2022 Portimão MotoGP Race Result: A Dominating Display Closes Title Battle Further

The usual rollercoaster description of Portimão continued to extend to the weather conditions, with previous patches of clear sky covered up by ominous clouds by the time the premier class lined up on the grid. Thankfully, the rain kept away for the 25 laps of the Fabio Quartararo recital, the work champion in a class of his own from the start to the chequered flag, taking his first victory of the season with a five-second advantage over compatriot Johann Zarco. The poleman had a fight on his hands to claim second but mistakes from his rivals made it easier for him in the closing stages and he managed to keep Aleix Espargaro at a safe distance, the Aprilia man making a return to the podium.

However, it was Joan Mir who stole the show off the line, the Spaniard lightning quick at the start to take the lead into turn one, while Quartararo got past Jack Miller and Alex Marquez got through on poleman Zarco. Home favourite Miguel Oliveira also made a solid start to climb into sixth straight away, but the totally-made-up holeshot award went to Alex Rins, the Suzuki man making a spectacular start from the final row of the grid and challenging a more cautious Marc Marquez for 10th position by the end of the opening lap. His last row colleague, Pecco Bagnaia made little progress early on, only a couple of places recovered on the first lap, while an equally sore Enea Bastianini was not too far off the top 10.

While Mir and Quartararo started to extend a slight gap at the front, Miller was soon under attack from Zarco, the Frenchman demoting the Australian by lap three, but that battle was already taking place one second behind the leaders. Quartararo attacked Mir at the start of lap four and quickly put a one second gap between them, going on to set a phenomenally consistent pace that no one else could live with. Meanwhile, Zarco was closing in on the Suzuki man as well, leaving Miller to contend with the rest of the chasing group, including Alex Marquez, Aleix Espargaro and Oliveira, while Pol Espargaro was leading the next group of contenders, including Rins, Marc Marquez and Bastianini. Rins had progressed up to 8th by lap five, four seconds behind the leader and quickly closing in on the men ahead. Marc Marquez did not make the early progress he would have wished for and was stuck at the bottom of the top 10, chasing his teammate, but lost one of his pursuers when Jorge Martin crashed on lap six, promoting Bastianini to 11th position. The two Repsol Hondas kept each other entertained over the next couple of laps, losing them over two seconds on the men ahead and with Bastianini waiting to pounce. Meanwhile, a very sore Bagnaia had climbed into 16th place by lap seven.

Back at the front, Quartararo had extended his advantage to two seconds over Mir and Zarco by lap 10, with Miller in a lonelier fourth, while all eyes were on the busy battle for fifth between Aleix Espargaro, Rins, Alex Marquez and Oliveira. Two seconds back, Marc Marquez looked like he had settled the intra-team dispute and was pushing to bridge the gap ahead. Bastianini seemed to have also found a way past Pol Espargaro by lap 10 but the progress was short-lived, the Italian throwing the lead of the world championship in the gravel trap at turn eight. Aided by an additional crash from Takaaki Nakagami, Bagnaia was admirably up to 12th position.

The calm before the storm seemed to have set in at the halfway point of the race, with Quartararo enjoying a safe three-second advantage at the front, Mir still defending second from Zarco and not many exchanges in the rest of the top 10, given the one second gaps between most of the riders. Miller got some airtime while closing in on the battle for second, as did Marc Marquez on his slight rodeo ride while reeling in his little brother for eighth place. The quiet didn't last for long and second place was soon under dispute, with Zarco making his move on Mir with 11 laps remaining and although Mir fought back, Miller had also joined the podium party and Aleix Espargaro was closing in and putting pressure from behind. Miller decided to attack at turn one with seven laps remaining, but the Ducati man lost the front and collected Mir, both riders heading into the gravel trap at considerable speed.

With Quartararo off in the distance, Zarco was left to defend second from Aleix Espargaro, but the Spaniard could not get close enough to attack. Rins found himself only one second off the podium with a handful of laps left but the gap proved too much to overcome and he settled for fourth, four seconds ahead of Oliveira. Two seconds behind, there was some brotherly fire between the Marquezes, the elder attacking with two laps remaining, the youngster responding at the start of the final lap and although Marc got back ahead at turn 13, the two crossed the finish line separated by only two hundredths of a second. Baganaia went for an identical last lap move on Pol Espargaro and rewarded himself with a hard worked eight place after a very difficult and particularly painful weekend.

