Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo took MotoGP pole in Portuguese GP after late dramas as Jorge Martin is hospitalised.
The first part of MotoGP Portuguese GP qualifying had Suzuki’s Joan Mir and Honda’s Marc Marquez in play at the top, as the two switched positions initially. The latter led the way at the end with a 1m39.253s with the former in second after a 1m39.302s lap.
The other two Hondas were close behind as LCR’s Alex Marquez slotted in third to start in 13th ahead of factory rider Pol Espargaro. KTM’s Brad Binder was 15th with Avintia Ducati’s Enea Bastianini in 16th from Petronas SRT’s Valentino Rossi.
The Tech 3 KTM duo of Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona slotted in 18th and 19th, with Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori in 20th. LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami did not take part in qualifying after his crash on Friday as he felt discomfort in FP4.
Nakagami crashed at Turn 1 and hurt his collarbone. While his participation is still unclear, Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin has been ruled out after a heavy crash in FP3 at Turn 7. The Spaniard was taken to hospital and was declared unfit with a ‘head contusions, right hand and ankle contusion’.
MotoGP doctor Angle Charte spoke to DAZN: “Severe, high-energy trauma with several twists and turns. Initially he was conscious on the floor, but when the doctors arrived it appeared that he had momentarily lost consciousness.
“The neurological examination was normal, always conscious and oriented, and [he’s] in a lot of pain. The initial diagnosis is a cranioencephalic traumatism and several polytraumatisms with the possibility of several fractures, probably in the hand and foot (right).
“We have decided to evacuate him to the hospital in Faro, where he will undergo a complete CAT scan. The prognosis is not serious, but guarded. There is a fracture (hand) that I don’t like very much but I want to have a scan, which will tell us if he has to undergo surgery. He also has a lot of pain in his knee.”
— JorgeMartínAlmoguera (@88jorgemartin) April 17, 2021
The second part in MotoGP Portuguese GP started off well for Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, who led the way from his rivals after his first run. A crash for Pramac’s Johann Zarco hurt Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia initially as his lap time was deleted due to yellow flag.
But Bagnaia fought back on his second run to break the lap record and take pole. However, there was drama still awaiting him, when his lap time was cancelled for the second time due to another yellow flag lap infringement due to KTM’s Miguel Oliveira’s crash.
It allowed Quartararo retain MotoGP Portuguese GP pole with a 1m38.862s from Suzuki’s Alex Rins, with Zarco fighting back to third. The factory Ducati of Jack Miller slotted in fourth from Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli, with Marquez in fifth.
On his return after almost a year, Marquez is to start from the second row, ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, Avintia’s Luca Marini, Suzuki’s Mir, KTM’s Oliveira, Bagnaia and Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales – the latter having his lap deleted due to track limits.