Portimao omen points towards a debut backflip for Zarco

by | Apr 24, 2022 | Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, KTM, motoGP News, Suzuki, Yamaha

Portimao omen points towards a debut backflip for Zarco

Find out what record the flying Frenchman is hoping to continue in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix after claiming pole position

A zinger from Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) stole the headlines on Saturday at the Tissot Grand Prix of Portugal as a first venture onto slick tyres threw up some surprising results. We’ve seen career-best and career-worst results up and down the grid, so here’s a full recap of everything that went down at Portimao on a slightly manic day.

1. In our three visits to Portimao since it was added to the MotoGP™ calendar in November 2020, all three riders who claimed pole on Saturday went on to win the race on Sunday – Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).

2. Johann Zarco has qualified on pole position for the first time since Germany last year and for the seventh time in MotoGP™. He moves up above Christian Sarron in second place on the list of French riders with the most pole positions, now only behind Fabio Quartararo (16 poles).

3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified second and is the top Suzuki rider. This is Mir’s best qualifying in the premier class and his third front row start along with Styria in 2020 (following Johann Zarco’s penalty) and the Algarve Grand Prix last year when he was third. In addition, with Mir in second, this is the best qualifying result for Suzuki since Alex Rins was also second at the Portuguese GP last year.

4. Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro has qualified third, which is the second time this year that he’s qualified on the front row of the grid. The last time? The Argentinian Grand Prix where he qualified on pole and won the race.

5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) has qualified fourth, which is the fourth successive time that he has qualified inside the top four at Portimao. He’s finished on the podium twice here: P2 at the 2020 Portuguese GP and P3 in last year’s Algarve GP.

Miller flying high even after late pole position heartbreak

6. Mooney VR46 Racing's Marco Bezzecchi has qualified sixth for his best qualifying result of his rookie season. His best MotoGP™ result on a Sunday so far is P9 in Argentina.

7. After passing through Q1, Alex Marquez (LCR Castrol Honda) has qualified seventh for his best qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP™ in 2020.

8. Our only 100% front row record of 2022 has come to an end on Saturday after Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) ended up 13th. Two weeks on from a second pole position of the year in Austin, the Spaniard suffered his worst qualifying since he was 14th at the Dutch TT last year.

9. World Championship leader Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) crashed in Q1 and qualified 18th for his worst qualifying result since he was also 18th at the season finale in Valencia last year.

Ducati Team Manager offers update on Bagnaia's condition

10. Winner last time we were here in Portimao from pole position, Ducati Lenovo Team's Francesco Bagnaia, crashed in Q1 without setting a laptime meaning he will start from 25th and last on the grid. It's his worst qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP™ in 2019. It's also his worst qualifying result since the 2016 San Marino Grand Prix where he also qualified 25th on his Mahindra Moto3™ machine.

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