Quartararo’s untroubled victory and Rins’ phenomenal comeback from the last row of the grid leaves them tied on points in the lead of the world championship, three points ahead of Aleix Espargaro and with Bastianini dropping to fourth, eighth points behind the joint leaders.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 41:39.6110
2 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 5.409
3 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 6.068
4 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 9.633
5 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 13.573
6 93 Marc Marquez Honda 16.163
7 73 Alex Marquez Honda 16.183
8 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 16.511
9 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 16.769
10 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 18.063
11 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 29.029
12 10 Luca Marini Ducati 29.249
13 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 33.354
14 87 Remy Gardner KTM 40.205
15 72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 46.052
16 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 49.569
17 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha 50.303
Not Classified
  49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 35:39.7010
  23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 15:10.5090
  36 Joan Mir Suzuki 30:04.4120
  43 Jack Miller Ducati 30:04.5360
  32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 40:59.9600
  33 Brad Binder KTM 28:33.7440
  89 Jorge Martin Ducati 06:46.9030
Round Number: 
5
2022
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Comments

That Yamaha looked really sluggish on the start finish straight.

Then again, Mir and Fabio were the slowest 12kph down on the fastest. Ducati not able to take advantage of that. So begins the long hot...grippy...summer.

Pre race thoughts, in warm up Quartararo had clear race pace. But he was on S front M rear. Tire choice for the race is interesting, everyone going M front M rear except Pol and A.Marquez going H rear. Last minute change for a Red bike? It is nerve wracking and exciting having no time but warm up in dry. Bezzechi didn't even get that since he crashed out of it. 

No Raul, out w hand injury. Hate to say it, but the kid's likelihood of getting points hasn't changed much by it. What can we say? Given his clear displeasure with being on a KTM and high opinion of himself as well as his season so far? The arranged Orange Fernandez marriage is in separate beds. 

Watching my heart strings, Bastiannini pulls them. The woman holding his umbrella didn't hurt either. High hopes for him to continue form, even if he is gridded back. 

Pecco is hurt, the shoulder in pain. He may be starting 24th, but similarities to Marc's last race likely to end there.

Go! Mir's start picture perfect, this Suzuki has really developed off the line. The first lap was such a crowded and aggressive swarm, impressed it was so clean. Rins too opens strong.

Zarco was quite aggressive. He makes me nervous when he is grinding his teeth, he can show poor judgement and take people out. 

As a cheery energetic Quartararo grabs P1 from Mir, first thought is where are the other Yamahas? Dovi 17th, Morbidelli 19th. Yep. Poor Bezzecchi dropped to 15th! No dry time on a big bike here, not surprising. Poor guy.

REALLY special stuff is going on here, loving this race! Hoped for battles materialize, 19 laps to go Marc/Pol/Bastiannini/Binder are hammer and tongs with each other for P9. Just ahead Rins is ripping top pace. Fun!

The very same thing is happening just ahead! Aleix, A.Marquez, Oliveira and Rins are a a dicing swarm. Lovely! 

Zarco catches Mir, Miller too. "Zarco, you better not take out Mir here!" but we have yet another battle zone in the field. So much going on! 

Aleix and Rins are fantastic reeling in that P2 to P4 group, they look racey. Keeping Rins behind? Black attack! Nice Asparagus.

8 laps to go. How are tires doing? Binder goes down. And then? BOOM. Miller does the Zarco, more spiller than thriller, over cooks right turn entry chasing a pass that isn't there and takes out Joan Mir. Feck!! After all your complaining about mid corner contact last year w Mir, patience with you is a bit short. Fast rider? Yes, especially wet and mixed conditions. But not on par with Mir. Gutsy? Yes. Smart? Not really. Likeable? Basically, yeah. But not my cup of tea. The boyish playful is entertaining, but thin. I've been privately thinking it a long while, he is quite popular in the Paddock. Not so much for me. Dammit!

