Quartararo tops Portugal MotoGP practice, Marquez 15th

Quartararo clocked 1min 39.044sec to finish ahead of Italians Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Friday pacesetter Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).

FILE: Petronas Yamaha SRT's French rider Fabio Quartararo celebrates after winning the MotoGP race during the Andalucia Grand Prix at the Jerez race track in Jerez de la Frontera on 26 July 2020. Picture: AFP

PORTIMAO – France's Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) topped the field going into Saturday's qualifying at the Portuguese Moto Grand Prix, but a trio of champions including the returning Marc Marquez was left scrambling for places.

Quartararo clocked 1min 39.044sec to finish ahead of Italians Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Friday pacesetter Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).

Practice was marred by a sickening crash that saw Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) stretchered off the track straight to hospital for further medical checks. The Spaniard was conscious, but with contusions to his head, right hand and right ankle.

Spain's Alex Marquez (Honda-LCR) and Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami (Honda-LCR) both also suffered crashes.

Three world champions finished outside the top 10: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended in 12th, 13th and 15th positions respectively.

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marquez made a remarkable comeback Friday in his first competitive ride since crashing nine months ago

The trio will race the first part of qualification, with only the fastest two going on to Q2, the top 10 after the three practice sessions having already booked their slots.

Top 10 combined practice times before qualifying begins at 1310 GMT

  1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) 1:39.044, 2. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 1:39.095, 3. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 1:39.117, 4. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Pramac) 1:39.228, 5. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 1:39.328, 6. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati) 1:39.345, 7. Luca Marini (ITA/Ducati-Avintia) 1:39.600, 8. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 1:39.690, 9. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM) 1:39.697, 10. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1:39.742

Selected

  1. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 1:39.818

  2. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 1:39.912

  3. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1:39.945