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Penultimate GP of the Season Underway for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in Portugal

Penultimate GP of the Season Underway for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in Portugal

Opening day of the AlgarveGP ends with Valentino Rossi 21st and Andrea Dovizioso 22nd at Portimão.

The final back-to-back GPs of the 2021 season got underway today with the opening day of the Grande Prémio do Algarve for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, with MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi 21st and Andrea Dovizioso 22nd.

Although Rossi started FP1 with a lap that put him inside of the top-ten, he struggled to improve upon his time in the latter stages of the session. At the end of the 45 mins he was 22nd with a best lap of 1min 42.080secs. With track temperatures warmer in FP2, the Italian was quick to improve upon his morning time. On his final flying lap – 1min 41.174secs – Valentino had improved by almost one second from the morning, and ended FP2 21st.

Experiencing Portimão aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time in FP1, Dovizioso was able to use the morning session to understand the feeling of the bike. The Italian’s fastest lap of 1min 41.392secs saw him end FP1 19th. Opting to focus more on gaining track knowledge in the afternoon’s FP2 session, ‘Dovi’ chose not to undertake a time-attack run and ended the day 22nd. However, he was still able to improve upon his FP1 time and set a best lap time of 1min 41.214secs.

Track action will begin tomorrow for Rossi and Dovizioso with FP3 at 9.55am local time (5.55pm MYT), while the two MotoGP Qualifying sessions will begin at 2.10pm local time (10.10pm MYT).

Valentino Rossi

"It was a difficult day and I struggled more than I expected to. In the race here in April I made a good step with the hard tyre, but today it has been a bit too cold for it and the track doesn’t have enough grip. I hope that the conditions will be better tomorrow and that the grip improves as well, so that we can use the hard tyre. For me, this is the tyre that I can be fastest on because it gives me better stability with the rear. FP3 is always very important because you need to try to stay inside the top-ten, because if you don’t then you have to do Q1. We have another practice to try to improve the feeling of the bike with the tyres, so we will see."

Andrea Dovizioso

"The first day here in Portimao wasn’t easy and I didn’t feel too good today, but the track is nice – albeit a little strange. I’m still not feeling 100% with the bike and I think there are a few reasons, for example I’m not smooth enough and in some areas of the track I am not fast enough. It means that when you want to push to gain some time, you make a mistake. We will see tomorrow what the conditions are like and what we can do in FP3 and Qualifying. We have room to improve."