Aprilia at the top thanks to Vinales

Aprilia at the top thanks to Vinales

Taking advantage of an error by Francesco Bagnaia four laps from the goal, Maverick Viñales went for victory during the sprint race of the Portuguese Grand Prix ahead of Marc Marquez and Jorge Martin. Fabio Quartararo took ninth place when Johann Zarco, victim of a fall, finished 19th.

Maverick Viñales returns to victory. Three years after raising his arms for the last time during the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, the Aprilia rider was able to do well during the sprint race of the Portuguese Grand Prix. Starting from pole position after having signed pole position earlier this Saturday, Enea Bastianini was not able to confirm at the first corner. The “holeshot” went to… Maverick Viñales but the Spaniard did not last very long in first position. Indeed, Jack Miller then Francesco Bagnaia took the advantage over him when Marc Marquez came to put pressure on his compatriot before the end of the first round. Starting from ninth position, Fabio Quartararo did not have an ideal start, dropping to eleventh before seeing his teammate Alex Rins go to the ground in front of him. Unaccustomed to shining in the sprint exercise, Francesco Bagnaia did his best to take control from the 3rd lap at the expense of Jack Miller.

Bagnaia let victory slip away

Behind this duo, Maverick Viñales saw Marc Marquez put his shoulders out to pass forcefully. In the process, the number 93 dropped the KTM rider to return to the heels of the reigning double world champion. The fifth lap was marked by the fall of Johann Zarco at turn number 5, the Frenchman managing to restart but in 19th and last position, Fabio di Giannantonio then Brad Binder being the victim of a similar mishap. The positions did not remain fixed at the front since a failed braking by Marc Marquez did the business of Maverick Viñales, who then took second position. Jorge Martin, after a very cautious start, began to increase the pace. The “Martinator” first swallowed up Marc Marquez to take third place before seeing “Pecco” Bagnaia make a mistake with serious consequences. Then leading with more than a second ahead, the Ducati rider missed his braking at the first turn of the ninth lap.

Viñales, a very solid winner

Having gone off the line, the Italian fell from first to fourth place, returning to the track just in front of Jack Miller. Which makes Maverick Viñales happy, new leader of the race ahead of Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez. The Pramac team driver was not exempt from all reproaches either, pulling away on the 11th and penultimate lap and letting his pursuer come back. Always more comfortable riding the Ducati, Marc Marquez did not hesitate to attack Jorge Martin to take second place. An offensive which proved too late to hope for better. With a little more than a second in advance, Maverick Viñales wins ahead of Marc Marquez and Jorge Martin. Francesco Bagnaia is content with fourth place but sees Jorge Martin come back to two points before this Sunday’s race. On the Tricolor side, Fabio Quartararo was unable to follow Pedro Acosta in the second half of the race and was satisfied with the point of ninth place. Johann Zarco, for his part, has not moved from 19th position. On the roller coaster of Portimão, this sprint gives an idea of ​​a Portuguese Grand Prix which promises to be lively this Sunday.

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