LCR Honda rider Alex Marquez secured his first points finish of the 2021 MotoGP campaign at the Portuguese Grand Prix, as he finished one spot behind his brother Marc Marquez in eighth. 

It was an impressive recovery ride from 13th on the grid for Marquez, who had narrowly missed out on progression to Q2 during Saturday’s qualifying session. 

It turned out to be a rather lonely but comfortable race for the Spaniard, as he finished just over four seconds down on his brother, while a similar margin was in his favour over ninth placed Enea Bastianini

Not only was it important for Marquez to claim his first points of the year, but also finish the race following a double DNF in Qatar.

Track conditions played a huge role in Sunday’s race as it was much hotter than at any other stage during the weekend, which made managing the front tyre difficult for many riders. 

Valentino Rossi, Johann Zarco, and Alex Rins were just a few riders who lost the front and crashed during the race. Marquez said that managing ‘the front’ was very ‘difficult’ especially on corner entry.

"Today we had the highest temperature on track compared to FP2, FP3, or FP4. So it was a little bit difficult to manage the front, but also the rear as we lost a little bit of grip," added Marquez. 

"Also I was not able to enter the corner with speed, because the front tyre was a little bit soft, so I was touching the gas a little bit too early and we are creating this spin also in the rear. 

"So the balance was not really perfect. Good result, P8, but a little bit too far from the top. It's true that I was in a position that it was difficult to push, because I didn't have the chance to recover the gap with Marc, or had somebody behind me who was pushing me. 

"So I was just trying to make my race, trying to be constant, trying not to make any mistakes, and just trying to finish the race. 

"Because after Qatar it was so important to finish the race. So we struggled about the grip, but in general, it was a positive weekend for us."

Following the race, all eyes were on his eight-time world champion brother who managed a brilliant seventh place result on his comeback. 

This was only the second race together in MotoGP for both (Alex) and (Marc), and the LCR Honda rider spoke about his happiness and ‘unbelievable’ performance of his older brother, but also joked about him (Marc) finishing ahead and what that felt like.  

The 2019 Moto2 world champion said: "I'm not happy, you know. He's a bastard, he beat me in the first race! [Laughs].” 

"I made the whole race behind him and I said, f*ck. I tried to push, I tried to push, I tried to push, but then also like ten laps to the end he started making 1'40s low and pushing again, so I said I cannot do this. 

"But like I said on Thursday, it's a special weekend for all the family for sure. It's a weekend that, OK, can be better, but we both finished with a good result. 

"I need to say that his comeback is unbelievable after many months. In the first laps we saw with him that he was not used to being in the race, and he made some mistakes, also the overtakes he did. 

"But anyway, he fought until the last lap, it's unbelievable. His reaction when he came to the box because he knows better than anybody what his situation was, and that's it. 

"He knows better than anybody the situation he was in, and he deserves to finish P7 and he did an amazing job all the weekend."

 

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