July 20, 2024
2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results (Updated)

Rennie Scaysbrook | March 27, 2023

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News—Sunday

Marquez, Race Direction under fire

Marc Marquez was under fire after a wild Sunday in Portugal ended in a collision that bruised Miguel Oliveira’s right hip, as well as potentially damaging some ligaments, and breaking a toe on Jorge Martin’s right foot. What’s more, he suffered a potentially fractured first metacarpal in his right hand, which was operated on on Sunday evening.


Update: Marquez Will Not Race at Argentina GP

Upon returning to Spain for further checks, Marc Marquez was diagnosed with a displaced intrarticular fracture of the base of the first metacarpal of the thumb of the right hand. The #93 immediately underwent surgery at the Ruber Internacional Hospital in Madrid with Dr. Ignacio Roger de Oña leading a team consisting of Dr. Samuel Antuña and Dr. Andrea Garcia Villanueva.

The surgery consisted of a closed reduction of the fracture and internal fixation of the same with two screws and passed without incident.

Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team have elected for the eight-time World Champion to miss the next round of the World Championship


2023 Portuguese MotoGP News sunday
Miguel Oliveira and Marc Marquez crash has seen Marquez come under intense fire from some competitors.

While he was handed a double Long Lap Penalty for the upcoming race in Argentina, his peers called for a tougher sanction. “What they said in the prerace briefing was if you keep doing things, you will get stronger penalties,” said Martin. “He keeps doing the same, so he needed to get a stronger penalty. But we all know it’s Marc and they will do nothing. It’s a shame.” Aleix Espargaro went one step further. “They have to ban him one race minimum,” he said. “The speed he hit Miguel, he could’ve destroyed the knee.”

Espargaro then turned his ire on the FIM Stewards, who penalized Joan Mir for a collision with Fabio Quartararo in the Sprint, but not Alex Marquez, who pushed Maverick Viñales wide in the same encounter. “I’m not saying it was a penalty for Mir, but if you do it, you have to do the other actions as well.”

Marquez’s Mea Culpa

Marquez appeared genuinely contrite on Sunday afternoon after his mistake ruined the chances of home hero Miguel Oliveira. “Today, the most important is that Miguel is OK. Because I did a big mistake on Turn 4 [3], in the first part and this created everything,” admitted the eight-time champ.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News sunday Marquez
Marc Marquez was very apologetic after his Sunday crash.

“I braked and had a massive lock with the front tire. That created that I released the brakes. My intention was to go to the left side. But the bike stayed at that lean and I couldn’t avoid going to the right side. I was able to avoid Martin but couldn’t avoid Miguel. I was very worried for him because the contact was big. I already said it personally – but I want to say sorry to him, to his team, to the Portuguese fans. I have been penalized for that mistake with a double long lap penalty, that I completely, completely agree.”

Oliveira accepted the apology and now faces a rush to be fit for Argentina. “He said that probably he had a problem on his brakes. I mean, there’s nothing I could really say. Of course, there is respect and obviously his apology is accepted. But, at the same time, when we have a problem with the brakes on these bikes, usually we brake a bit earlier and we don’t try to overtake. So this is the main thing. For sure, he knows this better than me.”

Sunday MotoGP Race

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) made it double delight in Portugal, backing up a first Tissot Sprint win with the Grand Prix trophy to match. It was far from easy, however, with Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) pushing the Italian all the way to the flag on Sunday, just 0.687 off that elusive first win with Aprilia. Completing the podium came Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), the sophomore able to pull clear of a gloves-off fight for fourth.

There was drama in that fight at the front early on, with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) heading in hot and making contact with home hero Miguel Oliveira (CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team). Marquez has a suspected fracture in his 1st metacarpal on his right hand but said he expects to ride in Argentina, whereas Oliveira was bruised but rider ok.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Bagnaia wins
Bagnaia was supreme in Portimao taking two wins from two starts.

