Espargaro continued his good form on Friday with Bradl closing in

With the experience of one season in his luggage, Pol Espargaro’s Algarve GP weekend got off to a strong start with a constant top 5 pace, while Stefan Bradl got back up to speed.

Cooler conditions with an air temperature of only 17 ° C during FP1 presented a new situation for the MotoGP paddock on their return to Portugal. Temperatures slowly rose during the day as the sky stayed blue throughout and the running did not interpret became.

Coming from his strongest weekend of the year in Misano, Pol Espargaro was immediately back at the pace of the front runners. With a 1: 40.795, he finished seventh at the end of Free Practice 1 after having easily spent the session in the 1:40. Espargaro improved his best lap in Free Practice 2 by over a second, finishing the afternoon in fifth overall and just 0.402 seconds behind 2021 MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo, who led the day. The position puts the # 44 in a provisional Q2 slot with Free Practice 3 tomorrow morning one last chance to improve. Despite his time and overall position, Espargaro believes there is more work to be done to improve his chances on Sunday.

As a replacement for the injured Marc Marquez, Stefan Bradl picked up where he had left off in his four appearances so far this season. Methodically, Bradl was able to improve his best lap time in a similar way and landed on 18th place overall. A 1’40.700 had him 1.3 seconds behind Quartararo and within a second on his team-mate from the Repsol Honda Team. Satisfied with the opening day, Bradl’s main focus for the weekend remains to improve along with the permanent MotoGP riders.

The action in the Algarve will continue on Saturday 6 November at 09:55 local time with the RP3. Qualifying begins at 2:10 p.m. local time later that day.