.611s||7/8||327k|
|3||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||+1.049s||7/16||322k|
|4||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+1.082s||3/8||326k|
|5||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+1.087s||5/8||325k|
|6||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+1.167s||5/17||330k|
|7||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.204s||6/11||318k|
|8||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+1.218s||6/9||331k|
|9||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+1.339s||5/16||329k|
|10||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.393s||5/20||324k|
|11||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+1.599s||5/9||330k|
|12||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+1.613s||5/11||329k|
|13||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.827s||5/10||325k|
|14||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||+1.875s||7/12||331k|
|15||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+2.258s||8/15||322k|
|16||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||+2.296s||7/11||324k|
|17||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+2.396s||5/12||326k|
|18||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+2.595s||5/10||329k|
|19||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+2.820s||7/17||325k|
|20||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+3.620s||3/15||329k|
|21||Darryn Binder||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||+3.678s||8/16||322k|
|22||Lorenzo Savadori||ITA||Aprilia Test Rider (RS-GP)||+4.169s||5/10||326k|
|23||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||+4.864s||7/15||324k|
|24||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+5.623s||3/9||319k|
|25||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+7.885s||4/7||319k|