Off the line, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) defended the holeshot but it was close as Oliveira got an absolutely barnstorming start. The shuffling in the pack then began, and the first frisson of drama hit for Marc Marquez as he went past Martin, the number 89 came back and the number 93 was briefly out the seat. Still, Marquez held onto a place near the front of the fight.

At the end of Lap 1, it was Oliveira leading over the line in front of his home fans, ahead of Martin and Bagnaia, but the number 1 struck at Turn 1 to head through on Martin. Not long after, the Ducati Lenovo machine attacked for the lead as well, and not long after that came the drama.

Marc Marquez clipped Martin before making contact with Oliveira just ahead of both, with the number 93 and the number 88 both going down as they collided and slid out of the race. Martin was also forced into the run off, losing some time, and that changed the playing field: it was now going to become a race-long duel for the win, with Bagnaia leading Viñales by almost nothing.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Marquez crash
Marquez (93) clobbered Oliveira in a sickening impact. The Portuguese rider was shaken but unhurt. Marquez suffered a broken metacarpal and will serve a double-long lap penalty next week in Argentina.

Lap by lap, the two remained evenly matched. When Bagnaia pulled away, Viñales pulled it back. Right down to the final lap, as it went from over a second to seven tenths to half a second… but the Aprilia just couldn’t quite strike. Bagnaia kept his cool to finish the season opener in perfect style, taking his first Grand Prix win of the year. Viñales took second and again just tenths from that history-making win on a third different machine, and he’ll likely be targeting that in Argentina.

Meanwhile, Bezzecchi had been glued to Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), but he was able to pull clear of that scuffle to take a calm, measured and impressed third. The fight for fourth then seriously went off.

After huge gains off the start, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) had caught his new teammate and Alex Marquez, and not long after that, Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) arrived on the scene too. Not to be left out, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) then also joined the party, with the last few laps a real scuffle to remember.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez had an excellent Ducati debut with fifth place.

After a serious final push from Zarco, it was the Frenchman who took P4 – just hundredths ahead of Alex Marquez. Binder was forced to settle for sixth with Miller for close company, with Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro just behind. Fourth to ninth was covered by just over a second. Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) completed the top ten, ahead of Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) after the number 36 also had a Long Lap to contend with.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) gained some points as the final finishers.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Espargaro
Espargaro leads Rins, Quartararo, Fernandez and Martin.

After the flag, there was more drama too – or more, another arc to Marc Marquez’ eye-catching weekend in Portugal, full of good speed but ending with that mistake. He’ll have a double Long Lap to serve in Argentina, and have a check up on his hand beforehand.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP Race Result

1 Francesco Bagnaia (Duc) 1:38.875
2 Maverick Viñales (Apr) + 0.687
3 Marco Bezzecchi (Duc) + 2.726
4 Johann Zarco (Duc) + 8.060
5 Alex Marquez (Duc) + 8.125
6 Brad Binder (KTM) + 8.247
7 Jack Miller (KTM) + 8.381
8 Fabio Quartararo (Yam) + 8.543
9 Aleix Espargaro (Apr) + 9.294
10 Alex Rins (Hon) + 11.992

Sunday Moto2 Race

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) started the 2023 season as he likely means to go on, holding off some serious pressure from Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) to come out on top and take the first spoils of the season. Canet was right with the number 37 until the last few laps, however, and takes 20 valuable points, with Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) overcoming a tougher qualifying and start to complete the podium.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Acosta
Pedro Acosta (37) steadily pulled clear of Aron Canet for the first win of the year.

Canet made a lighting start taking the holeshot into Turn 1, with Filip Salač (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2) and Acosta following the Spaniard closely in the opening stages of the race. One lap later and Acosta was on the move, slotting his way up the inside of Salač to take second. Soon after, he made an incredible dive for the race lead, and it didn’t take long until he began stretching out the gap in an attempt to break away. Canet stayed with him though, applying the pressure lap after lap. Only in the last few was Acosta able to pull clear, the number 37 proving the pre-season hype with an inch-perfect performance to take his first win of the year.

