Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli enjoyed their first day back at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. The teammates used today‘s FP sessions to adjust their Portuguese GP bike settings from April to the current conditions of the track for this Grande Prémio do Algarve weekend, securing 1st and 12th place in the combined timesheets.
Quartararo was back to his old self after achieving the 2021 MotoGP Title at the previous round in Misano. He thoroughly enjoyed his first outing as the new World Champion and had the fans cheering him on during the 45-minute morning session as he challenged for the top spot. He saved the best for last. On lap 21, he took first place, setting a 1‘40.192s with a 0.045s margin over his closest rival.
El Diablo planned to push again in FP2. He had four laps cancelled in his first two runs due to exceeding track limits, but his 13th lap still saw him briefly in the top spot. Like in the morning, the final minutes of the afternoon session became a duel between the Factory Yamaha man and Francesco Bagnaia. Before his last stint, Quartararo had to find 0.155s, but that was no problem for the Frenchman. He rode his mini time-attack with a medium-soft tyre combination and set a 1‘39.390s on his twentieth and penultimate lap. The time put him in P1 in the FP2 and combined results, with a 0.132s advantage over second.
Morbidelli impressed once again with his pace at the start of the weekend. The still recovering Italian is known to do well at the Algarve circuit, and despite his knee injury, he took to it like a duck to water. He had never ridden the Factory-spec Yamaha in Portimão before, but still featured inside the top 5 in the early stages. He ultimately finished the session in ninth place with a 1‘40.887s, set on lap 11/17, 0.695s from first.
The number-21 rider spent the majority of the available FP2 track time working on his bike‘s race set-up. With 10 minutes on the clock, he switched to a soft-soft tyre combination to challenge for a top-10 placement. He set a personal best of 1‘40.225s on lap 16/18, which at first saw him in fifth place. But as the competition heated up in the final stages, he was pushed back to 12th in the FP2 and combined rankings, 0.835s off today‘s top time.