After a day and a half of rain, the sun finally arrived on Portimao, giving us a very tight qualifying until the last moment, with the track conditions gradually improving, as well as the times of the protagonists on the track.
In the end the party is once again Ducati, which has reached its third pole of the season. Curiously, however, once again it is a Pramac Racing driver who puts a Desmosedici GP in front of everyone and today it is that of Johann Zarco, who arrived at the seventh start at the pole in his career in the premier class.
With the constantly evolving track, which practically imposed a single run on everyone, the Frenchman was the best at taking advantage of the very last lap available, dropping down to 1’42 “003 to give the Borgo Panigale manufacturer a joy. in a day that started badly, with the elimination and fall in Q1 of Pecco Bagnaia, who ended up in hospital with a sore shoulder.
Zarco denied Joan Mir the joy of his first MotoGP pole position, but the Suzuki rider can’t complain, because this second place is his best qualifying result in MotoGP. The Majorcan has once again shown his talent and from the front row tomorrow he can be a tough nut to crack for everyone, as the GSX-RR have accustomed us to great comebacks.
The arrival of the sun also seems to have particularly benefited Aleix Espargaro, who completes the front row with his Aprilia, after struggling in all the wet sessions. So tomorrow the Granollers rider will have another chance to try to show the potential of the RS-GP.
After being the fastest for a long time, Jack Miller missed the last shot. The Australian from Ducati is usually a specialist in these conditions, but this time he was unable to be as incisive as on other occasions, so he had to settle for fourth on the grid.
To be honest, however, were it not for a yellow flag caused by the crash of Pol Espargaro at the last corner, the starting grid would have a very different conformation: Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo have seen the two times canceled. they would have earned first and second place on the grid. In the end, however, the Frenchman will start fifth and the Honda rider has the worst of it, who even finds himself in the third row, ninth.
The two Mooney VR46 Ducatis slipped between them, both in Q2 for the first time in the weekend when he visited the Valentino Rossi team, and Alex Marquez. The surprise of the weekend continues to be Marco Bezzecchi, sixth after hitting the direct Q2. Luca Marini and the Honda LCR rider, on the other hand, were good at taking advantage of being on the track during Q1 as well, therefore having a better knowledge of the track conditions.
Already mentioned about the crash of Pol Espargaro, who will start tenth, one of the disappointments of these qualifying was probably Miguel Oliveira, who in the dry finished only 11th with his KTM after shining instead in the wet on his home track. To close the picture of those who participated in Q2 then there is the other KTM of Brad Binder with the 12th fastest time.
There was no shortage of surprises in Q1, disputed with trajectories that were gradually drying up, requiring the switch to slick tires. But those who have ventured too much have paid a very high price for it. This is the case of the aforementioned Bagnaia, who with his Ducati was among the first to put on dry tires, ending up being the victim of a very bad highside at turn 1, from which he got up in pain in his right shoulder, coming escorted to the medical center and later to the hospital for further tests. If he will be in the game, his race will still be decidedly uphill, since he will start from the 25th and last box of the grid.
The first to risk slicks was Remy Gardner, who crashed immediately and then returned to milder advice: the Moto2 champion, however, started again and with rain tires finished in 20th position on the grid. It went worse for his team-mate Raul Fernandez, not so much because of his 24th place, but because his qualification ended up in the medical center, even if for him we are only talking about a strong bruise. A little further on, in 18th position, there is the world leader Enea Bastianini, who also slipped in the final on slick tires. However, the Gresini Racing driver also took a good blow and put ice on his right wrist.
The first to be excluded was Jorge Martin, who tried the slicks in the final, remaining mocked by seven tenths. Maverick Vinales continued with the rain until the end, who will field his Aprilia in 14th position, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio’s Ducati Gresini, one of the best at exploiting slicks.
Andrea Dovizioso and Franco Morbidelli also continued with slicks until the end, but this choice did not pay off, because they will start from the 16th and 19th squares respectively. The same goes for Alex Rins, even 23rd with his Suzuki. The list of eliminated also includes Lorenzo Savadori, who returned from wild card with Aprilia and 21st on the grid.