Behind Canet, the battle for the final spot on the rostrum was just as intense as Salač began to drop down the order, under attack from Manuel Gonzalez (Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46) before Arbolino arrived and conquered. The Italian also cut into the gap to the leaders but couldn’t get much closer than seven tenths, crossing the line third but that a solid start to the season after a tougher weekend beforehand.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Moto2 podium
Pedro Acosta, Aron Canet, and Tony Arbolino completed the Moto2 podium.

By the flag, Salač fought his way back through to catch and overtake the late-fading Gonzalez, taking fourth and pushing the Spaniard back to fifth. Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team) fought hard through the pack to take sixth, ahead of Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Jeremy Alcoba (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2).

2023 Portuguese Moto2 Race Result

1 Pedro Acosta (Kal) 1:42.525
2 Aron Canet (Kal) + 1.358
3 Tony Arbolino (Kal) + 4.460
4 Filip Salac (Kal) + 7.110
5 Manuel Gonzalez (Kal) + 8.193

Sunday Moto3 Race

Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) is now a Grand Prix winner! The season opener was a classic last lap showdown and the Spaniard put in an impressive performance to start his sophomore season on the top step, holding off David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) under some serious pressure. Moreira’s podium is his first and the first for a Brazilian rider in the lightweight class, and Holgado’s win is the first in Moto3™ for Tech3 as the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal hosted some history.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Holgado
Daniel Holgado leads the Moto3 freight train. He held on for his first GP victory.

There was early drama for Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as he couldn’t get away for the Warm Up lap, the Turk forced into a pitlane start. Once the lights went out though, Joel Kelso (CFMoto PrüstelGP) took the holeshot from the front row and immediately started to put the hammer down, but it didn’t take long for the chasing pack to close back in. Holgado and Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) both made for close company at the head of the freight train, and Moreira was soon on the scene too,  despite that tough qualifying for the Brazilian.

The classic group then formed, and by the last few laps the top 10 were glued together in a fight for the podium. They had some company soon enough though, with Öncü on an absolute charge to come back from his pitlane start. By the last few laps the Turk was into that group.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Moto3 podium
Daniel Holgado, David Munoz, and Diogo Moreira share the Moto3 podium.

At the front of it though, it became a battle of five for the podium: Holgado, Moreira, Muñoz, Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) and a stunning performance from rookie Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Holgado was inch perfect, however, and was able to withstand the pressure for that first win, with Muñoz getting past Moreira for second. The Brazilian’s podium is still his first, and the first for Brazil in the class!

Rueda was just forced to settle for a fourth place as he begins his full-time Grand Prix career, but he managed to stay a few hundredths ahead of Masia. Fellow veteran Sasaki will want more than sixth next time out, with Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team), Xavier Artigas (CFMoto PrüstelGP), Kelso and Öncü completing the top ten.

2023 Portuguese Moto3 Race Result

1 Daniel Holgado (KTM) 1:46.798
2 David Muñoz (Hon) + 0.374
3 Diogo Moreira (KTM) + 0.45
4 Jose Antonio Rueda (KTM) + 0.614
5 Jaume Masia (Hon) + 0.716

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News—Saturday

Marquez is back

On a dramatic day, it was hard to pick a standout performer. But Marc Marquez’s first dry pole position in 1253 days and third place in the Sprint race might just have pushed him ahead of Pecco Bagnaia and surprise man Jack Miller.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Marquez Saturday
Marquez was back to his usual aggressive self in the Sprint race.

Marquez appeared lost on Friday, complaining of a lack of feel on the front end on his uncompetitive Honda, and a chronic lack of grip on the rear. But changes to set-up and riding style made the difference on Saturday. “My team started to analyze what the other Honda riders are doing better than me,” he said. “Then what I did was copy their riding styles.”

