The behavior of the 28-year-old Catalan rider Marc Márquez (Honda) remains incredible, unthinkable, grotesque, unique , who, after nine months without getting on his Honda, after three operations on his right arm, on his humerus, the last of more than 11 hours in the operating room, and weeks of hard training and rehabilitation, has managed to place himself in the second row of the starting grid (2:00 p.m., DAZN and Movistar) of the Portuguese Grand Prix , which is held in the beautiful and vertiginous Portimao track, third round of the MotoGP World Championship .
The ‘pole position’ has been for the French Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha, 1.38.862 minutes), only 0.259 seconds faster than the champion of Cervera (Lleida).
The ‘Diablo’ will lead the kings’ grid, for the first time this year, after the Italian ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia (Ducati, in the Qatar GP) and, surprisingly, the Spanish ‘rookie’ Jorge Martín (Ducati , at the Doha GP).
It so happens that Bagnaia got his best lap in quali and, therefore, his second pole of the year for having done it with a yellow flag, shown on the track by the fall of local Miguel Oliveira (KTM) , and Martin will be out tomorrow due to several fractures after a spectacular fall to more than 250 km / h. Quartararo will share the front row with the Catalan Álex Rins (Suzuki, 1.38.951) and the leader of the championship, the French Johann Zarco (Ducati, 1.38.991),
If we want to appreciate the immense feat of Márquez, who started on Friday with a time of 1.42.378 minutes in his first outing on the track and ended today with an extraordinary 1.39.121, which gives him the right to close the second row of his first GP after nine months of inactivity, we can review the grid and check, to see, I insist, the enormity of MM93’s feat, that the champion, Majorcan Joan Mir (Suzuki, 1.39.398) starts from ninth place (third row ), Maverick Viñales (Yamaha, 1.39.807) from 12th place, Pol Espargaró (Honda, 1.39.710) from the center of the fifth row and veteran Valentino Rossi (Yamaha, 1.39.943) from position 17 of the Grill.
Márquez, who has had to go through Q1, that is, the qualification that entitles only the first two (him and Mir), to be able to compete in Q1 and aspire to the ‘pole’ or front line, has been the best in that phase, with a time of 1.39.253, which was already fabulous and, then, in the final Q1, due to fatigue, to dose, he only took to the track with five minutes remaining to make only one attempt and achieve that fantastic 1.39.121 minutes, which allows him to close the second row in his grand prix back to the World Cup.
“I have a very good rhythm, I am very happy to go out in front although it is true that the time they took from ‘Pecco’ (Bagnaia) was fabulous. I think that if I can escape I can set a pace that we will see if the others follow”, Quartararo pointed out. “I am happy, very happy, it is not normal for me to be in the front row, it is not even normal for Suzuki, but it is always important to go ahead in MotoGP.
Fabio has shown a tremendous pace in the second practice today and, therefore, he will be the man to watch, “Rins said. “I fell in turn 11 when I was doing a great time, but luckily the bike worked, I was able to go back to the box, take the second bike and risk it on the last lap. I am happy, this first row will allow me to defend the leadership of the World Championship exit, “Zarco told DAZN.