Marquez’s crash, Bagnaia’s escape – Portimao practice recapped

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Enea Bastianini led the way in the second MotoGP practice session at Portimao, as Marc Marquez suffered his first race weekend crash of the season.

Marquez, who had previously had one off in testing and stayed on the bike all throughout Qatar, fell off late on in an hour-long session in which he had been consistently towards the front of the timesheets.

The Turn 5 tip-off ultimately had minimal impact on his fortunes, with the six-time MotoGP champion comfortably securing a spot in Q2.

A 1m38.057s from Bastianini to top the session was more than a two-second improvement on Marquez’s lap that had led the opening practice – with conditions improving considerably over the day after it had begun with a damp and dusty track.

KTM’s Jack Miller was Bastianini’s nearest rival, shrugging off an early crash to lap a tenth off the Italian, while Marquez and Pramac rider Jorge Martin made it three Ducatis in the top four.

Miller’s team-mate Binder, who led the way in the early minutes, settled for fifth place, followed by a much-improved Marco Bezzecchi and the lead Aprilia of Maverick Vinales.

Vinales was the Italian marque’s sole representative in the top 13, despite an apparent bike issue late on that left him needing a scooter lift back to the pits.

Reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia looked in danger for missing out on a top-10 spot – and thus automatic passage into tomorrow’s second qualifying segment – for so much of the session, but hunkered down on his final run to lap 0.484s off the pace. This was enough for eighth place.

The final places in the top 10 were taken up by Yamahas. Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins thus became the first riders to put Japanese bikes directly into Q2 this season.

The other Japanese brand, Honda, had its lead rider – LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami – all the way down in 16th.

Tech3 Gas Gas rookie Pedro Acosta was fastest of those missing out on an automatic Q2 spot, 0.542s slower than Bastianini.

In addition to Marquez and Miller, there were crashes for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati), Luca Marini (Honda) and Franco Morbidelli (Pramac Ducati).

It will have been a particularly galling crash for Morbidelli, who after a Qatar opener compromised by his pre-season absence was very much on-pace all throughout the day – and would’ve likely been a strong top-10 contender if not for the fall.



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