The set-up change also came from following a way devised by new Honda men Joan Mir and Alex Rins. “We did a small change already this morning, especially electronics side. We were working there because all the Hondas were going in a different way, then I said, okay, why not try it?”

Sprint backlash

The inaugural MotoGP Sprint race was twelve laps of thrilling action. But it was also frantic and certainly in the early stages, scary. Luca Marini wiped out Enea Bastianini on the second lap, and Joan Mir crashed into Fabio Quartararo.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Quartararo Saturday
Quartararo is far from happy about the new format.

The Frenchman was one of many voices that felt the level of aggression was too much and this new format will invite similar riding all year long. “Not at all,” came the response when asked if he liked the new format. “And there will be a big accident. I mean, it’s a jungle. We are not in cars. In the future there will be many more crashes.”

Miguel Oliveira surmised it well. “It’s obvious when you reduce the number of laps and with it being hard to overtake then you try to overtake as much as you can in the first few laps. That carries risk and whoever is on the outside suffers more!”

Bastianini KO’d

Enea Bastianini’s championship hopes were dealt a serious blow on Saturday after cruelly being taken down by Luca Marini. A sharp fall at turn five broke the factory Ducati man’s right shoulder blade, ruling him out of Sunday’s race as well as next weekend’s Argentine GP.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Bastianini Saturday
Enea Bastianini was punted by Luca Marini and a broken right shoulder blade is the result.

Marini explained his mistake was minor, with the punishment not fitting the crime. “I was leaning 1 degree more to avoid any contact with Enea, and I lost the front,” he explained. “Then my bike hit him, and this was a pity also for him. Because these things can happen, but it’s always a problem. I’m sorry for this, but sincerely, it’s difficult to say a big fault for me. It’s a racing incident.”

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: MotoGP Sprint Race

The 2023 MotoGP season sprung into life as the lights went out and the adrenaline kicked in for the fastest motorcycle racers in the world. It was a fantastic start from ‘The Beast’ Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team), who flew from 6th on the grid into 2nd place as the grid barreled into Turn 1. Marquez took the whole shot, whilst a determined Bagnaia came charging through on his teammate pushing him wide at Turn 3, and opening the door for Martin to take advantage and slot himself into P3.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Sprint Race
The Sprint Race barks into life with Marquez making the early running.

As they came across the line for the first time Marquez was swallowed up by the following Ducatis of Bagnaia and Martin, who used their Ducati power to blast past the eight-time World Champion, demoting the Spaniard to 3rd spot in one fell swoop.

It was a disastrous start to 2023 for ‘The Beast’ and his factory Ducati career as early lap drama for the Italian saw his race end in the Turn 5 gravel trap. Bastianini went down after getting caught out the outside of Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) as he lost the front mid-corner.

Nine laps to go and it was the determined Jorge Martin who took the lead down into Turn 1, ‘The Martinator’ edging away from Pecco by almost half a second in just one lap.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Sprint Race Miller
Miller was charging hard and led briefly but couldn’t sustain the pace on the KTM.

Meanwhile, Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) were carving their way through the pack pushing Marquez back to P5. Determined as ever, the home hero Oliveira gave the Portuguese fans something the shout about, forcing his way through an extremely narrow gap to push his way past the eight-time World Champion.

With Miller and Oliveira having made their way up into 3rd and 4th respectively, their sights turned to the two Ducatis leading the race. It wasn’t long before Miller had a look at his former teammate Bagnaia, slotting up the inside at Turn 5, and putting his Red Bull KTM in 2nd place with seven laps of the Tissot Sprint to go.

One lap later and Miller fancied his chances at victory, firing his KTM up the inside of Jorge Martin to take the lead. The Spaniard wasn’t going to go down quietly, and after sitting behind the KTM for a little bit ‘The Martinator’ used the power of his Ducati to put himself back in front of the Aussie.

Whilst the battle raged on at the front, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) had found himself stuck in battles he didn’t want to be fighting. Struggling his way through the opening stages of the race, the Yamaha man had been pushed back to 14th spot and well out of contention to fight at the front.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Sprint Race Oliveira
Oliveira was looking good for a podium but ran wide on the last lap.

