Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo was in the mix for pole today in the Grande Prémio de Portugal Q2 session. He came tantalizingly close to provisional pole multiple times, but ultimately ended the session in P5. Franco Morbidelli faced a difficult 15-minute shoot-out as a dry line was starting to form at the start of Q1, yet the track remained filled with wet patches. He will start tomorrow’s race from P19.
Quartararo was the last rider out on track in Q2, letting his rivals go out ahead of him. The sun was shining, and the track was drying. But the current World Champion got an early warning when in Turn 7 on his out lap he hit a wet patch but skilfully managed to stay seated. His benchmark lap put him in ninth.
Throughout the session, the Frenchman gradually upped his pace. He was part of a mix of riders flashing red and orange sectors and came very close to pole at this stage. He saved the best for last, but a late crash of Pol Espargaró meant yellow flags, cancelling his 1’42.370s. The Yamaha-rider’s next best lap, a 1’42.716s set on lap 7/8, earned him fifth place on the second row.
Unsure about the drying track conditions, Morbidelli started Q1 on wet tyres. Lucky to avoid early-on yellow flags, his benchmark lap moved him swiftly into third place. He improved his time but not his place on his second try and entered the pits holding fifth.
The Italian soon re-join the session. However, he headed straight back to the box as his gamble to go for slick tyres didn’t pay off. With two and a half minutes on the clock, he started his third run on wet tyres again. Morbido gave it his all to put in a bid for the top 2. He started well with a red sector and three personal best sectors to set a 1’50.702s, but it wasn’t enough. The number-21 rider ended the session in 9th place, 4.386s from the top. He will start tomorrow’s race from P19.