Marquez leads Honda one-two on wet Friday at Portuguese MotoGP

Marc Marquez. Picture:

Marc Marquez has edged Repsol Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro on combined times in two wet Friday practice sessions at the Portuguese MotoGP round.

They topped a session each and Marquez was also second-fastest in Free Practice 2, at six tenths of a second off the pace, on a day when the field ran on grooved Michelin tyres throughout.

The six-time premier class champion had soft rubber fitted at both ends of his RC213V when he clocked the 1:51.819s which was best of all at the halfway point of Free Practice 1 at Portimao.

After taking a medium front for his second run, with the original soft tyre still on the rear, Marquez decisively reclaimed the ascendancy when he set a 1:50.666s with the chequered flag out.

While rain was a constant in that hit-out, it had ceased for the start of FP2, and Espargaro moved the benchmark to a 1:50.707s just beyond the 10-minute mark.

Marquez then set a 1:51.318s on his last lap before the end of his first run, as heavy rain began to set in for the latter half-hour of the session, essentially locking in the results.

Espargaro’s FP2 fastest lap was the only one which was any quicker than the top six in FP1 had gone, meaning third on combined times went to Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir on a 1:51.031s.

Next was Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Ducati) on a 1:51.136s, then Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) on a 1:51.170s, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) on a 1:51.223s, and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) on a 1:51.319s.

Also through to Qualifying 2, provisionally, are Ducati riders Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), the latter on a 1:51.437s, while championship leader Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) was 16th on a 1:51.847s.

Miller and Bagnaia were among those to crash during the day, the former losing the front end of his Desmosedici at Turn 8 in FP1.

Others to have a spill in that session were Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda) at Turn 9 and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Ducati) also at Turn 8.

Early in FP2, Bagnaia went down at Turn 3 on relatively little lean angle, before Bezzecchi had a small highside at Turn 9, and Zarco crashed at Turn 2 in an incident which began with the rear of the #5 Ducati kicking out.

More rain is forecast for Saturday, which sees Free Practice 3 kick off at 18:55 AEDT, then Free Practice 4 at 22:30, Qualifying 1 at 23:10, and Qualifying 2 at 23:35.

Friday practice: Portuguese MotoGP Combined times

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Session
1 93 M.MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:50.666 FP1
2 44 P.ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:50.707 FP2
3 36 J.MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:51.031 FP1
4 72 M.BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:51.136 FP1
5 5 J.ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:51.170 FP1
6 88 M.OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:51.223 FP1
7 12 M.VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:51.309 FP1
8 89 J.MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:51.343 FP1
9 63 F.BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:51.387 FP1
10 43 J.MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:51.437 FP1
11 73 A.MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:51.648 FP1
12 33 B.BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:51.659 FP1
13 10 L.MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:51.709 FP1
14 04 A.DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:51.756 FP2
15 87 R.GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:51.820 FP1
16 23 E.BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:51.847 FP1
17 30 T.NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:51.881 FP1
18 21 F.MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:51.911 FP2
19 41 A.ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:51.958 FP1
20 20 F.QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:52.061 FP1
21 42 A.RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:52.079 FP1
22 25 R.FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:52.258 FP1
23 49 F.DI GIANNANTO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:52.881 FP1
24 40 D.BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:54.029 FP1
25 32 L.SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:54.260 FP1

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