2021 Portimao MotoGP FP2 Result: Bagnaia Bags Top Spot

Although drops of rain fell right before the start of the premier class session, riders left pitlane with a glimpse of sunshine and a backdrop of dark grey clouds. Luckily for everyone, the rain failed to materialise, but riders took no chances and quickly improved FP1 times in the chase for provisional top ten positions. Many of the usual contenders put their name at the top of the timing screens at some point throughout the session but Ducati power reigned once again and Pecco Bagnaia beat the competition by three tenths of a second. Fabio Quartararo was his closest challenger in the end, while the Suzukis impressed by joining the top four in the final time attack, Joan Mir four hundredths of a second faster than teammate Alex Rins.

Jack Miller forgot all about his recent surgery and climbed into the top five and again found himself in the right place at the right time to give colleague Johann Zarco a ride to pitlane once his machine started smoking in the practice start area. Marc Marquez predictably grabbed some serious screen time, the Honda man steadily climbing up the timesheets but having a pretty bumpy final run. He had to rely on the final flying lap to break into the top ten and gave his knee, elbow and shoulder a good rodeo style workout on his way to sixth position - but after 265 days off the bike he will happy enough to be less than half a second off top spot.

Maverick Vinales finished within a tenth of his compatriot and even less ahead of Zarco. Home favourite Miguel Oliveira put his name in the limelight as well but eventually dropped to ninth place, making it five manufacturers in the top ten. Takaaki Nakagami had a bittersweet afternoon, the LCR man suffering a pretty big crash into turn 1 and worryingly walked away holding his arm. After being cleared to rejoin by the medical centre, he took part in the late time attack while in obvious pain and managed to join the provisional combined top 10, demoting his teammate by a tenth of a second. Aleix Espargaro looked like he could have completed the manufacturers' full line-up in the top 10 with his Aprilia but a late crash at turn 11 dropped him to 14th position.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'39.866    
2 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'40.206 0.340 0.340
3 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'40.285 0.419 0.079
4 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'40.328 0.462 0.043
5 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'40.336 0.470 0.008
6 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'40.339 0.473 0.003
7 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'40.426 0.560 0.087
8 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'40.490 0.624 0.064
9 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'40.592 0.726 0.102
10 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'40.611 0.745 0.019
11 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'40.732 0.866 0.121
12 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'40.743 0.877 0.011
13 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'40.761 0.895 0.018
14 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'40.907 1.041 0.146
15 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'41.125 1.259 0.218
16 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'41.140 1.274 0.015
17 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'41.183 1.317 0.043
18 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'41.187 1.321 0.004
19 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'41.216 1.350 0.029
20 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'41.836 1.970 0.620
21 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'42.461 2.595 0.625
22 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'42.921 3.055 0.460
Round Number: 
3
2021
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Comments

Was only two tenths ahead of Joe Roberts on a Moto2 bike. Anyone have any idea what happened? Watched FP2 in the gym and didn't pay as much attention as I should have...

It appears MM hasn’t lost a thing.
 
I also see that Yamaha may lose Morbidelli if they don’t give him a current bike. Kinda bullshit that they can’t. Ducati has 6 bikes on the grid, 4 are factory. Personally I see Morbidelli and Dovi on Aprilia next year, Espargaro moved to test rider 

I can't recall any teammates that went faster than Aleix on the Aprilia - so a demotion to test rider wouldn't be fair. Dovi and Morbidelli are great riders, but I've seen Espargaro rip around a track as fast as either of them. I believe he has been held back by second tier bikes his whole career.  I guess we'll see this year on the new and improved Aprilia!

Wild speculation but I can see Morbidelli displacing one of the Suzuki riders, whichever looks least promising this season; or, and this may be hopelessly not happening, going wherever Vale goes with VR46. He's too good to not be a hot pick for other teams, and to have his career ruined by being kept down by Yamaha.

Been calling BS on Yamahas claim they can't run extra full works machines since they moved their lips. Buying some parts or changing the job cards from 8 to 12 (example) should not be an insurmountable problem. Personally see it as their desire or lack of writ large. 

I believe that it's due to the rule that they have to run the same engine that was run last year, the fact that he had to run the old bike then is a different matter..They obviously didn't have much faith in him.

When Herve was running the Yamahas he once said that he couldn't wouldn't be allowed to run a factory bike even if he could afford it.

That last flyer from MM was something. Big, serious moment, lost at least 3 tenths, stayed in it and gets 6th. He'll be a threat for the win, for sure. 

In the pits afterward his body language was very clear, "I'm still Marc Marquez, and these other guys...they're not."  :)