Marc Márquez made his long-awaited return to action this Friday in Portugal. Nine months after the injury he suffered at the Circuito de Jerez- Ángel Nieto, the Spaniard was back on the Honda RC213V at the start of the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend.
The eight-time World Champion finished the first session of the day in third position. In the afternoon, with a 1:40.399 lap, he set the sixth best time of the day, less than half a second behind off the top spot.
Teammate Pol Espargaró improved his feelings and pace from the recent Grands Prix held in Qatar. He started the day with the fourth fastest time in FP1, just two thousandths of a second behind the quickest rider. In the second Free Practice session of the day, he clocked the twelfth best time: A 1:40.743.
Was a great day, a great feeling to be back in MotoGP. On the first run the track wasn’t so good but I felt good on the bike. I felt better in the morning because the arm was fresh, it was rested, and I had good power. In the afternoon I had to work more to warm up the arm and I could feel it was more tired. But we are in a better situation than what we were expecting before the weekend. I am riding the bike, following my own way and the lap times are coming well. The main question for me is still how the arm will react over the weekend. It is great to be back, we have worked very hard for this moment and it’s great to achieve it.”
“Today looks like a bad day, but it is not as bad as it looks. Our ideal lap time is very close to Marc which means we can achieve it and we are riding in a good way. Unfortunately, today I made a few mistakes and couldn’t make the perfect lap, it’s the problem I am having at the moment pushing with a tyre on a new track. I am making mistakes and running wide which, you pay for quite a lot. It’s just FP2, tomorrow we need to put the good lap in. Today was about learning this bike at this track and we spent a lot of the second session doing this because in the morning the track was not perfect.”