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28 days ago
By motogp.com

Can Champion Mir maintain his impressive comeback record?

Of his seven podiums in MotoGP™, Suzuki’s World Champion has achieved four of them from outside the top two rows – he starts P9

For the 11th time in MotoGP™, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) will roll up to the grid and place his YZR-M1 into the P1 grid slot. The Frenchman benefited from Francesco Bagnaia’s (Ducati Lenovo Team) unreal lap being cancelled, and is aiming to make it back-to-back victories in 2021.

Below are 10 stats that have emerged from Saturday’s action at the Grande Prémio 888 de Portugal, take a look to get yourselves set for race day in Portimao:

1. Quartararo has qualified on pole position for the first time since the Aragon GP last year and the 11th time overall in the premier class, one less than his teammate Maverick Viñales and Johnny Cecotto.

 

2. On his 10 previous poles, Quartararo went on to finish on the podium six times, including two wins, both of which were at Jerez last year (Spain and Andalucia).

3. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified second as the highest-placed Suzuki rider, equalling his best qualifying result in MotoGP™ from Valencia 2018 and Europe 2020 when he finished both races in second.

"It's a big advantage" - Rins ready to cash in on front row

4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) has qualified third as the highest-placed Ducati rider for his first back-to-back front row starts since 2018 (Japan/Australia/Malaysia). He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the first time in three successive races in MotoGP™.

 

5. With Quartararo and Zarco, this is the first time there are two French riders on the front row since Brno last year (also with Quartararo and Zarco).

6. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has qualified fifth, which is his best qualifying result since he was second last year in Portugal on his way to finishing the race in third (his most recent podium).

7. After passing through Q1 for the fifth time in MotoGP™ (excluding Andalucia 2020), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who comes back from injury this weekend, qualified in sixth place which is the first time he has failed to qualify on the front row since he was 11th in Malaysia 2019 (although he finished second).

8. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) has qualified seventh for the second successive race. He will be aiming to give Aprilia their first top five finish since the introduction of MotoGP™ in 2002.

Marini bounces back from FP4 crash to take stunning eighth

9. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia), who finished second in the Moto2™ race last year in Portimao, has qualified eighth as the top rookie for his best qualifying result in MotoGP™ so far. He will be aiming to score his first points in the class.

10. 2020 MotoGP™ World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) passed through Q1 for the 14th time in MotoGP™ and managed to join Q2 for the fifth time along with Catalunya and San Marino in 2019, and Qatar and Doha this year. Of his seven MotoGP™ podiums so far, four of them came after he failed to start from the front two rows of the grid.

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