Moto GP: Zarco and Quartararo already left behind, pole for Marquez

This time it went well. After the first tests the day before, the qualifying sessions for the Portuguese GP took place this Saturday on the circuit of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimao. Marc Marquez (Honda) will start this Sunday (3 p.m.) in pole position for the first race of the season, ahead of Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), the defending champion, and Jorge Martin (Ducati Pramac). Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and Johann Zarco (Ducati Pramac), ranked in the first two places in the race in 2022, are 11th and 10th and will start in the 4th row.

Second in the last practice session, Quartararo initially sat for long minutes on his return to the pits. Visor closed, it is impossible to see the expression of his face but we imagine him angry. A deep disappointment then appears after his poor performance on the circuit which had seen him win last year. It’s hardly better for Johann Zarco, who is ahead of the Niçois by a small rank after taking pole position last year.

The feat of these two qualifying sessions is to be credited to Marc Marquez. Victim of several accidents last season in Indonesia, the 30-year-old Spaniard surprised everyone: “I don’t understand me either, he laughed at the microphone of Canal +. To be honest, I know it’s not the most polite way to do a lap time, I took a lot of wheels. I don’t know why I’m here, it’s not normally our place. »

The six-time world champion, who had already come out ahead in Q1, waited until the end of Q2 to break the track record (1’37’226), which the Italian Pecco Bagnaia had just broken ( 1′37′’290): “I am satisfied, commented the Italian world champion. I tried to do another faster lap, but some riders were slow on the line. This Saturday, at 4 p.m., a sprint race will be held, which inaugurates the new formula of the world championship. The grid will be the same as that of the qualifications. The revenge of the French is expected.


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