2021 MotoGP: Quartararo wins dramatic duel at Portimao

Marc Marquez made a wonderful start and was battling Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) for P3. Mir made a typically great start and was up into the top five, and it was Mir vs Marquez again on the opening lap.

By:Updated: Apr 18, 2021 10:36 PM

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) converted pole position to victory at the Grande Prémio 888 de Portugal as the MotoGP race sees some big names crash out, but that wasn’t the case for second place Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and third place Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar). The returning Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) battles through the pain to finish P7 in Portimao.

The initial getaway from polesitter Quartararo was about as good as it gets, but in the second phase of the start, third place Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and second-place Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) got the better of the Yamaha man and it was the Suzuki of Rins who grabbed the holeshot, but Zarco was the early race leader.

Marc Marquez made a wonderful start and was battling Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) for P3. Mir made a typically great start and was up into the top five, and it was Mir vs Marquez again on the opening lap. The reigning World Champion shoved his GSX-RR up the inside of the Repsol Honda at Turn 11 for P3.

On the same lap, Miguel Oliveira’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) hopes of another dream home round rostrum were over. The Portuguese star was down at Turn 14, remounted but it was game over for Oliveira.

Bagnaia was holding P2 and looking good, with Mir having Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in his mirrors heading into the final exchanges. With two to go, the trio was locked together but Pecco wasn’t buckling, as fifth place Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was less than a second away from Morbidelli’s rear wheel. Mir was pressuring Bagnaia but the Italian was holding firm, and on the last lap, the Suzuki rider wasn’t quite close enough to make a move.

Five seconds down the road, Quartararo cruised over the line to pick up his second win of 2021. A commanding victory for factory Yamaha’s new recruit, and one that sees him take a 15-point lead into Jerez – a circuit he was quite successful at last season. Bagnaia’s recovery from P11 to P2 was awesome, a fantastic Sunday in Portimao for the Italian who rises to P2 in the standings with his first podium of the year. Mir eventually beats Morbidelli by 0.179s to earn his first podium of 2021, an important result from the World Champion and another rostrum after starting from outside the top two rows.

Marc Marquez. The eight-time World Champion completed his first race since the 2019 Valencia GP finale, and the emotions were shown by the Spaniard when he arrived back in his box. A truly commendable performance from Marc Marquez upon his return to MotoGP, the world salutes his magnificent ride in Portimao.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) bags his first top 10 in P8, with reigning Moto2 World Champion Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) picking up his second top 10 MotoGP result in P9. Yet another brilliant ride from ‘The Beast’, and what an absolutely superb effort from 10th place Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). The battered and bruised Japanese rider has been in considerable pain all weekend since his huge Friday Turn 1 crash, but a P10 sums up just how tough – physically and mentally – MotoGP riders are.

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) didn’t recover from a horror start, and in the end benefited from a few crashes to pick up P11. A disappointing day for Viñales in Portimao, he was 23 seconds shy of teammate Quartararo. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) slipped to P12 from a P8 start but it was nevertheless a very promising weekend for the Italian, a job well done. Injured Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing), Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) completed the points, Oliveira was the final finisher in P16 after his crash.

Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashed at Turn 11, rider ok, with Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) pulling into pitlane in the early stages with a technical issue.

Top 10:
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 4.809
3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 4.948
4. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 5.127
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 6.668
6. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 8.885
7. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 13.208
8. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) + 17.992
9. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) + 22.369
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 23.676

All the action from the MotoGP World Championship 2021 Gran Premio Red Bull de España will be LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport HD. The qualifying race is on Saturday, 1 May and the main race is on Sunday, 2 May. The same will be live-streamed on the Discovery+ app.

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