PORTIMAO, Portugal – Fabio Quartararo continued Monster Energy Yamaha’s incredible start to the MotoGP season with his second-straight victory and the third-straight victory overall for the team during Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix at Autodromo Internacional de Algarve.
Quartararo started from the pole, but slipped to sixth through the opening corner. By lap two he’d gained two of those sports back after dispatching the returning Marc Marquez and the Ducati of Jack Miller.
It wasn’t long before Quartararo moved to third as he slipped past Joan Mir and now he only had leader Alex Rins and Johann Zarco ahead of him. On lap six Quartararo was around Zarco, leaving only Rins in his path.
With 17 laps left Quartararo made what would prove to be the decisive move, driving around Rins to take the race lead. Rins managed to stay close to Quartararo, but that ended seven laps later when Rins crashed out of the race.
That left Quartararo in complete control and he powered to a comfortable 4.809-second victory over runner-up Francesco Bagnaia.
“In today’s race, I just focused on my riding – but what a pace. I didn‘t expect it,” Quartararo said. “I was about half a second off my qualifying lap, so that was amazing. I also felt the pressure from Rins coming up behind me. I wanted to make a gap, but then he made a mistake. I was riding well and easy, and I was still able to make a gap to Bagnaia, so I was so happy. We did an amazing job.”
Mir finished third to complete the podium, with Franco Morbidelli finishing fourth for Petronas Yamaha SRT. Brad Binder finished fifth for the Red Bull KTM team.
Marquez, in his first MotoGP event in more than 12 months, finished seventh for Repsol Honda.