Marc Marquez demonstrated his speed in Portugal on Saturday, setting a lap strong to challenge for pole position. Unfortunately yellow flags forced the lap to be cancelled. He will now line up ninth for Sunday’s Grand Prix, one place ahead of Pol Espargaro.
The weather was again a significant factor in the Algarve day’s action as the morning rain was replaced with a dry track and strong sunlight in the afternoon.
Marc Marquez seemed comfortable in all conditions. In Q2, Marc Marquez put on a classic Marquez performance, winning pole. Marc Marquez expertly navigated the still-dry track. With a lap time of 1’42.295, Marc Marquez was at the top on the time sheets. However, due to yellow flags being present on track, the lap times were not recorded. The #93 will therefore start in ninth place on the grid, with a lap time of 1’43.575.
The rain showers continued to plague Free Practice 3 at day’s beginning. Only a few riders were able to improve their overall times. Marc Marquez, Pol Espargaro and the rest of the top ten were able to keep their positions after doing the heavy lifting Friday. Marquez crashed at Turn 8 in the morning session. However, he was not injured. Marquez, Espargaro, and both of them sat through the closing stages of session because the weather was getting worse.
Espargaro quickly learned how to use the drying track in Q2 & post competitive times. To better understand the conditions, the #44 decided to stay out the entire session. However, he was pushing hard for his final lap and fell at the last corner due to a wet patch.
Espargaro, who was unharmed in the fall fell, was greatly disappointed with his final qualifying result of 10th. He and the team believed he had a lot more potential.
Alex Marquez won the Honda top honours with a well-earned 7th place. He had led Q2 for most of the time on his LCR Honda machine. Repsol Honda Team will be trying to take advantage of the Honda RC213V’s quick start to gain positions early in the race. Marquez proved last time in Austin that there is always potential. Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix will be 25 laps long.