Oliveira leads Portimao FP1, two Aprilias in top four - The Race

Oliveira leads Portimao FP1, two Aprilias in top four

Nov 20 2020
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

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

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