Using his indomitable champions’ spirit, the Frenchman managed to muscle his way back up to P10 with 6 laps to go. Despite running at a pace faster than the leaders, Quartararo couldn’t manage any higher than 10th place.

The story sounds all too familiar in the Quartararo camp, as he faces the mammoth task of bringing home solid points in Sunday’s race starting from 11th on the grid once again.

After sitting pretty in 3rd spot for a few laps and watching the action unfold, Bagnaia decided it was crunch time with 3 laps to go. The Italian proceeded in moving back in front of the 2nd placed Miller at Turn 1, chasing down a half-second gap to Jorge Martin who had begun to run away with the lead.

It was soon last lap time and Bagnaia had made his way right up to the rear wheel of Jorge Martin’s Prima Pramac Racing Ducati, and a two-way battle for the first-ever Tissot Sprint victory was lining up perfectly on the final lap.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Sprint Race podium
Francesco Bagnaia showed why he’s number one with the Sprint Race win from Martin (left) and Marquez (right).

With Bagnaia shadowing the Spaniard’s every move and applying the pressure, Martin made the tiniest of mistakes at Turn 5 and was swiftly punished by the reigning Champion as he hooked up his factory Ducati and blasted past the Prima Pramac Racing man on the exit of the corner.

It was smooth sailing for Bagnaia for the rest of the lap as he brought home his first victory of 2023.

The fight for the final spot in the top 3 started heating up nicely with drama at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap. Oliveira shot his Aprilia up the inside of Jack Miller, snatching 3rd away from the Aussie for a brief second but pushing them both wide and opening the door for Marc Marquez to take two in one, putting himself in 3rd.

Oliveira got back in front on the last lap but a mistake in the closing stages of the lap meant the home man dropped down to 7th, and it was Marquez who snatched a podium ahead of Miller and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing).

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: Sprint Race

1 Francesco Bagnaia (Duc) 1:38.577
2 Jorge Martin (Duc) + 0.149
3 Marc Marquez (Hon) + 0.224
4 Jack Miller (KTM) + 0.226
5 Maverick Viñales (Apr) + 0.285
6 Aleix Espargaro (Apr) + 0.228
7 Miguel Oliveira (Apr) + 0.292
8 Johann Martin (Duc) + 0.418
9 Alex Marquez (Duc) + 0.440
10 Fabio Quartararo (Yam) + 0.445

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: Qualifying

MotoGP™ is back with a bang as the first qualifying session of the 2023 season sees an incredible performance from Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who will start from pole position for both the Tissot Sprint and Sunday’s race at the Grande Prémio TISSOT de Portugal. The Spaniard took his 2nd pole position since 2019, setting a new all-time lap record followed closely by the reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), with Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) snatching the final spot on the front row.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Marquez pole
Pole time for Marc Marquez.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: Qualifying

1 Marc Marquez (Hon) 1:37.226
2 Francesco Bagnaia (Duc) + 0.064
3 Jorge Martin (Duc) + 0.228
4 Miguel Oliveira (Apr) + 0.295
5 Jack Miller (KTM) + 0.323
6 Enea Bastianini (Duc) + 0.358
7 Maverick Vinales (Apr) + 0.372
8 Marco Bezzecchi (Duc) + 0.390
9 Luca Marini (Duc) + 0.396
10 Johann Zarco (Duc) + 0.654

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: Moto2 Qualifying

A sensational 1:42.323 lap from Filip Salac (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) saw him take the first Moto2™ pole position of 2023. Aron Canet (Pons Wegwow Los4), and Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) put in strong efforts during Q2 bagging front-row starts in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Salac pole
Filip Salac came good for the Moto2 pole in Portugal. 

