2021 Algarve MotoGP, Portimao - Friday Free Practice LIVE!
Live updates, quotes and results from Friday practice for the 2021 Algarve MotoGP at Portimao!
MotoGP makes its second visit to Portimao, and third in a year, courtesy of this weekend's Algarve round.
Marc Marquez, winner of the past two MotoGP rounds, is not present for the penultimate race of the season, withdrawing after still feeling 'unwell' several days after sustaining a 'slight concussion' while training on an off-road bike.
That removes one podium contender, but plenty more remain with newly crowned champion Fabio Quartararo looking to repeat April's dominate victory over Francesco Bagnaia and Joan Mir.
However, home star and last November's winner Miguel Oliveira has also been handed a boost by the news that the hard front tyre option has been changed from the disliked asymmetric version selected for April's Portimao round, to a symmetric hard compound.
That's the type of tyre Oliveira used to win from pole position one year ago, and it could mean all the KTMs are more competitive than at the previous round.
Although Quartararo has already wrapped up the 2021 riders' title, with Bagnaia and Mir on course for second and third, Ducati and Yamaha remain locked in a close battle for victory in the teams' and constructors' championships.
There's also the Moto2 and Moto3 title fights to look out for, both of which could be settled this weekend.
Remy Gardner holds an 18-point lead over rookie Ajo team-mate Raul Fernandez in Moto2, with another Ajo rider, Pedro Acosta, 21-points clear of Leopard's Dennis Foggia in Moto3.
If Gardner or Acosta can extend their lead to 26 or more points on Sunday they will be crowned champion without the pressure of a final round showdown in Valencia next weekend.