Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thriller Miller sets new lap record during FP2 at Portimao

We finally have some MotoGP™ action as the riders were back in action for the Grande Prémio TISSOT de Portugal, and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) topped Day 1 of 2023. The Aussie smashed the lap record with a 1:37.746 to put himself ahead of Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and the reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).

There was a red flag stoppage due to technical issues at the circuit during the opening stages of the session, however, the riders headed back out on track to complete Practice 2. The inability to get heat in the tyres caught out Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing) and Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) quickly after the restarted session. Both riders were up and ok, and back on track to finish the rest of the session.

As the time ticked down the times continued to drop as the tyres heated up in P2 for the Premier class. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) was the first rider to get below the lap record. With the pace set, the rest of the grid chased down the Spaniard’s lap time. The riders were pushing hard, including the 2022 MotoGP™ World Champion Pecco Bagnaia, who had a high-speed moment onboard his factory Ducati, saving it heroically on his elbow as he hurtled through the fast-flowing final corner.

The Repsol Honda Duo

With 15 minutes left to go in the session, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) went top of the session just before a big crash for his brother, Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) brought out the red flags.

Once the session was back underway, soft tyres were bolted on the bikes and a flurry of fast laps followed, as the riders competed to get into that all-important Top 10 to secure a spot in Q2 ahead of the first-ever MotoGP™ Sprint.

With just 8 minutes left of the session, Ducati Lenovo’s World Champion “Pecco” took his number-1-plated Ducati to the top spot with an incredible 1:37.856 but that was it for the reigning World Champion as he immediately retired from the session.

With Bagnaia out of the session, the timing screens began to light up with just 2 minutes remaining. Miller and Viñales flew into the 1:37 club to put themselves ahead of Bagnaia in 1st and 2nd respectively.

Out of Nowhere comes the record breaker from The Thriller!!!

Jack Miller, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 24 March 2023

An unfortunate crash late in the session for 8-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) meant the Spaniard was out of the Top 10 and will have to fight through Q1 for a chance of a Q2 spot. The 8-time World Champion will be joined by his teammate Joan Mir (Repsol Honda) in Q1. Despite a strong Practice 1 bagging P2, the new Repsol Honda rider failed to finish inside the top 10.

After an action-packed Day 1, the stage is well and truly set ahead of Saturday’s qualifying at 10:50 local time (GMT) with the first-ever MotoGP™ Sprint beckoning at 15:00 (GMT). Make sure not to miss any of the action from the Grande Prémio TISSOT de Portugal.

Top 10:

1.Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 1:37.746
2. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.037
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.147
4. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.190
5. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.282
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.306
7. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.403
8. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing) + 0.449
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.544
10. Enea Bastiaini (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.547