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: Moto2 Qualifying

1 Filip Salac (Kal) 1:42.323
2 Aron Canet (Kal) + 0.058
3 Pedro Acosta (Kal) + 0.284
4 Celestino Vietti (Kal) + 0.338
5 Manuel Gonzalez (Kal) + 0.405

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News—Friday

Espargaro KO’d

Friday ended under a dark cloud after Pol Espargaro’s horrific crash. The GASGAS rider crashed at turn 10, flew through the gravel and impacted the trackside barrier at considerable speed, suffering a pulmonary contusion, jaw fracture and a fractured dorsal vertebra in the process.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News
Espargaro in happier times earlier today.

“It was a high-energy crash,” said Dr Angel Charte, MotoGP Medical Director. “For all regions of the back he is perfectly OK in the cervical region and neurologically he is fine and didn’t lose consciousness in any moment. He is conscious, very aware but slightly sedated.”

The 31-year old was transferred to Faro hospital by helicopter, 30 minutes from the circuit, on Friday evening for further checks.

Riders concerned by track safety

Pecco Bagnaia was quietly seething at the state of track safety at the Algarve International Circuit. The reigning World Champion was not only non-plussed by the gravel traps, where the stones are bigger than they should be; he felt the gravel was partly responsible for the extent of Espargaro’s crash.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News Pecco
Pecco was unimpressed by the track safety in Portugal.

“It was a bad crash, but as big as like this. Because when Pol arrived to the gravel, he started to accelerate. And I think the air fence there is either small or not there at all.”

And he feels riders’ complaints at the track have fallen on deaf ears of late. “It’s been four years that we are asking to change the safety of this track. Because the first time I arrived here, I did a track walk with my team, and I sent a picture of the gravel which is too big to (ex-Safety Officer) Franco Uncini. They had time to change.”

Miller finds his groove

No one was more surprised by Friday’s result than Jack Miller. The Australian improved his personal best lap time at the track aboard a KTM from the preseason test to Friday afternoon by a whopping 1.2s.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News Miller
What’s better than MotoGP wheelies? MotoGP bunny hops!

“Actually, I found a shortcut at turn three and then also in the last sector,” quipped Miller when asked how he found that lap time. “Already with the new engine, we made a big step. With the new chassis, we made a big step and then also with the change in philosophy in terms of electronics and so on, we’ve made a massive step.

“Exit by exit, session by session, I feel like I can make this bike more and more my own and also start to exploit the strong points of the KTM on entry with front feeling. The bike gives me a great sense of confidence in the front lap by lap, corner by corner, because you get an amazing reading off the tire.”

Friday MotoGP

Another two tenths have come off the fastest ever lap of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve at the 2023 Portuguese MotoGP, courtesy of none other than Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). “Thriller” lived up to his name to come out on top, defeating Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) by less than half a tenth. Third goes to the previous record holder at Portimao, reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), as rollercoaster Day 1 sets the new era in motion.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Miller
Jack Miller surprised even himself with a blistering final lap to take the Friday P1.

P1

Light rain in the opening stages of the session saw the majority of the grid watch the opening laps from the pitlane, but with about half an hour to go, the rain cleared and it was go time. A flurry of fast laps in the closing stages of the session decided the order, and an incredible lap came in from Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) to secure top spot.

Meanwhile Repsol Honda – aka Marc Marquez and Joan Mir – did some formation flying, and by the end of the session Mir secured second with some solid early signs. The Mooney VR46 Racing Team duo of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi also pushed hard in the morning, taking third and fourth.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Vinales
Vinales very nearly topped Miller with his P2 time.

The top Aprilia was Viñales in sixth, ahead of Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), who led the session up until the closing stages. Key title contenders Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Bagnaia had a relatively quiet session and finished P1 locked together in eighth and ninth, with Marc Marquez forced to settle for P10.

P2

It was a stop start afternoon session with a first Red Flag due to systems issue at the track, but as the clock ran down the times continued to tumble. Martin set a mid-session banker, the first rider to get below the previous race weekend record, and with the pace set, the rest of the grid chased down the Spaniard’s lap time. The riders were pushing hard, including the 2022 Champion Bagnaia, who also had a high-speed moment, saving it heroically on his elbow as he hurtled through the fast-flowing final corner.

