Portuguese Grand Prix: Bastianini starts from first place, Quartararo in ninth place

Portuguese Grand Prix: Bastianini starts from first place, Quartararo in ninth place

Aurélie Sacchelli, Media365 Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 1:24 p.m.

Ducati rider Enea Bastianini took first place at the Portuguese Grand Prix, ahead of Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) and Jorge Martin (Pramac). Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) will start from ninth position, while Johann Zarco (Honda) was unable to qualify for Q1.

He is a teammate of two-time world champion Francesco Bagnaia, but on Saturday, he will be the one who will get all the limelight. Enea Bastianini took his first pole since joining the Ducati Lenovo team last season, at the Algarve Circuit in Portugal. The 26-year-old offered himself the second pole position of his career, after the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, where he was with Gresini (he then retired during Sunday's race). Bastianini set one of his seven fast laps in 1:37s and 706s, 82 thousandths ahead of Maverick Vinales, who was ill this weekend but is nonetheless quick in the Aprilia, and Jorge Martin, the vice world champion, in position. The third time is 106 thousandths. Francesco Bagnaia, winner of the first Grand Prix of the season, in Qatar, will start from fourth position.

Third line of fire

It is the third row that will undoubtedly attract the most attention on Saturday afternoon during the Sprint Race and on Sunday during the Grand Prix. There we will find already the 19-year-old Pedro Acosta, ninth in his first GP, riding a KTM, but also the legend Marc Márquez, six-time world champion, who succeeded in the eighth time despite falling at the start of the course, and world champion 2021 Fabio Quartararo, ninth, who could have some ambitions, as he finished eleventh in Qatar after starting from sixteenth place. The other Frenchman present in the first MotoGP category, Johann Zarco, under the momentum of the complicated start of the Portuguese round (16th, then 20th and 18th of the three free practice sessions), was unable to get through the first section, finishing only ninth. Therefore, he will finish nineteenth on the grid, with little hope of finishing in the points.. The Sprint will start at 4:00pm French time on Saturday and the Grand Prix at 3:00pm on Sunday.

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