Moto3 in Texas boiled up into a classic COTA encounter with the grid now moving from one unique layout to another, Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) arrives fresh from the top step having put some bad luck to bed, and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) likewise back on the podium – with the two making amends from a more dramatic encounter in Argentina. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), meanwhile, was once again fast, consistent and drama free – something he’s making a habit of in 2022, and something that’s put him 16 points clear in the standings.
Portimão has already been a good hunting ground for the Italian, with his speed having been consistently impressive and any bad luck purely that. Migno has also been on the rostrum in Portugal more than once and will be hoping to repeat the feat, but it’s now Masia who arrives looking to prove flashes of speed at the venue can return some big points this time around.
On the other side of the coin, Sergio Garcia (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) is looking to bounce back from bad luck at Austin to find some more podium pace on the Algarve, and teammate Izan Guevara will want to be right back in that rostrum fight too. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) heads in with his form seemingly ironed out and shouldn’t be discounted, but the names of the potential frontrunners go on. And then there are the rookies.
There have been some standout performers so far, but on speed alone the honours until this point have to go to Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI). The Brazilian has had a mix of bad luck and mistakes, to be expected in a first World Championship season, but the pace has been stunning – and the veterans on the grid will be sarcastically pleased to know that on his debut in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup last season in Portimão, he promptly put it on pole and then came second in the first race. That’s a good omen, and he’ll be hoping to arrive in good shape after his crash in Texas left him needing to be passed fit ahead of the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal.
VisionTrack Honda’s Scott Ogden is also putting together a quietly impressive campaign and gaining traction, and he’ll want more on more familiar ground. Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo), meanwhile, has had some serious speed of late – but also a few extra and unwanted adventures. He’ll want to iron that out and make pace pay for points in Portugal.
Moto3 returns to the top of the schedule this weekend, but with Portugal level on timezones with the UK, lights go out at 11:20 BST.