Ok, so what have we? Quartararo out front, Zarco 2nd. Beautiful to see A.Espargaro and Black 3rd! Rins in tow (he started P24, 1st lap miracle to P10, VERY impressive). Finish 4th? This is that confidence boost we talk about. Injured Bagnaia, although starting a bit slower, somewhat similar to arrive 8th.

Several battles behind. Me still angry and down that Mir got torpedoed. 

5 laps to go we have all six manufacturers in the top 6. Has this happened in a while? Yam-Duc-Black-Suz-KTM-Honda. Neat!

Huh! After Portugal the Teams Championship looks like this (surprised?)... 1) Suzuki, 2) Aprilia, 3) Bluertararo, 4) Orange, 5) Pramac, 6) Red, 7) Gresini Lavender, 8) Repsol, 9) LCR, 10) VR46 thank God no Saudis, 11) post Aqua, 12) KTM kids.

Ducati Constructors Cup, KTM and wee Suzuki are tied for 2nd! Isn't that cool?

Moto2, poor guys get rain. Did you see the TRIPLE synchronized high sides? I've never seen that look so identical. Then damn near the front half the field crashes right into that spot. Riders jumping over careening riders and bikes. Bike struck by another bursting into fire. Utter mess. Have a look?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SusDQwlIkDw

I haven't caught the Moto2 race yet as it was just far too late over in Oz. That is utter insanity.

The Moto2 was late in Oz D999. I'm glad I didn't watch that before bed on Sunday, would have had nightmares!

Can someone save these racers from themselves? Slicks are working ok, press on, still some grip, only sprinkles. Boom! Boom X 8!

A red flag a lap earlier might have worked better. Moto2 don't have spare bikes. So lucky more riders didn't get hit by bikes.

Tito Rabat at Silverstone!

I thought Q1 for MotoGp was a freaky crashfest!

Jack Miller another clumsy mistake. Yes shrink, Jack(on his)Ass may have to work on his impulse control. No malice there I'm sure just an error of judgement. Can't just blast past Suzi on the straight these days. Red brass not impressed. Update your resumé JM43.

Out of three no JMs finished the race.

Strangely enough, the Suzuki these days is pretty much the same as the last three years. A bit faster here a bit slower there. Mir had a rotten qually in 2020 and a good qually in 2022. Third from the back in 2020 and 2nd on the grid for 2022 despite the numbers from the speed trap being almost the same for the Suzuki. Worth noting that the Ducati of Miller was slower from 2020 to 2021 to 2022 but only in qually. In the races, at the point where Miller attempted his pass, same story for the last 3 years.

    Nov 2020 April 2021 Nov 2021 April 2022  
Qual Mir 331.2 330.2 332.3 331.2 Max
    329.7 328 329.6 330.2 Av
  Miller 345 341.7 341.7 338.5 Max
    343.2 340 339.4 335.2 Av
Race Mir 342.8 339.6 338.5 339.6 Max
    338 338.1 335.4 336.9 Av
  Miller 349.5 349.5 345 347.2 Max
    347.2 347 343.5 345.9 Av

Maybe you take the extra horses the Suzuki is said to have gained and you use them to run with more wings and things. Speed trap figures be dammed !!! However, come time to throw the anchors you are THE rider on the track. Ducati are in a similar position. It's hard to see where you could bolt the next wing on the red bikes. Everybody braking later and later, more power, same speeds. It will be interesting to watch the passes on the brakes. Zarco had trouble too.

Wow. That's carnage worthy of a Michael Bay movie. I am so glad the rain held off for MotoGP. I know Fabio doesn't like the mixed conditions so I worried that even with a 6 second lead he could have lost out on a podium place if there had been raindrops on his visor. 

Oh Jack - just when you were redeeming yourself and everyone was saying conciliatory things. Balanced a little by Jorge's tumble perhaps, but he didn't torpedo the competition. Rough luck for Mir. 

Genuinely impressed by Aprilia showing that they weren't a one-track wonder. 

Not sure what happened to Bezzecchi, I thought he had sure potential for a top 6 place based on his previous showing and grid position. 

