MotoGP 2022 – Algarve International Circuit Portugal – Qualification

The KTM RC16 will fill two slots on the fourth row of the starting grid for the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal tomorrow at the Algarve International Circuit. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira was fastest with a lap-time that placed him 11th. Teammate Brad Binder was close behind in 12th.

  • Both Red Bull KTM riders enter Q2 in changeable weather conditions at Portimao
  • Oliveira takes 11th on the grid to prime his fans after popular pre-event ride-out on Wednesday
  • A stormy Grand Prix creates a wet then drying racetrack and difficult sessions for set-up
  • Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü gathers his first Moto3 Pole Position of the season
Breezy but sunny conditions finally arrived at the Algarve International Circuit on Saturday for the fourth Grand Prix to be held by the venue since 2020. Free Practice had been clouded by overcast skies and heavy rain but the last minutes of qualification were dry and bright. The sweeping track is not only hosting the first European event of the 2022 MotoGP season but also the first of a double on the Iberian Peninsula double this week with the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at Jerez following hard upon.
Miguel Oliveira guided hundreds of excited fans on a lap of the circuit with his KTM RC16 on Wednesday and then cranked up the speed considerably come the first Free Practice sessions. The inaugural winner of his home round in 2020 was one of the fastest on-track, heading both FP3 and FP4, and entered Q2. His best attempt at the crucial chrono period and during the awkward switch from damp to dry resulted in 11th.
Brad Binder had a small crash in the treacherous climate during the morning period. The South African adapted to the changing state of the surface but was punished by a mistake on his flying attempt and then denied on his last run by a yellow flag.

Coming to Portugal, the Tech3 KTM Factory riders both carried fond memories of the Portimao venue. Raul Fernandez grasped his second career Grand Prix win in Moto3 there in 2020 (as well as Moto2 success last year) while Remy Gardner won the last race of his championship campaign towards the end of 2021 around the same curves. It was the Australian who found better pace in qualification despite hitting a damp spot and crashing early in Q1. Gardner rushed back to the pitlane and ended the day with 20th. The Spaniard will begin the Grand Prix from 24th after also going down in Q1.
The race order for the Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal sees Moto3 open the program at 12.20 followed by MotoGP at 14.00 and then Moto2 at 15.30 CET.
Miguel Oliveira“Changing conditions today and we were strong in every type we found. In qualifying I was feeling good but had a small technical issue halfway through. Anyway, on a changing track it was important to stay on the bike and guarantee the best starting place for tomorrow. It will be all about the warm-up and trying to understand the needs for the conditions and then just ‘go’. I don’t think we will have the perfect bike set-up but then nobody else will either.”
 
Brad Binder“Today wasn’t so bad. FP3 was good and it was nice to go straight through to Q2. It was clear that it was going to dry up after FP4. It was crazy to watch Q1 with all the crashes and the guys on slicks not making it around the first time! I was a little bit nervous going out for Q2 on slicks straightaway but it was definitely a good decision even if it was a terrible session for me. I made two mistakes on two laps before the end and my last lap was yellow-flagged. It did not work out too well for me. So 12th for tomorrow and it could have been better but hopefully we’ll make a strong start and try to fight with the boys.”


Remy Gardner:“I think that we made the right decision to go out with slick tires today even if I ended up crashing in turn 9. The best way to learn about the tires’ behaviour is to push and test the limits, and this is what I did today. Tomorrow will be tough because it should be a dry day, and we have not ridden at all on the dry. I was looking forward to trying Portimao on a dry track, so we will see tomorrow at the warm up before the race.”
 
Raul Fernandez“The day started well as I did a good Free Practice 3 session. I was quite fast and had a good feeling on the bike. For qualifying, we had difficult conditions and we chose the slick tyres. I ended up making up a mistake and hurt myself a bit. I will get some rest this evening, the most important is to be fit for Sunday and try to do the race.”
Moto3 & Moto2 & Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
 
Moto3 Q2 saw 12 racers split by just two seconds despite all the rainfall and KTM were best represented by Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü. The Turk took his KTM RC4 to a second Pole Position of his career (the first coming at the Red Bull Ring in Austria last summer) and less than two hundredths of a second from the next best rider at the peak of the front row. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Daniel Holgado and Jaume Masia were 13th and 15th respectively while Adrian Fernandez is not fit to ride after breaking two fingers on his left hand because of a crash during Friday.

Deniz Öncü:“I had been struggling a lot with the wet conditions since the beginning of the weekend, so I had definitively not planned to finish in pole position. When qualifying came around, I told myself that I had to forget about the first three sessions, try to push and go at my own pace to see what happens. It worked because I finished first in Q1 so I did the same in Q2, and I got the pole position. It is crazy. This pole position is for my team because they work so much and I am just riding the bike forty minutes two times per day, so well done to all of them.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez built a lap-time good enough for 5th place on the Moto2 grid. The Spaniard was 15 slots ahead of rookie teammate and fellow countryman Pedro Acosta; the reigning Moto3 world champion could not emerge from Q1 in Portugal.
In the opening round of the 2022 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 16-year-old Spaniard Jose Rueda cruised to a dominant first victory with the KTM RC250 R. The teenager grabbed the checkered flag by almost ten seconds.
Results Qualifying MotoGP Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal
1. Johann Zarco (FRA) Ducati 1:42.003
2. Joan Mir (ESP) Suzuki +0.195
3. Aleix Espargaro (ESP) Aprilia +0.232
4. Jack Miller (AUS) Ducati +0.500
5. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +0.713
11. Miguel Oliveira (POR) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +2.063
12. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +2.707
20. Remy Gardner (AUS) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:50.953
24. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Tech3 KTM Factory Racing (Q1) 1:53.603
 
Results Qualifying Moto2 Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal
1. Aron Canet (ESP) 1:44.151
2. Cameron Beaubier (USA) +0.328
3. Jake Dixon (GBR) +0.350
5. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.637
20. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo (Q1) +1:46.160
Results Qualifying Moto3 Grande Premio Tissot de Portugal
1. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Tech3 2:03.955
2. Mario Aji (IND) Honda +0.017
3. Lorenzo Fellon (FRA) Honda +0.492
4. Carlos Tatay (ESP) CFMOTO +0.546
5. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda +0.608
13. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +2.012
15. Jaume Masia (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +2.577
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