MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

MotoGP returns to Europe for the third round of the 2021 world championship with the Portuguese Grand Prix. Here’s how to watch qualifying.

MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

Francesco Bagnaia ended Friday practice on top at Portimao for the factory Ducati squad to maintain a run of Ducati riders finishing on top of FP2, following the Qatar double-header. The Italian rider beat Doha GP winner Fabio Quartararo, who also saw his final lap cancelled for a yellow flag infringement.

Defending MotoGP world champion Joan Mir - who is operating this weekend without crew chief Frankie Carchedi due to a positive COVID-19 test –slotted into third place, with Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins taking fourth ahead of Ducati’s Jack Miller.

But all eyes were on Marc Marquez’s return to action after a nine-month injury absence, with the six-time MotoGP world champion ending the first practice session third fastest before holding on to sixth place in FP2 despite a frenetic final lap with a hairy moment at Turn 8.

With Maverick Vinales securing seventh place for Yamaha, MotoGP world championship leader Johann Zarco claimed eighth for Pramac despite suffering a bike fire during a practice start at the end of FP2.

Last year’s Portuguese GP winner Miguel Oliveira (KTM) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) held on to the final provisional automatic Q2 spots as Alex Marquez narrowly missed out in 11th place. The former factory Honda rider was however ahead of his replacement, Pol Espargaro.

With MotoGP rookie Luca Marini in 13th place for Avintia Ducati, Aleix Espargaro led the Aprilia charge in 14th despite a tumble to finish ahead of Valentino Rossi, the SRT Yamaha completing the top 15. 

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini after the crash

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini after the crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

What time does qualifying start for the Portuguese MotoGP?

Qualifying for the Portuguese MotoGP is set to start at 2:10pm BST (2:10pm local time), using the regular Q1 and Q2 sessions format. Qualifying takes place directly after the 30-minute FP4 session which is set to start at 1:30pm BST (1:30pm local time).

The fastest 10 MotoGP riders on the FP1-2-3 combined timesheet automatically head into Q2, with the rest of the riders entering Q1 of qualifying. The two riders who are fastest in the 15-minute Q1 session will progress into Q2 to compete with the top 10 from practice. Q2, which also lasts 15 minutes, decides who gets pole position and the qualifying order for the front four rows of the grid.

  • Date: Saturday 17th April 2021
  • Start time: 2:10pm BST (2:10pm local time)

How can I watch qualifying?

In the United Kingdom every MotoGP practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on BT Sport.

Portuguese MotoGP qualifying will be broadcast on BT Sport 2, with the programme starting at 12pm BST to also cover qualifying for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes.

MotoGP qualifying and the race will take place after Moto3 but before Moto2 this weekend to avoid clashing with the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP.

  • TV Channel: BT Sport 2
  • Start time: 12:00pm BST

MotoGP also offers its own live online video streaming service which is available to stream in the UK.

What's the weather forecast for qualifying in Portimao?

Dry, clear and sunny weather conditions are forecast for qualifying at Portimao on Saturday afternoon, with a very low chance of rain and a high of 20 degrees Celsius – four degrees lower than qualifying for the Doha GP last time out.

FP2 RESULTS

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'39.866  
2 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'40.206 0.340
3 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'40.285 0.419
4 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'40.328 0.462
5 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'40.336 0.470
6 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'40.339 0.473
7 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'40.426 0.560
8 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'40.490 0.624
9 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'40.592 0.726
10 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'40.611 0.745
11 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'40.732 0.866
12 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'40.743 0.877
13 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'40.761 0.895
14 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'40.907 1.041
15 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'41.125 1.259
16 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'41.140 1.274
17 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'41.183 1.317
18 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'41.187 1.321
19 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'41.216 1.350
20 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'41.836 1.970
21 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 1'42.461 2.595
22 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'42.921 3.055

FP1 RESULTS

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'42.127  
2 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'42.278 0.151
3 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'42.378 0.251
4 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'42.382 0.255
5 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'42.443 0.316
6 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'42.464 0.337
7 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'42.528 0.401
8 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'42.536 0.409
9 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'42.781 0.654
10 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'42.957 0.830
11 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'43.013 0.886
12 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'43.036 0.909
13 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'43.060 0.933
14 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'43.243 1.116
15 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'43.539 1.412
16 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'43.702 1.575
17 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'44.000 1.873
18 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'44.602 2.475
19 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 1'44.967 2.840
20 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'45.325 3.198
21 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'45.335 3.208
22 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'47.774 5.647
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