Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Portimao:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at Portimao:
A nice and sunny day encouraged the intermediate class to take their turn for the final practice session and riders fought for that precious top 14 until the very last second. Although Aron Canet briefly broke the lap record in the final three minutes, his time got cancelled for exceeding track limits, so Remy Gardner got to keep both the record and top spot in FP3. Friday leader Joe Roberts took his time to go any faster but eventually did and was two tenths slower than Gardner, with championship leader Sam Lowes close by.
Despite pretty scary dark clouds over the circuit, the intermediate class avoided any rain and got plenty of opportunities to decide the provisional top 14 in case Saturday morning has different plans weather-wise. FP1 leader Joe Roberts set camp at the top of the FP2 timesheets in the final quarter of the session, with an advantage of over three tenths of a second, and his closest challenger was perhaps unsurprisingly rookie Raul Fernandez.
The hint of sun in Portimao left the track almost dry as the intermediate class took their turn in FP1, although dark clouds were waiting the background. Riders made good use out of the improved conditions and it was Joe Roberts who scored top spot in the final couple of minutes of the session, the American half a tenth faster than Remy Gardner. The Australian was followed by stellar teammate Raul Fernandez, both of them briefly holding onto the top of the timesheets until Roberts climbed ahead.
Today, Dorna issued a press release praising the progress being made in the construction of the Mandalika International Street Circuit, the new circuit being built inside the Mandalika tourist resort on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini, Race Direction representative Loris Capirossi, and Dorna Managing Director Carlos Ezpeleta, son of CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, visited the Mandalika site to assess progress and the safety of the site.
During their meeting, the Dorna and FIM staff agreed a tentative schedule for events with representatives from the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and the Mandalika Grand Prix Association (MGPA). The plans for a World Superbike round in November were reaffirmed, subject to international travel being possible despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The parties also agreed to hold the inaugural MotoGP round at the circuit there in March 2022, with the option of a MotoGP test at the circuit during the Asian flyaways in October, should those races happen.
The New King?
If you haven't done so already, remember the name. It's testament to how good, how dramatic Sunday's action was that Moto3's mad, 18-rider dash didn't get top billing. But this may well be looked back on as the beginning of something very special in years to come. At just 16 years and 314 days of age, Pedro Acosta not only won his second ever grand prix; he did so by producing one of the great Moto3 rides in modern times.
It was a performance that showcased so many attributes. Self-belief. Fighting spirit. Raw speed. Maturity. Nerve. Acosta's riding to bridge the gap to the leading group was exceptional. But the manner in which he sliced through the pack of experienced names before holding off Darryn Binder's late response was another level altogether. Every once in a while, a teenager comes along and does something so remarkable the whole paddock is talking soon after. Marc Márquez at Estoril in 2010 comes to mind. As does Brad Binder's exploits at Jerez six years later. It's fair to say both have gone on to bigger and better things.
One of seven names penalised for brainless riding at the close of Friday evening's FP2, the reigning Red Bull Rookies Champion had every right to assume the chances of backing up his opening night podium were gone. "Yesterday I saw everything a bit dark," he said of accepting the punishment for his indiscretion.
It has been a long, long stay for the MotoGP paddock in Qatar. The first group arrived in the first days of March, for the first MotoGP test starting on March 5th. Then another three-day test starting on March 10th. Then the Moto2 and Moto3 tests, from March 19th to 21st. A week later the first Grand Prix weekend, and the first races on March 28th. And finally, on Sunday, April 4th, the second round of the season at Qatar. The MotoGP riders have spent 11 days riding around the Losail International Circuit. The Moto2 and Moto3 riders a "mere" nine days.
Everyone is very, very over being in Qatar. There is nothing left to learn at the track, despite the incredibly fickle nature of the conditions created by the (media- and PR-driven) need to hold the race at night. For some teams and riders, there was very little to learn there in the first place. Was there anything KTM had learned that would be useful in Portimão and Jerez, I asked Miguel Oliveira. "Nothing. It was simple and clear," the Red Bull KTM rider responded, clearly interested only in going home after so many weeks away. He wasn't the only one.
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at Losail: