With his first top ten starting position of the year, Stefan Bradl continued his great weekend in Portugal as Alex Marquez prepares for the jump on Sunday.
Before Q1, Alex showed a strong free practice 4 and worked his way into the top 5 for most of the session, finishing just 0.322 seconds behind the fastest time. Before that, Alex Marquez had fallen victim to the tight times that are now regularly experienced in MotoGP. The premier class rookie finished free practice 3 just 0.800 seconds behind the top spot, but missed a position in the top ten. With a 1: 40.049 in Q1, he will compete in 16th place for the final race of the year, ahead of the likes of 2020 World Champion Joan Mir. As in previous races, Alex is confident of his racing pace and wants to fight forwards when the lights go out.
For Stefan Bradl it was the busiest Saturday of the year that reached his goal of getting a Q2 place. Bradl put together a solid lap late in Free Practice 3 and fought for a place in the top twelve for the first time this season. FP4 proved Bradl’s pace wasn’t just for a single lap and finished in tenth place before heading out into Q2. In qualifying, the HRC Test Rider fell back to 1’30.204, three tenths faster than his previous best time of the weekend. Bradl starts sixth from the second row, 0.312 seconds before pole position. This is Bradl’s best qualifying since finishing fourth at the 2014 Malaysian GP.
Cal Crutchlow took the top Honda awards as a full-time driver prior to his final premier class race. The LCR Honda man came through Q1 and pushed his Honda RC213V until the end of the session to secure fourth place on the grid.
The countdown now runs until the last race of the 2020 season, when the lights for the 25-lap race go out at 2:00 p.m. local time. This is the first time since 2012 that the MotoGP World Championship has been held in Portugal. Casey Stoner won this race for the Repsol Honda Team.