Fabio Quartararo was favourite for pole during today’s MotoGP qualifying in Portimao after being fastest in FP3 and FP4, and while he didn't disappoint, it was a slightly fortuitous pole position in the end, as Francesco Bagnaia had his time taken away. 

Bagnaia had momentarily set a new circuit lap record just as he did in Qatar three weeks ago, but this time had his lap taken away after ignoring yellow flags caused by Miguel Oliviera’s crash. 

Speaking at the riders post qualifying press conference, Quartararo said: "The taste of this pole position is not exactly the same of the other ones, but the most important was to start from the front row and we achieved our goal. 

"Most of all, the good thing was the pace this morning with old tyres. But also testing the tyres in the afternoon, the pace was great and with used tyres I feel I could push a little bit more." 

This is not a surprise given team-mate Maverick Vinales was able to sustain impressive lap times on tyres that had done a full race distance during FP4, but puts Yamaha in a good position for tomorrow. 

With the Algarve International Circuit being quite green over the first two days regarding grip levels, the Yamaha is one of the bike’s that has looked the most comfortable, and crucially on both the medium and hard tyres.  

"Everytime it is changing and also from this morning I felt different to this afternoon. For us it looks like both tyres are working well. Right now I am more into the medium, but tomorrow we will see if we try the hard during the warm up," added the 21 year-old. 

"I’m feeling confident with both tyres so whether we go with the hard or the medium, both are great options for the race."

Heading into tomorrow’s Grand Prix, there won’t be a full grid, as rookie sensation Jorge Martin has been declared unfit following a big crash during FP3. 

The replay of Martin’s crash at turn seven was replayed repeatedly during the red flag period for all the riders to see whilst sitting in their pit box. This has also raised controversy in F1 with drivers not happy about the continued showing of accidents on TV and social media, which Quartararo is also not a fan of. 

"Honestly, I go outside the pit box. I just go away from the box and wait. It’s not great, especially for the family involved,” said Quartararo. 

"They put if the rider is conscious or not but that’s it. For me, we had four minutes left of the session and it is time attack mode where veryone will push like hell.

"So for me it is not a good idea to put on the replay every time of the crash, as we know he (Martin) had a big crash. 

"We saw him on the ground and I think these are images that are not great to see for us, but more importantly for the family to see, as they don’t really know (what’s happened)."

 

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