Portuguese GP: Vinales tops the timesheets in FP1

On the first day of the Portuguese GP, Maverick Vinales put himself at the top of the leaderboard around Portimao in FP1.

The day started with tricky conditions for the riders to deal with, after rain fell overnight, meaning damp patches were all over the circuit.

As the session approached the 15 minute point, ten of the 22 riders had not set a lap time, instead they sat in the pits waiting for the track to dry out.

The anticipated return to a MotoGP bike for Marc Marquez came five minutes into FP1, it’s effectively a pre-season test for the Spaniard, who hasn’t rode a MotoGP bike since July 2020.

After his first run, the Honda rider sat in second place, but dropped down the order as the times began to fall.

As the session progressed and the track dried out, the times fell massively, with four different riders going fastest within a couple of minutes of each other.

It will be interesting to see how Yamaha continue to get on in the Portuguese GP, the Japanese squad struggled around Portimao in 2020, with the two factory bikes ending the race 11th and 12th.

Vinales’ 1m42.127s lap was good enough to end FP1 on top, with Alex Rins 0.151s behind in second.

Marquez briefly topped the timesheets at the end of the session but finished in third on the leaderboard, showing he is well and truly back.

It was a good showing for the factory Honda’s, Marquez’s teammate Pol Espargaro ended the session in fourth, with Johann Zarco 0.061s behind.

Pecco Bagnaia ended the session in sixth, 0.064s faster than Doha GP race winner Fabio Quartararo, Jack Miller finished in eighth.

Alex Marquez also had a solid session, ending in ninth, with Danilo Petrucci 0.176s behind in tenth.

After a tough time in Qatar, Valentino Rossi finished FP1 in 11th, 0.023s ahead of Taka Nakagami, with Joan Mir in 13th.

Franco Morbidelli ended the session in 14th, with Lorenzo Savadori 0.296s behind in 15th.

Jorge Martin put his Pramac in 16th, ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Luca Marini.

Iker Lecuona ended FP1 in 19th, 0.358s ahead of Enea Bastianini in 20th.

Aleix Espargaro finished in 21st, with KTM’s Brad Binder in 22nd.

With FP1 completed in damp conditions, the times don’t give a completely true image of performance, as FP2 gets underway this afternoon we will see who looks on the pace in Portugal.