A warm but cloudy Algarve Circuit was the scene of another ruthless battle for pole position in the premier class. After showing off his pace in FP4, Fabio Quartararo got straight down to business in Q2 and showed off his one lap speed as well, beating the all time lap record on his first flying lap. The Frenchman looked untouchable at the top until Pecco Bagnaia blitzed past on his final flying lap but once the celebratory wheelies were done, his time was scrapped for a yellow flag infringement, which put Quartararo back on pole. Alex Rins made Suzuki proud with his late jump to the middle of the front row, while Johann Zarco started Q2 with a crash at turn 11 but turned it around to add a Ducati to the front row.
Jack Miller came within seven hundredths of a second of the front row but fourth position was impressive enough after his recent trip to the surgeon, a small gap keeping him ahead of a consistent Franco Morbidelli. Marc Marquez spent both qualifying sessions making frenemies of the Suzukis, first chasing Joan Mir to top Q1 and then tailing Rins on his way to the second row of the grid.
Aleix Espargaro opens row three for Aprilia, ahead of Luca Marini, who used pal Bagnaia as a reference to grab a fine eighth position on his first trip to Q2. Unlike Marquez, Joan Mir used up his last fresh soft rear tyre early in Q2 and then dropped down the timesheets to ninth place.
Miguel Oliveira opens fourth row and his fast crash at turn 9 was what prompted the yellow flag that spelled trouble for the man keeping him company on the grid, dropping Bagnaia to 11th position. Maverick Vinales had a pretty disastrous session, one hot lap getting cancelled due to a yellow flag and then seeing his next attempt hindered by marginally exceeding track limits, the Spaniard ending the day in 12th.
Honda colleagues Alex Marquez and Pol Espargaro missed out on Q2 but will open the fifth row of the grid, in the company of Brad Binder. The remaining Honda of Takaaki Nakagami did not take part in qualifying after also sitting out FP4 and part of FP3 due to the heavy impact of his crash on Friday. Meanwhile, Jorge Martin was declared unfit for the race due to head, hand and ankle contusions which are being further investigated in hospital.