Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo shone brightly on the second day at the Grande Prémio de Portugal, coming out on top in all three sessions. Maverick Viñales was unlucky to have three of his four flying laps cancelled in Q2 and ended the session in 12th place.
Quartararo had established himself as the man to beat today, having taken the top spot in FP3 and FP4. He showed he meant business again in Q2 by posting a 1‘39.028s opening lap to take over the P1 honour again. He couldn‘t improve on his provisional pole the next time round. Running wide and into the gravel in Turn 8 meant he had to quickly return to the pit for new tyres.
With six minutes remaining, he was back on track to defend his first place. He did it on his very next attempt. He clocked a 1‘38.862s, a new All Time Lap Record. He had time for two more laps but didn‘t better his time. In the final stages it looked like he would just miss out on pole because of a hot lap by Francesco Bagnaia. But as it was set under a yellow flag, the lap was cancelled, putting Quartararo back in first position by 0.089s.
Viñales started his Q2 bid with a solid 1‘39.807s lap, slotting into fourth place. He improved to a 1‘39.514s on his next flyer, but the lap was later cancelled due to a yellow flag, which made him drop back to seventh place at the time.
The Spaniard knew the pressure would be on for his second run. With more than three minutes remaining, he headed back out on a fresh set of tyres, ready to push to the fullest. He wrapped up the session with a 1‘38.990s and 1‘38.732s, the latter of which would have moved him up to the front row, but unfortunately the laps were cancelled. One due to a yellow flag and the other for exceeding track limits in sector 2 by the narrowest of margins. Because of this he was pushed back to 12th place and will be starting tomorrow‘s race from the fourth row of the grid.