Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez topped the opening practice session of the 2023 MotoGP season at Portimao, leading the way on a year-old bike.
> Marquez makes late soft-tyre push count
> Honda newcomer Mir impresses in second
> Favourites deceptively down the order
> Ducati 1-3-4-5-7-9
Though sunny weather is expected for most of the weekend, a damp track greeted MotoGP riders ahead of the start of first practice – and contributed to the first crash of the official season happening immediately.
Slick tyres and spots of rain! ⚠️
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) March 24, 2023
Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli was among the riders exploring the conditions early on and swiftly highsided off his M1 at the Turn 8 right-hander, albeit managing to then remount and bring the bike back in.
That fall seemed to dampen the enthusiasm for extensive early running, but soon enough riders hit the track en masse, with Gresini Ducati’s Fabio Di Giannantonio following Morbidelli’s lead by getting chucked off his Desmosedici GP22.
Coming into the final minutes of the session, Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin – who has opted for a different aero configuration to start this season compared to the factory team’s bikes – led the way on a 1m39.206s, but by the end he’d been shuffled down to seventh.
This, however, came as several riders made use of fresh rubber, already attempting push laps on the soft rear, presumably in an effort to maximise their position in the classification in case FP2 is weather-disrupted – as the combination of FP1 and FP2 will determine 10 of the 12 riders getting to run in Q2 on Saturday morning.
Marquez was quickest of those to opt for a fresh soft, outpacing several of his Desmosedici GP22 peers – but it was actually a Honda that ran him closest, that belonging to newcomer Joan Mir.
Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi completed the top four for VR46 Ducati, ahead of Martin’s Pramac team-mate Johann Zarco and the lead Aprilia of Maverick Vinales.
Behind Martin were the champion trio of Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) and Marc Marquez (Honda), all forgoing a late run on a fresh soft rear – though Quartararo did swap to a new front tyre.
With four manufacturers featuring in the top eight, only KTM was left out, with Jack Miller its top representative in 12th – 0.006s behind Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who had surgery in the lead-up to the opener to address an arm fibrosis but expects to be fully fit throughout the weekend.
The rest of the KTMs beside Miller were well towards the back, with Brad Binder specifically a potentially alarming 22nd given he was 2.2s off the pace and half a second behind penultimate place.
Practice 1 Results
|Pos||Name||Team||Bike||Gap Next||Gap Leader||Best Time|
|1||Alex Marquez||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||1m38.782s|
|2||Joan Mir||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+0.045s||+0.045s||1m38.827s|
|3||Luca Marini||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||+0.095s||+0.14s||1m38.922s|
|4||Marco Bezzecchi||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||+0.096s||+0.236s||1m39.018s|
|5||Johann Zarco||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati||+0.05s||+0.286s||1m39.068s|
|6||Maverick Viñales||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||+0.112s||+0.398s||1m39.18s|
|7||Jorge Martin||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati||+0.026s||+0.424s||1m39.206s|
|8||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+0.075s||+0.499s||1m39.281s|
|9||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||+0.194s||+0.693s||1m39.475s|
|10||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||+0.062s||+0.755s||1m39.537s|
|11||Aleix Espargaró||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||+0.015s||+0.77s||1m39.552s|
|12||Jack Miller||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+0.006s||+0.776s||1m39.558s|
|13||Alex Rins||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||+0.037s||+0.813s||1m39.595s|
|14||Franco Morbidelli||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||+0.034s||+0.847s||1m39.629s|
|15||Enea Bastianini||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||+0.053s||+0.9s||1m39.682s|
|16||Miguel Oliveira||CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||+0.112s||+1.012s||1m39.794s|
|17||Raul Fernandez||CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||+0.1s||+1.112s||1m39.894s|
|18||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||+0.165s||+1.277s||1m40.059s|
|19||Augusto Fernandez||GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3||KTM||+0.144s||+1.421s||1m40.203s|
|20||Pol Espargaró||GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3||KTM||+0.268s||+1.689s||1m40.471s|
|21||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||+0.006s||+1.695s||1m40.477s|
|22||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||+0.509s||+2.204s||1m40.986s|