Raul Fernandez dominated the Moto2 qualifying session with metronomic lapping around Portimao which lead him to chip his time down enough to set a new lap record to take pole ahead of the penultimate round of the championship - The Algarve Grand Prix at Portimao.

The rookie was fast from the off posting his new record best of 1m 42.101s towards the end of the session. 

Putting himself in the best place possible to attack his Red Bull KTM Ajo’s team-mate’s eighteen point lead and take the title fight to the final round, the pressure then shifted to Remy Gardner who was in seventeenth at the time.

A change of tyres saw Gardner’s performance improve. Still stiff and sore from his crash yesterday, the Australian left it late to close the session strongly. With no last minute yellow flags to hamper his performance the number 87 pulled back to eighth, then pushed even harder to finish just 0.269s behind Fernandez.

 

MotoGP Portugal 2021 | Full Qualifying results - FP3 - FP4 | Algarve GP

Both have good recent form around the track with Gardner winning the last race of 2020 held at the circuit, while Fernandez won round three at Portimao earlier in the season.

Fabio Di Giannantonio shook off a poor Friday and morning performance to come through Q1 with the top time and then go all the way to the third best lap in Q2 with his Federal Oil Gresini team, completing an all Kalex front row.

Aron Canet had done enough before his late fall at turn 13 to secure fourth as the top Boscoscuro rider for Quierocorredor Aspar. He was second in the race when Moto2 were last at the track in April.

Augusto Fernandez survived a few on board moments to claim fifth as the highest placing of the Elf Marc VDS Racing team-mates.

Cameron Beaubier made the most of going straight to Q2 and latched on to Gardner on the way out of the pits. Following the championship leader around the track helped the U.S. rider climb to sixth for American Racing, just one place short of his best qualifying placing.

Marco Bezzecchi made late moves in the wrong direction as he slipped to seventh for Sky Racing Team VR46. 

Eighth went to Sam Lowes on the second Marc VDS entry, the British rider did not seem as at one with with bike as he did when he claimed pole at the track last time around.

Ai Ogura had to back off of on his best laps, most notably when catching Augusto Fernandez. With his best runs all stifled in one way or another the Honda Team Asia rider starts from ninth on the grid.

Jorge Navarro completed the top ten for Termozeta Speed Up, finishing the session just faster than Xavi Vierge.

Tetsuta Nagashima, replacing Lorenzo Dalla Porta at Italtrans, will need to serve a long lap penalty in the race for riding irresponsibly in FP2. He finished Q1 in eleventh, for 25th on the grid.

Jake Dixon’s Q1 fall prevented any late hopes of progression. He starts from 20th on Sunday, There were also Q1 crashes for Fermin Aldeguer, and Joe Roberts, who landed on his recently operated on shoulder.