Home hero Miguel Oliveira topped the first practice session for MotoGP’s Portuguese Grand Prix finale at the championship’s new venue Portimao, while the two Aprilias cracked the top four.
In what was a 70-minute session instead of the normal 45 due to the novelty of the track, Oliveira was marginally faster than what the best of the test riders had managed in the familiarisation MotoGP test at the track earlier this year.
Oliveira took the lead early in the session, and was again out front shortly past the halfway point, but it was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) and Stefan Bradl (Honda) who became the first two riders to dip below the 1m41s mark with just over 20 minutes left on the clock.
The pair remained out front until there were just two minutes left on the clock, when Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales fired in a 1m40.162s on a fresh medium rear to take the lead by over seven tenths of a second.
By the time the chequered flag flew, Vinales’ lead had been whittled down to less than a tenth by Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), but it wasn’t his former Suzuki team-mate who would ultimately depose Vinales.
Instead, Oliveira pumped in a 1m40.122s, likewise on a fresh medium rear, to head Vinales by just four-hundredths of a second.
The two Aprilias of Espargaro and Lorenzo Savadori, both of whom were present at the test earlier this year, made up the top four. Savadori, a relative newcomer to the category, benefitted from using a fresh soft rear but was still impressive in lapping just 0.175s slower than Oliveira and nearly four-tenths quicker than fifth-placed Pol Espargaro (KTM).
LCR Honda man Cal Crutchlow, who is bowing out of his full-time premier-class career this weekend, was sixth and best of the Hondas, ahead of newly-crowned MotoGP champion Joan Mir (Suzuki) and Quartararo, with Bradl shuffled down to 10th by Crutchlow’s team-mate Takaaki Nakagami.
The main contenders for the runner-up spot in the riders’ standings, Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha), were 11th and 13th respectively.
Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) finished the session a deceptive 16th despite having led early on and having posted FP1’s only sub-1m40s lap in the dying seconds, only for it to be erased for track limits.
KTM tester Mika Kallio, making his first MotoGP weekend appearance in 2020 as substitute for Tech3’s COVID-positive rookie Iker Lecuona, made up the order in 22nd, 3.8s off the pace.
Practice 1 Results
|Pos||Name||Team||Bike||Gap Next||Gap Leader||Best Time|
|1||Miguel Oliveira||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||1m40.122s|
|2||Maverick Viñales||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||+0.04s||+0.04s||1m40.162s|
|3||Aleix Espargaró||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||+0.074s||+0.114s||1m40.236s|
|4||Lorenzo Savadori||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||+0.061s||+0.175s||1m40.297s|
|5||Pol Espargaró||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+0.383s||+0.558s||1m40.68s|
|6||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||Honda||+0.015s||+0.573s||1m40.695s|
|7||Joan Mir||Team Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||+0.161s||+0.734s||1m40.856s|
|8||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||+0.021s||+0.755s||1m40.877s|
|9||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||Honda||+0.001s||+0.756s||1m40.878s|
|10||Stefan Bradl||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+0.042s||+0.798s||1m40.92s|
|11||Alex Rins||Team Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||+0.04s||+0.838s||1m40.96s|
|12||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||Ducati||+0.001s||+0.839s||1m40.961s|
|13||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||+0.206s||+1.045s||1m41.167s|
|14||Johann Zarco||Avintia Racing||Ducati||+0.014s||+1.059s||1m41.181s|
|15||Alex Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+0.047s||+1.106s||1m41.228s|
|16||Jack Miller||Pramac Racing||Ducati||+0.043s||+1.149s||1m41.271s|
|17||Francesco Bagnaia||Pramac Racing||Ducati||+0.162s||+1.311s||1m41.433s|
|18||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati Team||Ducati||+0.495s||+1.806s||1m41.928s|
|19||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||+0.018s||+1.824s||1m41.946s|
|20||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+0.136s||+1.96s||1m42.082s|
|21||Tito Rabat||Avintia Racing||Ducati||+1.072s||+3.032s||1m43.154s|
|22||Mika Kallio||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||+0.756s||+3.788s||1m43.91s|