Fabio Quartararo returned to winning ways this weekend as the European stint of the MotoGP World Championship got underway in Portugal – securing his first premier class victory since Silverstone last season.
An abundance of rain set the scene for most of Friday and Saturday’s running, MotoGP riders were relieved to be welcomed with dry but overcast conditions for Sunday afternoon’s 25-lap encounter.
Starting from row two, Quartararo got the perfect launch and found himself in second position by the end of lap one. Getting his head down and setting an early fastest lap, the Yamaha rider quickly reduced the gap to leader Joan Mir and worked his way by the Spanish rider on lap four with a brave pass up the inside at the downhill turn one.
With a clear track ahead, the 2021 World Champion extracted maximum performance from his Yamaha M1, making the most of his medium compound Michelin tyres. Setting a consistent fast pace, ‘El Diablo’, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Thursday, continued to open the gap. Bettering his previous fastest lap with a 1:34.435 on lap ten, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider had opened a comfortable three second advantage by the halfway stage.
With no one pressuring him, the rider from Nice ticked off the laps, eventually crossing the line to take his first victory of the season, finishing 5.409 seconds ahead of second place.
WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team’s Andrea Dovizioso had a strong weekend in Portugal, concluding his efforts with an 11th place finish. The Italian, who had started the race from 16th, slipped to 18th in the opening corners. Using all his experience, the former MotoGP race winner started to make up ground and found himself on the cusp of the points by lap 17. Incidents for riders ahead elevated the Italian into the points, and he eventually finished the race in 11th place.
It was a tricky weekend for Franco Morbidelli aboard the Monster Energy Yamaha. The Italian had struggled with changeable conditions and started the race in 19th. Holding position on the opening lap, the 2017 Moto2 World Champion started to make progress and was inside the points by half race distance. Crashes for riders ahead brought the Roman to 13th, but with the gap ahead too much to conquer, he settled for a 13th place.
South Africa’s Darryn Binder had his first taste of MotoGP machinery at the rollercoaster of Portimao. The WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP rider worked hard in the opening laps, and ultimately finished the race in 17th.
With an additional 25 World Championship points for victory, Quartararo now sits top of the World Championship standings, tied with Alex Rins on 69 points. Franco Morbidelli heads to Jerez in 15th while the WithU Yamaha RNF riders are separated by two points in 20th and 21st places respectively.
There’s no rest for the MotoGP paddock as they travel to Spain and the Circuito de Jerez across the 29th April -1st May.
Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal Race Results
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
2. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing +5.409
3. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing +6.068
4. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +9.633
5. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +13.573
6. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +16.163
7. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda Castrol +16.183
8. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +16.511
9. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +16.769
10. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing +18.063
11. Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +29.029
12. Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +29.249
13. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +33.354
14. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +40.205
15. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +46.052
16. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +49.569
17. Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +50.303
NC. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing 24 laps
NC. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 21 laps
NC. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 18 laps
NC. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 18 laps
NC. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 17 laps
NC. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 9 laps
NC. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 4 laps
MotoGP 2022 World Championship Standings
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 69 points
2. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 69 points
3. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing 66 points
4. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 61 points
5. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 51 points
6. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 46 points
7. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 42 points
8. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 39 points
9. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 31 points
10. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 31 points
11. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 31 points
12. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 30 points
13. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 28 points
14. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing 25 points
15. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 17 points
16. Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 14 points
17. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda Castrol 13 points
18. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 12 points
19. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 8 laps
20. Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 8 points
21. Darryn Binder - WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 6 points
22. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 3 points
23. Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 0 points
24. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 0 points
25. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing 0 points
26. Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team 0 points