Despite earning the 11th MotoGPTM pole position of his career with a record-breaking lap around the Portuguese circuit, Quartararo completed the first of the afternoon’s 25 laps in fifth spot. Having chosen medium and hard rubber front and rear, the factory Yamaha youngster soon found himself back in contention for the lead, however, and he emerged in front ninth time around.
Helped by the excellent grip delivered by his tires, the Frenchman then posted a sequence of quick laps to pull out a gap and better Portimão’s previous race lap record (1m38.855s, set last season by Miguel Oliveira) several times.
The record was ultimately scooped by Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) – the leader from Laps 4 to 8 – who clocked a 1m39.450s on Lap 18 before making a mistake that gave Quartararo a sufficiently safe margin to cruise to the fifth victory of his career and his second in a row. The Frenchman went on to win by a margin of 4.8 seconds after completing the distance 1.75s faster than the 2020 race’s duration.
Running on medium MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear, Bagnaia fought back from 11th on the grid to claim second place, with Mir harvesting the remaining podium position after an exciting early scrap with Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing).
The top five was rounded out by Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), while Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda team) celebrated his return to MotoGPTM after an eight-month absence with seventh place, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).