Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales set a 1:42.127 in FP1 at the Grande Prémio 888 de Portugal to claim top spot in the opening 45-minute session of the weekend, the Spaniard beat second place Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) by 0.151s. Upon his eagerly anticipated return, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) finished P3, 0.251s away from P3 – incredibly impressive from the number 93.
Unsurprisingly, all eyes were focused on Marc Marquez’s side of the Repsol Honda garage at the beginning of FP1. Damp patches scattered around the Portimao layout was a far from an ideal way to return to MotoGP™ action after 265 days, but we didn’t have to wait too long before the eight-time World Champion emerged onto track. After six laps, the eight-time World Champion was just 0.061s behind early pacesetter Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and was looking good back on his RC213V.
However, as track conditions improved, so did the times. On his final flying lap, Marc Marquez went P1 and it looked like it would be a fairy tale comeback for the Spaniard, but two late laps from countrymen Viñales and Rins saw the HRC star demoted to P3. Nevertheless, a very promising return to action for Marc Marquez, as he returned to the box with a beaming smile. It’s safe to say: he’s back. Teammate Pol Espargaro was 0.004s off Marquez in P4, P5 went the way of Championship leader Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing).
Make sure you tune into MotoGP™ FP2 at 14:10 local time (GMT+1) for FP2, hopefully the forecasted rain stays clear.
1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – 1:42.127
2. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.151
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.251
4. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.255
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.316
6. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.337
7. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.401
8. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.409
9. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) + 0.654
10. Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) + 0.830