MotoGP in Portimao


24.03.2024

Sprint


The second Sprint Race of the 2024 MotoGP season saw both standard bearers of the Ducati Lenovo Team in the top six, with Francesco Bagnaia fourth at the chequered flag and Enea Bastianini sixth at the end of the 12-lap encounter. Pecco started the race from fourth place on the grid, while Enea lined up ahead of the whole MotoGP field courtesy of his second career pole position with Ducati.

Bagnaia had an excellent start to the race and was second at turn one, before moving up to first place at the start of lap three. The rider #1 stayed in the lead until the ninth lap, when he ran wide at the first corner and lost three seconds as well as three positions. He then successfully defended fourth place up to the chequered flag.

A not-perfect start from pole cost Bastianini a few places early on, and the rider #23 struggled a bit in the opening laps before settling into a consistent rhythm, which still did not allow him to enter the battle for the podium. Enea was sixth at the line, 0.229secs away from his teammate.

The 25-lap, Portuguese Grand Prix race will get underway tomorrow at 14:00 local time (GMT +1), following the morning warm up scheduled at 9:40.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th
“I was managing the situation well, just as I did in Qatar, both feeling-wise and with regards to the margin on my opponents. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the drop of fuel level so when I hit the brakes, the rear unloaded a bit more, up to the point that I had no other choice than trying to avoid a crash. I had to run wider and lost ground. From then on, I only thought about keeping my position and make it to the finish line. Tomorrow’s race will be different, with a tyre that I like a lot more, so I don’t believe a similar situation will present itself. Unfortunately, these things happen, but what I know is that we made a big step forward today in terms of feeling and that translated into a good level of performance also in the Sprint Race.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 6th
“I made a bit of a silly mistake as I activated the holeshot device before deactivating it again as I thought I hadn’t switched it on before. It’s really a shame because I think I could have done better today. I stressed the front tyre a lot in the early laps while trying to overtake and recover positions so let’s say I didn’t play my cards right and showed my full potential. Things will be different tomorrow and I’ll try to make the most of pole position.”

Race


The Ducati Lenovo Team scored a second-place finish in the Portuguese GP race courtesy of Enea Bastianini, who put together an excellent performance that saw him in close proximity to the race lead up to the chequered flag. Francesco Bagnaia was out of contention with three laps to go while battling for fifth place due a coming together at turn five.

Bastianini showed a consistently quick race pace throughout the 25-lap race. After setting the fastest lap of the encounter in 1:38.685secs – new race lap record at Portimão – Enea moved up to second place at the start of the final lap, securing his maiden podium of the season.

After being part of the battle for the podium in the early stages, Bagnaia spent most of the encounter in a strenuous effort to defend fourth place. With three laps left, a coming together with Marc Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) and the subsequent crash at turn five resulted in an early end to Pecco’s race, who was running in fifth position.

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action on April 12-14 at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas for the third Grand Prix of the 2024 season.

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd
“It was a good battle. I never stopped believing until the end, but Jorge Martín pushed very hard and did a perfect race, so I had to settle for second. This is a special result for me, as Portimão isn’t among my favourite tracks. Surely, it’s a really great circuit, but prior to this weekend I had never been able to be really strong here. The three of us at the front did some push and pull throughout the race, but in the end the win was an impossible task today. Having Maverick (Viñales) ahead of me made my life a bit more complicated as he was really strong in the fourth sector, and I was never able to get close enough to him in the rest of lap. Things may have been easier had I been in front of him, but I was a bit nervous in the opening lap and made a few too many mistakes. I would like to thank the team and my family for their support because it wasn’t easy to return to top positions after such a complicated 2023 season.”

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – DNF
“I got a good start but unfortunately chose the wrong line at turn three: I closed the line a bit, while the outside would have been a better choice. I wanted to overtake Enea in the early laps as I saw him having a bit of a difficult time, but at some point, I started experiencing a lack of grip at the rear-end which prevented me from pushing as hard as I wanted. We weren’t at our best and it’s clear we couldn’t find the perfect solution, even though the feeling was very good both yesterday and this morning. It’s a pity; we’ll now focus on the next race as after the warmup I felt I had the potential to battle at the front – but we weren’t able to capitalise. I’m particularly sorry because we have worked well, but we were missing something in today’s race.”


Gallery:



Race results

Pos.Nr.DriverTeamBikeTime
1 89 J. Martin 41:18.138
2 23 E. Bastianini +0.882
3 31 P. Acosta +5.362
4 33 B. Binder +11.129
5 43 J. Miller +16.437
6 72 M. Bezzecchi +19.403
7 20 F. Quartararo +20.130
8 41 A. Espargaro +21.549
9 88 M. Oliveira +23.929
10 49 F. Di Giannantonio +28.195
11 37 A. Fernandez +28.244
12 36 J. Mir +29.271
13 42 A. Rins +31.334
14 30 T. Nakagami +34.932
15 5 J. Zarco +38.267
16 93 M. Marquez +40.174
17 10 L. Marini +40.775
18 21 F. Morbidelli +52.362
DNF 12 M. Viñales
DNF 1 F. Bagnaia
DNF 73 A. Marquez
DNF 25 R. Fernandez

Latest articles on Ducatista.org:

02.06.2024
26.05.2024
12.05.2024
« Back