until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Portuguese Grand Prix MotoGP 2022 rider ratings

by Simon Patterson
10 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

It might have been Fabio Quartararo who emerged on top of a hectic Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday – but while Yamaha’s reigning world champion might have been by far the fastest man on the day, he’s not the only rider at the Algarve International Circuit to have caused headlines for one reason or another.

From Jack Miller’s overly ambitious move on Joan Mir that took both of them out and could have massive consequences for the title fight, to a heroic ride through the pack for the second Suzuki of Alex Rins, there are plenty of talking points and a grid full of highs and lows – even if their individual statuses might not quite be obviously clear afterwards.

As always, the result of that is plenty of winners and losers, and plenty to talk about when it comes to our rider ratings.

Our MotoGP ranking system is simple: the riders who we believe performed the best in every race are at the top, and the ones who underperformed are at the bottom and scored appropriately.

It isn’t just about the end result though, with pre-race expectation and form going into a race and a weekend heavily influencing their eventual score, not just the points they scored every Sunday afternoon.

Fabio Quartararo – 10

Started: 5th Finished: 1st

Fabio Quartararo Yamaha MotoGP Portimao

Simply sublime from the reigning world champion.

His victory on Sunday was exactly the sort of domination that propelled him to title success last year and stands him in good stead again in 2022.

He never put a foot wrong all race long as he used a fantastic start as a platform to hunt down Joan Mir and then to launch himself forward to a huge lead.

A few more of those performances and the standings will soon start to look very different indeed.

Alex Rins – 9.5

Started: 23rd Finished: 4th

Alex Rins Suzuki MotoGP Portimao

Sunday’s result for Alex Rins, making up a whopping 19 places, is the sort of thing that you almost expect from his team-mate Joan Mir but not from the Suzuki rider with a reputation for occasionally being weak under pressure.

Proving once again just how strong and consistent Rins is this year, the ride was the sort that establishes him as a genuine title contender, and will be an important platform for the European season to grow from.

Alex Marquez – 8.5

Started: 7th Finished: 7th

Alex Marquez LCR Honda MotoGP Portimao

When a rider is put under contract pressure, it often goes one way or another. On a weekend when it got to Alex Marquez’s LCR team-mate, the Spaniard found something extra and looked genuinely impressive not just in qualifying but in the race itself.

Seventh is right in the ballpark for what the team expects from him, and a few more similar performances will save his bacon.

Aleix Espargaro – 8

Started: 3rd Finished: 3rd


Yet another very impressive result for the Aprilia rider, who is very much living up to his pre-season expectations of fighting at the front of the championship through an impressive mix of speed and consistency.

Sure, he might have been given a podium somewhat by Miller and Mir, but a fifth in itself would have been a good result – and the way in which he was hunting them down anyway very much suggested a podium may have been coming with or without their tangle.

Pecco Bagnaia – 8

Started: 24th Finished: 8th

Francesco Bagnaia Ducati MotoGP Portimao

After crashing out and injuring his shoulder after only one lap of qualifying and with no time set, Sunday’s race was going to initially be all about damage limitation for Bagnaia.

Yet in the end, he was clearly able to grit his teeth and deliver one of the performances of the day. A massive boon to a somewhat lacklustre title campaign, he will absolutely build from it in Jerez assuming his fitness level improves.

Johann Zarco – 7.5

Started: 1st Finished: 2nd

Johann Zarco Pramac Ducati MotoGP Portimao

Very much a result that harks back to Zarco’s strong start to 2021, and finishing on the podium after qualifying on pole position is exactly the sort of outing that will ensure that he’s still on a top bike in 2023.

He looked strong all race, dismissed Mir with ease, and earned a comfortable podium in the end.

Miguel Oliveira – 7

Started: 11th Finished: 5th

Miguel Oliveira KTM MotoGP Portimao

Something of a quiet man on Sunday in front of the home crowds, Miguel Oliveira nonetheless rode a strong race to deliver by far his best dry result of the season.

How much of that comes from the added bonus of Portuguese fans and how much is a definitive step forward from KTM remains to be seen, though, so perhaps best not to get too excited just yet about what it means.

Joan Mir – 7

Started: 2nd Finished: DNF

Joan Mir Suzuki MotoGP Portimao

On the one hand, Joan Mir was on course for a decent podium finish at Portimao that would have continued to cement his consistent start to a title challenge, until Jack Miller wiped him out.

But on the other hand, he never had the pace to do anything about Quartararo at a track where Suzuki should have had the beating of Yamaha – a reality that left him much more frustrated after the race than the eventual DNF.

Remy Gardner – 6.5

Started: 20th Finished: 14th

Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM MotoGP Portimao

For someone struggling with a still-painful broken wrist and riding a bike that has continued to look not quite up to scratch, Remy Gardner delivered an impressive result out of almost nowhere at Portimao.

He was expecting to struggle with the physical nature of the race, but salvaging a points-scoring finish was a good building block now that the series is back at more familiar European circuits.

Marco Bezzecchi – 6

Started: 6th Finished: 15th


Scoring points as a rookie is always a decent feat, especially in the early part of the season, and Marco Bezzecchi once again proved why he’s many people’s tip for the rookie of the year with another solid performance.

Just three spots behind team-mate Luca Marini would have counted as a really good day indeed for the Italian if it weren’t for the fact that he was six seconds behind lead rookie Gardner at the chequered flag.

