If the hills surrounding the Autodromo internacional do Algarve circuit are still green at the start of spring, the temperatures are already summery in the south of Portugal. After a four-month truce, the public witnessed, on Sunday March 26, the furious battle fought on the hot track by the twenty-two tightrope walkers of the Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix, visibly impatient to do battle.
For the first time in seventeen years, the motorcycling premier class championship has started in Europe – the organizers having become accustomed to starting the season in the more subdued atmosphere of a night race in Qatar. And unlike last year, when he did not finish the opening race on the Lusail circuit, near Doha, the Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) did not miss the appointment.
Impossible to get a better start for “Pecco”, the reigning world champion. After winning the sprint race the day before – a great novelty in the championship aimed at spicing up the discipline – the Italian driver took victory in the traditional Sunday event. That is a weekend with 37 points (12 + 25) in the general classification.
Spaniard Maverick Viñales (Aprilia) and Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati VR46) complete the podium. Starting in pole position, the Spaniard Marc Marquez (Honda) fell after having telescoped the regional of the stage, the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia RNF), causing a broca in the crowd of 120,000 spectators gathered in the stands of the circuit of the Algarve, which was full on Sunday under a blazing sun.
😱 DOUBLE FALL!! Marc Marquez crashes into Miguel Oliveira and takes him with him 💥 #PortugueseGP #MotoGP https://t.co/Ffcfr2YWLh
The beautiful end of the race of the French Zarco
“I have great confidence in my new bike. We will continue to have fun to have a great season.”, assured Bagnaia after the race. Throughout the weekend, the Turinese appeared serene, much more relaxed than last year when he had to work hard to catch up after a disastrous start to the season.
Rather than trying technological bets, as usual, his Ducati team has bet this season on the card of caution, thus facilitating the task of its pilots. ” Everything is under control “summed up on arrival Paolo Ciabatti, sports director of the Bologna manufacturer.
Thanks to a frenzied end of the race, mystifying three competitors in the last lap, the Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati Pramac) won 4e place. A good omen for the future. “It’s a great reward for the team, after a great fight, it gives pleasure”rejoiced the one who, at 32, is still looking for his first Grand Prix victory.
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