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Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao Free Practice 1 | Marc Marquez leaves it late to take early initiative

Gold & Goose

Marc Marquez has drawn first blood by topping opening free practice for the Portuguese MotoGP at a chilly and overcast Portimao, ahead of this weekend’s second round of the 2024 MotoGP World Championship.

Hitting the top of the timesheets with his very final effort beyond the chequered flag being waved, Marquez got the better of Maverick Vinales and Brad Binder as he continued his encouraging transition to his new Gresini Ducati GP23.

Arriving in Portugal with heightened expectations of a potential podium challenge after coming home fourth on his Ducati debut in Qatar, Marquez - who started on pole for Honda at Portimao in 2023 - would spend the latter-half of the session persistently rebounding to the top of the timesheets as an evolving surface slowly dried following earlier rain.


However, after being bumped down by Binder and then Vinales in the closing seconds, Marquez - taking advantage of a tow from Joan Mir - would go quicker again by a decisive two tenths of a second to hold the top spot.

Despite feeling the effects of a virus, Vinales dug deep to lead the Aprilia challenge in second, with Binder - who spent the first half of the session trialling brand-new aero devices - tucking into third place, just ahead of KTM Factory Racing team-mate Jack Miller in fourth.

Almost two months on from the crash at Portimao that knocked him unconscious and would go on to sideline him for bothMotoGP pre-season tests, Franco Morbidelli made a welcome appearance up in the top five as he continues to get acuqinated with his Prima Pramac Ducati GP24, the Italian a whisker ahead of team-mate Jorge Martin in sixth.

Behind the Pramac pair, Alex Rins raised some spirits in the Monster Energy Yamaha Racing camp with the seventh fastest time, the Spaniard having run comfortably inside the top three for much of the session, while home hero Miguel Oliveira starts solidly in eighth. Alex Marquez and Mir completed the top ten on their respective Gresini Ducati and Repsol Honda machines.

Elsewhere, the factory Ducati Lenovo Team made a low key start to the weekend with Pecco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini 13th and 19th respectively, similarly Aleix Espargaro down in 20th.

With temperatures expected to rise later on today, lap times are tipped to be substantially faster for the Q1/Q2-deciding Practice session this afternoon.

🇵🇹 ⏱️ 2024 Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao | Free Practice 1 Results

Friday | Conditions - Damp-to-dry, cool, overcast
🇵🇹 ⏱️ 2024 Portguese MotoGP Results | Portimao, Portugal | Free Practice 1 Results | Round 2 of 21
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 40.484
2Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 40.649
3Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 40.689
4Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 40.840
5Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 40.861
6Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP241m 40.906
7Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 40.934
8Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 41.107
9Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP231m 41.119
10Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 41.190
11Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 41.242
12Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 41.277
13Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 41.289
14Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 41.531
15Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC161m 41.606
16Johann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 41.672
17Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 41.687
18Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP231m 41.715
19Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP241m 41.728
20Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 41.784
21Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 41.977
22Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V1m 42.082

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