2021 MotoGP Portuguese GP – how to watch, session times & more

MotoGP heads back to Portimao for the third round of the 2021 season, for the Portuguese Grand Prix, following an enthralling double-header opener in Qatar.

2021 MotoGP Portuguese GP – how to watch, session times & more

MotoGP returns to Europe after its Qatar residency – as the Losail International Circuit hosted both pre-season testing and the opening two rounds – after the start of the season was reshuffled amid COVID-19 pandemic issues.

Instead of heading to the United States and Argentina after the Qatar season-opener, the MotoGP paddock descends on Portimao which hosted the 2020 finale last November.

Despite the Qatar race wins being shared between Yamaha factory duo Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo, Pramac’s Johann Zarco leads the early MotoGP riders’ standings thanks to his pair of second-place finishes.

Behind that trio Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia also enjoyed a solid Qatar double-header, highlighted by a podium in the first race, to take fourth place in the riders’ standings just ahead of Suzuki pair Alex Rins and defending MotoGP world champion Joan Mir.

The majority of focus will be on Marc Marquez’s comeback, after he confirmed he will back in action for the first time in nearly a year after being given permission by doctors to take part in the Portuguese MotoGP.

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Why is MotoGP racing in Portugal?

With the United States and Argentina rounds postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, MotoGP organisers added a second Qatar race and a return to Portimao to fill the gap at the start of the 2021 season.

The Portuguese GP made its return to the MotoGP calendar last year for the first time since 2012, while last November’s event marked the first time the grand prix world championship had competed at the Portimao circuit.

2021 Portuguese MotoGP session timings

MotoGP will run its standard schedule across the Portuguese GP weekend, with two practice sessions on Friday that will run for 45 minutes each. On Saturday third practice will also run for 45 minutes, with the top 10 on the combined FP1-2-3 timesheet automatically entering into Q2 of qualifying. A final 30-minute FP4 session is held on Saturday afternoon ahead of qualifying.

Q1 of qualifying sees all riders who did not finish in the top 10 of the combined practice times take part, with the top two finishers progressing into Q2 alongside the top 10 who gained an automatic spot via their practice times.

Q2 is the pole position shootout which decides the order of the front four rows, with the rest of the grid organised on Q1 times, for the Portuguese GP on Sunday.

Moto2 and Moto3 are also in action during the Portuguese GP, while the Moto2 race is taking place after the MotoGP race.

Friday 16th April 2021

Free Practice 1: 9:55am-10:40am BST (9:55am-10:40am local)
Free Practice 2: 2:10pm-2:55pm BST (2:10pm-2:55pm local)

Saturday 17th April 2021

Free Practice 3: 9:55am-10:40am BST (9:55am-10:40am local)
Free Practice 4: 1:30pm-2:00pm BST (1:30pm-2:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:10pm-2:50pm BST (2:10pm-2:50pm local)

Sunday 18th April 2021
Warm Up: 9:30am-9:50am BST (9:30am-9:50am local)

Race: 1:00pm BST (1:00pm local)

 

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

How can I watch the Portuguese MotoGP?

· Channel: BT Sport 2

· Channel numbers - Sky: 414 (BT Sport 2)

· Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 528 (BT Sport)

BT Sport’s live coverage of Sunday’s action starts with the warm-up sessions at 9:00am, taken from the world feed, before switching to its own broadcast at 10:30am for the pre-race show ahead of the Moto3 race.

The build-up to the MotoGP race starts from 12:30pm, or when the Moto3 race finishes, ahead of lights out at 1:00pm. For the Portuguese GP, the Moto2 race is taking place after the MotoGP race.

Can I stream the Portuguese MotoGP?

Viewers in the United Kingdom can also stream the Portuguese GP by purchasing a video pass from MotoGP.com. A one-off video pass, the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season, costs £173.03p.

The video pass gives access to every live session, qualifying and race, plus world feed content and the chance to watch previous races.

Weather forecast for the Portuguese MotoGP

Portimao is set for dry and sunny conditions throughout the weekend, with a very small chance of rain. Highs of 20 degrees Celsius are forecast on race day, which is around eight degrees cooler than the Doha GP.

Most Portuguese MotoGP winners (premier class only)

Valentino Rossi: 5 wins (500cc – 2001, MotoGP – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007)
Jorge Lorenzo: 3 wins (2008, 2009, 2010)

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