First practice day for 2023 MotoGP starts


Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini finish Friday free practice for the Portuguese GP in third and tenth place respectively

Day 1 of practices for the Portuguese GP, the 2023 MotoGP World Championship opening round, scheduled this weekend at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, saw Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini finish with the third and tenth fastest times, respectively.

The Ducati Lenovo Team riders thus gain direct access to the first Q2 of the season. In fact, following the new format, MotoGP riders took part in two practice sessions today – Practice 1 of 45 minutes this morning and 1 hour of Practice 2 this afternoon – which decided the top ten that will take part directly in the second qualifying session tomorrow morning.

After finishing with the ninth fastest time in Practice 1, Bagnaia closed as the third quickest in the afternoon, despite a session full of unforeseen events. After a prolonged interruption due to a blackout of the time screens, Pecco returned to the track for his first “time attack”, which he had to abort after almost suffering a crash. The World Champion returned to the track for a second attempt, interrupted by a second red flag following Pol Espargaro’s crash. Despite this, the Italian rider still made the most of the soft tyre as he secured third place in 1:37.856.

Enea Bastianini, who made his race debut with the factory Borgo Panigale-based squad today, also managed to close with the tenth fastest time in 1:38.256, 547 thousandths from the top of the combined standings.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd (1:37.856)
“Our first practice day for 2023 went well: with used tyres, we are quite competitive, and even in the time attack, we managed to set a good lap time. In the first attempt, I risked falling at the last corner, while with the second soft tyre, I managed to close only one lap before the red flag came out following Pol’s crash. In any case, we can be happy and ready to face the first Sprint Race of the season.”

Enea Bastianini (#23, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 10th (1:38.256)
“It was difficult to concentrate this afternoon, but I managed. The last two time attacks went well, although I was expecting more. I still have to figure out how to get the most from the new bike, but I’m learning its strengths. For now, I am satisfied with the progress made during the day, and we will try to make more tomorrow.”

In addition to qualifying tomorrow morning starting at 11am local time, MotoGP riders will also face their first race of the weekend, the Sprint Race beginning at 3pm, Portugal time, over a 12-lap distance.

About Michael Le Pard 10231 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle, the World’s Largest Motorcycle Site with over 425 million readers since 1999. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach 425 million people has been incredible and I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members...thank you so much! We are all making a difference to millions of riders worldwide.