I'm not going to be surprised if we have a change of champion leader every race until the final weekend. I know not everyone loves it, but I'm here for it. 

 

I think Fabio is on the right track. Listening to him post-race talking about his good results so far suits the current season me thinks. So far no blitz has emerged and all the result from 15th up will be the difference.

Jorge puzzles me. He said post race that he was having a great race until he fell off. A very short, great, race. 13th to 9th on lap one but he fell off on lap 5 of 25. Says he did exactly the same thing the lap before so.... Well that might be why he fell off. I think it's very difficult to take much from what a rider says after a bad weekend, I'm sure he just wanted to leave and move on to Jerez. It's just not coming together for Jorge at the moment. Maybe it never will. He's fast as light one session and mediocre the next. I think it's impossible to pull apart where the problem is or even if there is a problem. Rider/team/bike are responsible. You can look at rider A or rider B and think, 'ok if they can just adapt their style to' or 'if they can just take advantage of the new tyres' or or or etc etc... However, there is no doubt that Jorge, when things are in place, has it in bucket loads. Maybe it's just this season, nobody is setting the air on fire, a top 5 is a win...just not the win.

^ Right? So very much has been weird thus far that it is tempting to attempt no take aways. I do see psychological vulnerability in Martin. It can change, but not entirely. 

Power surges pop breakers

Did you watch the post race presser Wavey? It had an odd tone.

I want to watch the GP again and haven't yet seen some other races. Good sign, that was a cracker!

Yeah I watched the press conference.

I'm not so sure anything is weird this season. How weird is it to imagine that any rider/bike combination would dominate ? It has always been the way that good consistent results put a rider in the fight. In previous years we've had a limited number of competitive bikes. On those small number of bikes we've had weirdos like Marquez, Lorenzo, Stoner, Rossi, Doohan et al.

Now we have...well, which bike is not competitive ?...we have 24 competitive bikes. Maybe not Darryn's ? Then again it did win the title last year. The 2021 Ducati seem competitive, Honda, KTM, Suzuki, Aprilia etc. I wonder how weird the legends were, are. 2021 was weird maybe and now we head back to the mean. Every race, do the best you can, accept the results, count the points come 2/3rds distance and take the big risks when they can make a crucial difference to the points.

Jorge could have had a very average race and scored more points than he did. I don't know, I think he's an ace in waiting. Things aren't coming together in a consistent manner and I have no idea why but I think he knows more than I. When things aren't working well what should you say to the cameras ? If you can't say anything positive, why say anything at all. The only impression I sometimes get from Jorge is that he wants to win 10 races in a season because he knows he's as fast as those that have won 10 races in a season...he is too...but it's those seasons where people win 10 races (ok...>5 race wins) that are weird. I think in the current sport it will be a very weird season for anybody to win 10.

Quite enjoyed some of the camera angles here—really showed off the elevation. I thought MM would really be mixing it up at the front. Gutted for Mir. 

I noticed that as well, some nice, imaginative camera placement and directing.

the 'copter shot looking at the hill down to T-5 (I think) really showed how much of a drop there is.

Anyone else notice how keen MM93 was to overtake his brother? Front and rear sliding every corner. Nothing serious but not a friendly overtake. I know MM93 always wants to win but it seemed that AM73 had better tires at this point and just wasn't as willing as his brother to come out on top.

The Moto 2 race should have been red flagged earlier. Damn lucky that there weren’t several serious injuries.

Jerez happens after 3-4 days of travel, shuffling and a wee rest. They will still be picking Moto2 parts of of the Portimao rocks when riders hit the track again. Right into a Test Monday. 

Even as fans we are basically just taking Tues off tomorrow. You've got to love it. We can watch Portimao stuff and Jerez stuff right after.

Onboard from Rins yesterday:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u56FhnxrF9s

Slow motion porn from yesterday:

 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vK1zXOWzXIU

Then sit and watch After The Flag

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WUrc7ClcZGM

And right off to a Jerez primer: 8.5 mins 2021 extended highlights

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yu__xWpTEDs

Back to backs are so so good.