Fabio Di Giannantonio – 5.5

Started: 15th Finished: DNF


The Gresini Ducati rookie looked set for a fairly decent premier-class debut at Portimao, by riding a clean race and not making any mistakes.

Likely to have been in the fight for a point at the end of the race, his hopes were nixed by a technical problem on the Desmosedici that meant an early retirement.

Maverick Vinales – 5.5

Started: 14th Finished: 10th


A standard-issue Maverick Vinales race with an absolutely terrible start that saw him fall outside the points only to rally back again in the closing stages.

He says it was caused by the failure to go directly to Q2 on Saturday, but the reality is that it’s something we’ve seen multiple times before from him, and something that has clearly ported over from Yamaha to Aprilia.

Luca Marini – 5

Started: 8th Finished: 12th


With a strong qualifying performance and an OK race, Marini should at least be content about his weekend.

But having been stronger at the end of the race rather than the start for the first time, the fact that he found something but couldn’t utilise it after looking weaker when the lights went out means he ended the day frustrated rather than pleased.

Darryn Binder – 5

Started: 22nd Finished: 17th

Darryn Binder RNF Yamaha MotoGP Portimao

An average day for the rookie, given the relative lack of dry track time and the tricky nature of both the whole weekend and the Portimao circuit.

It would have been an easy day to end up in the gravel, so he didn’t do a bad job by keeping his nose clean – even if he did concede some points in the rookie of the year race in the process.

Andrea Dovizioso – 4.5

Started: 16th Finished: 11th

Andrea Dovizioso RNF Yamaha MotoGP Portimao

Solid points on the board isn’t really what Andrea Dovizioso was signed up to provide for the WithU team, and with Quartararo romping to victory on the same machine there’s little in the way of excuses now for the former three-time runner-up.

You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, as the saying goes, and Dovizioso’s Ducati-to-Yamaha adaptation is taking longer than he expected.

Marc Marquez – 4.5

Started: 9th Finished: 6th

Marc Marquez

There are of course many reasons why Marc Marquez is having a tough start to the year, from a very different-to-ride Honda that’s not quite working at its maximum capacity right now to the lingering effects of various injuries.

Yet the fact is no-one expects to see the former champion battling it out with his brother Alex for top-six positions. There’s an adaptation process, but when the satellite riders can manage it as well as he can, you have to wonder what’s up.

Jorge Martin – 4

Started: 13th Finished: DNF


A disappointing weekend all round for the Pramac rider, and it’s clear that while he might already be a race winner only a season into his MotoGP career, there’s still things for Jorge Martin to learn – and one of those things is how to manage tricky damp conditions.

He was poor in qualifying (not something we normally say about him), which set him up to fail on Sunday as he asked a little too much of the bike on the brakes.

Brad Binder – 4

Started: 12th Finished: DNF

Brad Binder KTM MotoGP Portimao

It’s been a while since Brad Binder wasn’t the best KTM rider in a dry race, but things never really looked to click together for him at Portimao.

He actually looked stronger than 12th in qualifying, but a mistake on Saturday hindered his race and perhaps caused him to push a little too much, too soon. The outcome was a bad result rather than simply a mediocre one.

Lorenzo Savadori – 3.5

Started: 21st Finished: DNF


If you’re going to be the test rider who crashes out of the race, then the best time to do it is probably on the last lap, with as much data as possible already collected for the team to process at a later date.

But a finish is still a finish, and failing to do so was an uncharacteristic mistake from the Aprilia rider.

Enea Bastianini – 3

Started: 18th Finished: DNF


To his credit, former championship leader Bastianini was completely open after the race about what caused his crash – but it’s an explanation that, while truthful, shows how much the double race winner still has to learn.

Injuring himself in qualifying, he should know better than to ride beyond the limits of the bike in the race, but that’s what he did.

Pol Espargaro – 3

Started: 10th Finished: 9th


So much more was expected at Portimao from Pol Espargaro than he managed to deliver. Struggling to find the rear grip he fought so hard to find all winter, his biggest problem wasn’t his disappointing finishing position – it was that he was third of the four Hondas to finish the race, well behind satellite racer Alex Marquez.

Jack Miller – 2

Started: 4th Finished: DNF

Jack Miller Ducati MotoGP Portimao

The painful thing about Jack Miller is that he very much looks to be the fastest factory-spec Ducati rider at the minute out of the five on the grid.

Yet worse than just being completely inconsistent (a trait he’s suffered since first popping up on the MotoGP grid in 2015) is inflicting it upon others, like he did when he wiped out title fighter Mir.

A Sunday to forget for the Australian, again.

Franco Morbidelli – 2

Started: 19th Finished: 13th

Franco Morbidelli Yamaha MotoGP Portimao

It’s one thing for Franco Morbidelli to continue to roll out excuses about his inability to make the 2022 Yamaha M1 work, but it’s quite another to claim that he still can’t adapt to the machine after five races while his team-mate is sticking it on the podium every weekend.

Sure, he wasn’t fully fit during testing – but there’s a point in the poor results where you have to question how much blame can be put on the machine alone.

Taka Nakagami – 1

Started: 17th Finished: 16th


As rumours and speculation about Nakagami’s future continue to grow, the only thing that can save him now is finding some form. But just like we saw even when he was at the peak of his successes in 2020, if there’s one thing that the Japanese rider seemingly can’t handle very well, it’s pressure to perform.

He demonstrated that again on Sunday with a crash that was, simply put, wholly unnecessary, as he tagged the rear of Binder’s KTM and went down.

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