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MotoGP Portimao: Repsol Honda locks out FP2, Espargaro fastest

Repsol Honda was firmly in charge as Friday drew to a close on the Algarve as Marc Marquez headed Pol Espargaro in the combined times.

Marquez’ 1’50.666 morning lap remained on top as his teammate matched, just 0.041s adrift, to command the afternoon. Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir completing the top three, thanks again to his FP1 effort.

Friday’s afternoon action began with a break in the rain but a sodden 4.6km track. Pecco Bagnaia crashing out at turn three having set the 1’51.789 pace on the Ducati Lenovo with Pol Espargaro bettering next time around with an impressive 1’50.984, to take second overall.


The Repsol Honda was joined by teammate Marc Marquez after ten minutes on track, the pair split by a full second, as Pramac’s Jorge Martin advanced to fourth. The strong Honda performance continued with LCR duo Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami sitting fifth and sixth before Franky Morbidelli separated them on the Monster Energy M1.

Aprilia’s Maverick Viñales continued a strong run in the challenging conditions as he placed the RS-GP in seventh, Aleix Espargaro still adrift in 15th as Andrea Dovizioso arrived to third. The afternoon pace, however, was still down on the morning’s best as the WithU Yamaha’s 1’51.756 left him 14th in the combined times.

The rain returned with 20 minutes done and the majority of the pack hit pitlane. Marco Bezzecchi remaining out on track as he built up his wet knowledge of the rollercoaster layout on premier class machinery before turn nine collected the VR46 Ducati at high speed.

Just two riders had yet to register a time at the halfway stage - Tech3 KTM’s Raul Fernandez and the second Mooney VR46 of Luca Marini. Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio the last of the classified riders, five seconds adrift of the outright pace.

Just a handful of riders circulated as the second half counted down. The KTM’s among the ten on track as they chipped away at their wet weather set up with more joining the action in the closing minutes.

Two minutes to go and Johann Zarco crashed out at turn two, the track once again awash with water. The top ten times remaining unchanged as just Espargaro’s leading effort showed improvement from Friday morning.

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