Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao - Practice Results (3)

Practice results from the Portuguese MotoGP at Portimao, round 1 of 21 in the 2023 world championship.

Marco Bezzecchi leads FP3 for the Portuguese MotoGP, while world champion Francesco Bagnaia and factory Ducati team-mate Enea Bastianini both fell in the closing minutes.

FP3 is the only practice session of the weekend that does not count towards potential entry into Qualifying 2 (decided after Practice 2 on Friday).

There will now be a short (ten-minute) break before Qualifying 1 begins, which will include Marc Marquez and local star Miguel Oliveira.

GASGAS Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro has been ruled out of the remainder of the event after suffering injuries to his back, jaw and lungs in a nasty Friday accident.

An airfence has been added at the scene of Espargaro's accident (Turn 10) after the Spanish rider crossed the gravel trap and hit the barrier.

KTM's Brad Binder is riding with neck pain from a testing accident, while Aleix Espargaro recently underwent arm surgery.

Luca Marini fell in the opening minutes of FP3 after appearing to clip the back of Friday leader Jack Miller, with Bastianini (Turn 5) and then Bagnaia (Turn 1) lost the front of their Desmosedici in the closing stages.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao - Free Practice (3) Results
1Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)
2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
3Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Factory (RS-GP23)
4Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)
5Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)
6Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)
7Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Factory (RS-GP23)
8Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)
9Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)
10Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)
11Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)
12Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
13Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)
14Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP23)
15Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)
16Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)
17Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)
18Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)
19Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)
20Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)
21Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*

* Rookie

Fastest Friday time:
Jack Miller AUS KTM 1m 37.709s

Fastest lap at 2023 Portimao pre-season test:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 37.968s (Day 2/2)

Official Portimao MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 38.725s (2021)
Fastest race lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 39.435s (2022)

Practice 2

New Red Bull KTM rider Jack Miller stuns by posting the fastest time - and new all-time lap record - at the end of a dramatic Free Practice 2 for the season-opening Portimao MotoGP.

The session was interrupted by two red flag periods, the last of which saw Pol Espargaro taken away in an ambulance after a nasty accident at Turn 10.

With 15mins to go, Espargaro, who had earlier fallen due to a suspected technical issue, lost the rear of his GASGAS machine over the brow of a hill and was pitched onto the ground.

The Spaniard was followed into the gravel by his bike, both tumbling heavily all the way to the barrier. It is unclear if Espargaro was also hit by his machine. 

The #44 was described as 'conscious' with a later update detailing 'back and chest trauma'. He is being transferred to a local hospital.

RNF riders Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira had also fallen just before Espargaro, possibly caught out by the cooling late-afternoon track temperatures.

Older brother Aleix was fastest at the time of Pol's accident, which was the second red-flag period after a 30-minute delay due to timing issues at the circuit.

When the session eventually finished, one hour later than originally planned, Miller was literally jumping his KTM for joy after blasting from 13th to 1st - on a day when the next best RC16 was rookie Augusto Fernandez in 16th!

The KTM team seemed as shocked as anyone by the Australian's lap, which came while chasing Enea Bastianini's Ducati but with Miller gaining no obvious slipstream due to the early position of the start/finish line on the main straight.

Aprilia's Maverick Vinales and Francesco Bagnaia completed the top three. Reigning champion Bagnaia made a massive Marc Marquez-style front-end save on his way to briefly taking P1, then pulled off track moments later due to a technical issue (or fuel problem).

Marc Marquez followed Fabio Quartararo out of the pits for his final run, but fell and - like brother and morning leader Alex Marquez - was left outside the top ten, meaning they will take part in Saturday's Qualifying 1.

Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Joan Mir (second fastest this morning), Marco Bezzecchi and rookie Augusto Fernandez were also among those to fall this afternoon.

Red Bull KTM's Brad Binder is still sore from his big testing accident here two weeks ago. Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro is riding for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right forearm following arm pump-style problems at the final pre-season test.

The revised weekend schedule for 2023 sees a Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning, followed by qualifying and then the first-ever MotoGP Sprint race, starting at 3pm.

All riders set their best Friday laps during the one-hour afternoon session...

2023 Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao - Practice (2) Results
Pos RiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1^11Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)1'37.709s28/30339k
2^4Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.037s25/27341k
3^6Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.147s23/24342k
4˅1Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.190s25/27342k
5^2Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.282s25/29340k
6^2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.306s28/29336k
7˅2Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.403s26/28340k
8˅4Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.449s23/24341k
9^2Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.544s20/25340k
10^5Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.547s28/30341k
11˅10Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.676s25/27338k
12˅10Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.685s15/20331k
13=Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.707s25/26335k
14˅4Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.710s22/25340k
15^3Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.118s25/27335k
16^3Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+1.173s20/21334k
17=Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.195s18/21338k
18^4Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.201s24/25343k
19˅3Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.249s23/24342k
20˅6Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.269s27/29340k
21=Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+1.712s20/24338k
22˅2Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+2.421s9/10340k

^X Rider is X positions higher than Practice 1.
= Rider is same position as Practice 1.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than Practice 1.

Fastest FP1 time:
Alex Marquez SPA Ducati 1m 38.782s

Fastest lap at 2023 Portimao pre-season test:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 37.968s (Day 2/2)

Official Portimao MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 38.725s (2021)
Fastest race lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 39.435s (2022)

Practice 1

New Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez leads the MotoGP field during a damp opening practice for the 2023 Portimao season-opener.

Light rain in the previous Moto2 session returned for the start of the 45-minute MotoGP session, with Franco Morbidelli the first faller of the season after a highside (on slicks) at Turn 8.

Fortunately, the moisture cleared for the remaining half-hour, with lap times improving right to the chequered flag.

Jorge Martin was leading Marc and Alex Marquez as the final ten minutes began, with the Pramac Ducati rider's best time under the official race lap record.

The threat of more rain this afternoon meant some riders threw on a new soft rear tyre for the closing minutes - including Alex Marquez, new Repsol Honda signing Joan Mir, plus VR46 Ducati riders Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, who swept into the top four places.

However, the likes of Ducati's reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia, Yamaha's 2021 title winner Fabio Quartararo and Honda's six-time premier-class champion Marc Marquez stuck with used rubber.

The new race weekend format sees an extended one-hour 'Practice 2' take place this afternoon, after which the top ten riders with direct access to Qualifying 2 will be decided.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP, Portimao - Practice (1) Results
1Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)1'38.782s12/15340k
2Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.045s13/14336k
3Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.140s18/20339k
4Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.236s16/17339k
5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.286s16/16340k
6Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.398s15/16343k
7Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.424s7/16341k
8Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.499s16/16339k
9Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.693s10/16341k
10Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.755s11/14336k
11Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.770s11/13338k
12Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.776s14/17340k
13Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.813s14/14338k
14Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.847s12/13338k
15Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.900s13/14335k
16Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.012s14/15339k
17Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.112s11/13336k
18Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.277s14/14334k
19Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+1.421s12/17340k
20Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+1.689s11/12339k
21Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+1.695s12/13332k
22Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+2.204s15/15336k

* Rookie

Fastest lap at 2023 Portimao pre-season test:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 37.968s (Day 2/2)

Official Portimao MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati 1m 38.725s (2021)
Fastest race lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 39.435s (2022)

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