New MotoGP circuit record gets cancelled due to infringement

  • Front-row start for Johann Zarco, third, with the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team

The Ducati Lenovo Team took to the track today at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve for Day 2 of the Portuguese GP, the third round of the 2021 MotoGP season. With the sun finally shining on the Portimão circuit and the asphalt conditions having improved compared to yesterday, both Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller could gain access directly to Q2 by setting, respectively, the third and sixth fastest times at the end of the third free practice session.

In this afternoon’s qualifying, Miller further improved his benchmark by finishing fourth thanks to a good lap time of 1:39.061, with which he secured the start from the second row of the grid in tomorrow’s race.

Bagnaia closed only 11th instead. In the final minutes of the session, the Italian did a stunning lap time in 1:38.494, taking the pole position and setting a new lap time record. However, the time was later cancelled as he was set under a yellow flag, which was deployed after Oliveira’s crash. The Italian rider will be forced to start from the fourth row of the grid in tomorrow’s race, scheduled at 1:00 pm local time (2:00 pm Italian time).

Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th (1:39.061)
“I wasn’t able to get a perfect lap time in qualifying today, and maybe I could have done a bit more, but the second-row start isn’t bad and departing from the fourth position will definitely allow us to try and get back into the top group after the start. The conditions of my right arm are perfect, and I didn’t feel any issues even after doing several laps in 1:40s today. We’ll see how it behaves over the 25-lap distance, but I’m confident I can fight for a good result tomorrow.”

Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th (1:39.482)
“I’m obviously disappointed that I missed out on pole position. I had managed to set an incredible time, but two of my laps were cancelled in the space of a few minutes. Unfortunately, the flag was displayed in a place where I couldn’t see it: I was coming down a hill, I was already taking a left turn, and the flag was on the right. Obviously, these are the rules, and we have to follow them. Tomorrow we will start from the eleventh position, and it will not be easy to recover, but we will try. My race pace is good, the feeling with the bike is excellent, and I feel really comfortable on this track”.

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