The Ducati Lenovo Team riders returned to action today on the spectacular Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, for Day 1 of free practices for the seventeenth and penultimate round of the 2021 MotoGP season: the Grand Prix Brembo of Algarve.
At the same track that hosted the World Championship for the Portuguese GP last April, Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller immediately felt comfortable aboard their Ducati Desmosedici GP bikes as they finished this morning's FP1 session in second and third position, respectively.
With clear skies and mild asphalt temperatures, both riders were able to work steadily on their bikes set-up and the tyre choice for Sunday's race. In the afternoon, the wind intensified, disturbing the riders on the track, but both Pecco and Jack were able to reconfirm their morning positions in the final minutes of FP2, setting their best times of the day with the soft tyre. Bagnaia ended Friday in second place overall with a time of 1:39.522, while Miller is in third place, just 89 thousandths behind his teammate.
Tomorrow morning, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders will have a chance to improve their times in FP3, scheduled for 9:55 am local time, before heading into qualifying at 2:10 pm local time (3:10 pm in Italy), at the end of FP4.
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 2nd (1:39.522)
"I had a lot of fun today, and I'm satisfied with this first day at Portimão. The pace is always fast on this track, but we could have a very consistent pace right from the start. Although the wind picked up in the afternoon, which disturbed us a little, we still set a good time, and over the next two days, it looks like the weather will improve. Anyway, we're in good shape and tomorrow, we'll try to make a few more steps forward, but in general, we don't have any significant changes to make to the bike. I'm confident and ready to have a good qualifying session".
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 3rd (1:39.611)
"I'm thrilled to be back here at Portimão: it was a positive Friday for us, and I hope we can continue like this until Sunday. The bike is working well, and I felt comfortable right from the start. This morning we tried the medium tyre while in the afternoon, we lapped on the hard tyre, then we mounted the soft in the final minutes and tried a time attack. Unfortunately, compared to the morning, I struggled a bit more in FP2 because of the wind, but it seems that tomorrow and Sunday, the conditions will be better. The main focus for Saturday will be to continue to work on the race pace and try to stay in the top ten in FP3 to aim for a good grid position for the race."