Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo continued his dominance in MotoGP FP2 setting Friday’s fastest 1’39.390 lap of Portimao.
Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller completed the top three with home hero Miguel Oliveira struggling at the back of the pack, in 19th.
The afternoon action saw Takaaki Nakagami in charge after the initial lap shuffle, from Joan Mir and Bagnaia, before his teammate Alex Marquez claimed the lead on lap four. Johann Zarco joined the LCR pair in third before Bagnaia and Franky Morbidelli regrouped for first and third respectively. Quartararo rose to second after commencing the session from the back of the field due to recurring track limit infringements.
The satellite Hondas were back ahead of all but the Ducati with their fifth efforts of FP2, their mid 1’40 pace enough for fourth and fifth in the combined times. Morbidelli bettering his fellow Monster Energy M1 for fourth in the session before Quartararo raised the stakes to go fastest with a 1’40.355.
Pol Espargaro launched to fourth as the afternoon practice neared the halfway stage, Mir, Miller and Alex Rins completing the top 10 with his elder brother narrowly adrift of promotion in 11th. The second Aprilia of Maverick Viñales circulated 13th, behind HRC replacement Stefan Bradl, with Iker Lecuona heading a KTM/Ducati train of Jorge Martin, Danilo Petrucci, Oliveira, Enea Bastianini and Brad Binder. Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Luca Marini completing the standings over a second slower than the champion out front.
Mir was on the up with 20 minutes to go as the Suzuki rode to second in the session and fourth overall. Marini doing likewise further back as he sat on the fringes of the top 10 by two-thirds distance.
A brace of red saw Bagnaia hit the top with a 1’40.007, Quartararo countering but falling three-tenths short in the closing 15 minutes as Miller moved to fourth. Nakagami returned to fifth, just ahead of Marquez with Espargaro heading Zarco, Rins and Marini for Q2 contention.
The late session shootout saw Mir storm the standings with a 1’39.770 before hunting for more next time around. The 2020 champion was successful in his quest, upping the pace by a further tenth with Bagnaia and Zarco honing in from second and third. Miller hit the top as the final minute got underway before Quartararo blitzed with a 1’39.390.
The Frenchman held tight as the flag came out with Friday’s fastest lap, Bagnaia bettering Miller and Mir in the dying seconds with Pol Espargaro completing the top five. Zarco claimed sixth as the final rider running 1’39 pace, while Marquez held off late charges from Aleix Espargaro, Nakagami and Rins for the final provisional Q2 positions.