Welcome to the beta version of the new Women & Golf website. Our web monkeys are still hard at work and welcome your feedback.  


MotoGP Portimao: Sixth pole for Fernandez as Arbolino flounders in Q1

Raul Fernandez secured his sixth Moto3 pole position of 2020 at Portimão this afternoon beating Jeremy Alcoba and Ayumu Sasaki to take the honours as the trio prepare to line up on the front row of the Portuguese GP.

It was an Algarve advantage for Ai Ogura in the title-battle as the Honda rider narrowly out-qualified his rival Albert Arenas while John McPhee failed to progress from Q1 despite a strong performance, missing out by 0.010 to finish 5th and 19th on the grid to Sunday’s 21-lap contest.

Championship-favourites Ogura and Tony Arbolino both had Q1 to contend with this afternoon as Moto3 qualifying got going at the Algarve International Circuit, McPhee similarly looking to progress from the opening 15-minute session.


Tatsuki Suzuki sat atop the standings after the initial flying laps with Stefano Nepa, McPhee and Riccardo Rossi for company, Ogura failing to set a time and returning directly to his pit-box after two laps on track.

Niccolò Antonelli pushed the pace on his next lap with Romano Fenati narrowly behind as Max Kofler advanced inside the safe-zone to fourth, the CIP rider improving again next time around to take third. Problems for Ogura continued as once again he entered the pits with no time registered, Arbolino also seeming to struggle, down in 11th.

The closing two minutes saw the times ignite with Arbolino estimated to take P1 before the Italian found himself off track and his lap ruined. Suzuki returned to the top on his fifth lap, with another seemingly in the tank, Antonelli, Darryn Binder and Fenati, so far, safe. The timing screens flashing red across the board as the chequered flag came out.

It was Binder who eventually took the spoils from Suzuki with Ogura securing his place in the shootout with his final effort, for third. Antonelli stole the last upgrade from a disappointed McPhee while confusion engulfed Arbolino’s performance, the Italian looking to sit up mid-way through his last-ditch attempt at a hot-lap, leaving him 13th and forcing the Snipers rider to fight from the ninth row for tomorrow’s title-deciding race.

Q2 began with Andrea Migno losing his Sky machine at turn four, Gabriel Rodrigo doing likewise at turn 12 moments later and the yellow flags impeding on a number of riders initial fast times. Fernandez took provisional pole - the Spaniard already secure as the most successful Moto3 qualifier of the 2020 season - with Alcoba, Sasaki and Arenas for company at the top while only nine riders had so far set times ahead of the penultimate minute.

A frenetic end to the session saw Ogura eventually set a time, although his first attempt was only good enough from 14th, while a gaggle of riders unexpectedly hit the flag after messing up their timing, their attempt at a hot-lap thwarted. With Arenas one of the riders to misjudge the line, the Spaniard settled for sixth as rival Ogura swept through to take fifth in the dying moments.

Fernandez concluded the season with his sixth pole of the season, Alcoba and Sasaki holding on to join him on the front row. Suzuki took fourth ahead of the battling title-rivals with Antonelli, Dennis Foggia and Jaume Masia behind on row three. Rodrigo recovered to 10th from Deniz Öncü and Sergio Garcia with Barry Baltus, Celestino Vietti and Yuki Kunii, the last riders to set a time, locking out row five. Migno, Kaito Toba and Darryn Binder concluded the top-18 despite no times set.

Click here for times

Articles you may like


More MotoGP

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram