While Ducati and Aprilia dominated the first day of pre-season testing held in Portimao, Francesco Bagnaia set the fastest time. Fabio Quartararo moved up to eighth place when Johann Zarco, victim of a fall in the afternoon, finished thirteenth.
Ducati and Aprilia keep the hand. Two weeks before the first Grand Prix of the 2023 MotoGP season on the Portimão circuit, the teams met on the circuit located in the Algarve for the last two days of testing. As in Sepang last month, the two Italian constructors monopolized the first places in Portugal. While Luca Marini was the fastest in the morning, Francesco Bagnaia enforced his status as world champion.
The Italian driver signed the best of his 78 laps in 1’38”771 and is 234 thousandths of a second ahead of the half-brother of Valentino Rossi, spearhead of the VR46 team. Behind the two Ducatis, Maverick Viñales took his Aprilia to third place, 254 thousandths off the benchmark. Over the day as a whole, the seven best times were all set by a rider either riding a Ducati or an Aprilia. The “best of the rest” got the most out of one of the only two Yamahas that will be present on the starting grid this year.
Ciaooo! 👋🏼 From your fastest man at the end of Day 1 of the #PortimaoTest 😎#ForzaDucati #DucatiLenovoTeam pic.twitter.com/3bqqdCOFvI
— Ducati Corse (@ducaticorse) March 11, 2023
Quartararo does with what he has
Although he was one of the most diligent drivers on the track, with 90 laps covered, Fabio Quartararo waited until the end of the day to tackle the exercise of the qualifying simulation. An effort that only allowed him to get eighth place at 843 thousandths of a second from the time set by Francesco Bagnaia. The 2021 world champion is the only non-Ducati or non-Aprilia rider in the Top 10 for the day. “El Diablo” is followed by Fabio di Giannantonio, victim of a heavy fall at turn 7 and transported to the hospital to undergo examinations, and Jorge Martin, both enjoying the motorcycles of the firm of Borgo Panigale.
His compatriot Johann Zarco did not have an easy first day on the Portuguese track. Also going ashore during the afternoon session, the Pramac team driver could not do better than the 13th time at 945 thousandths. Riding a more than perfectible Honda, Marc Marquez did not sparkle with the 19th time at almost a second and a half. The drivers will be entitled this Sunday to a last day of testing before the start of the season on March 26th.