With 15 minutes to go, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) went top, before a second Red Flag caused another stoppage due to a crash for Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3). The Spaniard was taken to Faro hospital for further examination and more details can be found here.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Bagnaia
Bagnaia completed the top three in third on the number one Ducati.

Once the session was back underway, soft tires were thrown in and another flurry of fast laps followed, as the riders competed to get into that all-important top 10 for a secure spot in Q2. With eight minutes to go, Pecco took his number-1-plated Ducati to the top with an incredible 1:37.856, but that was all she wrote for the Italian following his stellar lap as he swiftly retired from the session with an issue. That left a target, and the timing screens began to light up with just two minutes remaining. Two riders bettered Bagnaia by the flag: Miller and Viñales, who both flew into the 1:37 club to put themselves in prime positions heading into Saturday.

That left Bagnaia third ahead of Marini who bounced back into fourth, with Martin forced to settle for fifth. Quartararo takes sixth on Day 1… and had some company from Marc Marquez in the afternoon. Reminiscent of a few moments in recent seasons, the number 93 was locked onto the number 20 for a little while, and got caught out. Marquez went down at Turn 3 and lost his chance to improve further, finding himself out of Q1 but rider perfectly ok.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Espargaro
Pol Espargaro’s crash was a nasty one.

Behind Quartararo in sixth then comes not Marquez but Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), with Bezzecchi next up. Aleix Espargaro goes through in ninth, with the last rider in Q2 for now proving Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team)…. just! Alex Marquez, Joan Mir, Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Marc Marquez will now head for Q1.

Cold tires caught out Bezzecchi and Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) early after the session was restarted. Both riders were up and ok, and back on track for the rest of the session. Miguel Oliveira (CryptoData RNF MotoGP™ Team) suffered a highside, rider ok, and teammate Raul Fernandez also crashed in the afternoon, rider ok.

Riders through to Q2: Miller, Viñales, Bagnaia, Marini, Martin, Quartararo, Zarco, Bezzecchi, Aleix Espargaro and Bastianini.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP: Friday

1 Jack Miller (KTM) 1:37.746
2 Maverick Viñales (Apr) + 0.037
3 Francesco Bagnaia (Duc) + 0.147
4 Luca Marini (Duc) + 0.190
5 Jorge Martin (Duc) + 0.282

Friday Moto2

Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team) got his 2023 Moto2 campaign off to a perfect start in Practice 1, topping the first session of the season at the Grande Prémio TISSOT de Portugal. The Brit was closely followed by Spaniards Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team) who are eager to impress with their rookie seasons in 2022 under their belts. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) and Fermin Aldeguer (CAG SpeedUp) rounded out the top five.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Dixon
Jake Dixon shrugged off a crash to take the Friday P1.

2023 Portuguese Moto2: Friday

1 Jake Dixon (GASGAS) 1:43.046
2 Pedro Acosta (Kal) + 0.005
3 Manuel Gonzalez (Kal) + 0.179
4 Tony Arbolino (Kal) + 0.187
5 Fermin Aldeguer (Bos) + 0.229

Friday Moto3

Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) topped Day 1 of 2023 at the Grande Prémio TISSOT de Portugal after an impressive Practice 2 performance. It was also a good start to 2023 for Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) and David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) who finished Day 1 in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

2023 Portuguese MotoGP News and Results Holgado
Daniel Holgado topped Moto3 on Friday.

2023 Portuguese Moto3: Friday

1 Daniel Holgado (KTM) 1:47.320
2 Diogo Moreira (KTM) + 0.150
3 David Muñoz (KTM) + 0.190
4 Ayumu Sasaki (Hus) + 0.345
5 Ivan Ortola (KTM) + 0.385

For more MotoGP news and results, click here