After the first two extra-European races held in Qatar, the Ducati Lenovo Team arrives in Portugal for the third round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for this weekend at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. Introduced to the calendar for the first time last year, the track located in the south of the country, near Portimão, is famous for its unique layout full of ups and downs, which have earned it the nickname of "Rollercoaster".
Francesco Bagnaia, fourth overall in the general standings, arrives in Portugal determined to have another good race. The Italian rider, who last year was forced to retire after a few laps due to a contact at the first corner, is confident of continuing his positive trend thanks to the excellent sensations he had with his Desmosedici GP in the last two rounds.
Jack Miller, who recently underwent successful arm pump surgery on his right forearm, aims to return to Portimão to fight for a good result. The Australian, who last year finished on the second step of the podium to secure Ducati's second MotoGP Constructors' World Title, has been working hard in recent days to recover in time for the Portuguese GP. On Thursday afternoon, Miller will undergo a medical check-up to get the doctors' green light to participate in the Grand Prix.
The weekend at Portimão will begin on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9:55 a.m. local time (10:55 a.m. Italian time), while the twenty-five lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. Italian time).
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 4th (26 points)
"This break of almost two weeks has served me well, and now I'm ready for the first European Grand Prix for 2021! Portimão is a unique track: last year, I struggled a lot here, but for me, it was a difficult moment of the season. This year I'll face the Portuguese GP with a different mindset: in the last two races in Qatar, my feeling with the Desmosedici GP was excellent, which makes me confident. I'm sure I have all the means to fight for another good result on Sunday."
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9° (14 points)
"After the operation on the right forearm, I have started the rehabilitation immediately, and everything is going as planned. Portimão is a track that I really like, and I have great memories from last year's race when I was able to finish second on the podium after a thrilling scrap with Morbidelli. Unfortunately, this year I won't be 100% fit, but I will do my best as always to try to get the best result possible."
Name: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Best lap: Oliveira (KTM) 1:39.855 (165.5 km/h) – 2020
Circuit record: Oliveira (KTM) 1:38.892 (167.1 km/h) – 2020
Top speed: Dovizioso (Ducati) 351.7 km/h - 2020
Track length: 4,6 km
Race distance: 25 laps (115 km)
Corners: 15 (6 left, 9 right)
Podium: 1° Oliveira (KTM); 2° Miller (Ducati), 3° Morbidelli (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Oliveira (KTM) 1:38.892 (167.1 km/h)
Fastest lap: Oliveira (KTM) 1:39.855 (165.5 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 43
GPs started: 156 (101 x MotoGP, 49 x Moto3, 6 x 125 cc)
First GP: Qatar 2015 (MotoGP), Qatar 2012 (Moto3), Germany 2011 (125 cc)
Wins: 7 (1 MotoGP + 6 Moto3)
First Win: Netherlands 2016 (MotoGP), Qatar 2014 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 9 (1 MotoGP + 8 Moto3)
First pole: Argentina 2018 (MotoGP), USA 2014 (Moto3)
World Titles: -
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race number: 63
GPs started: 136 (31 x MotoGP, 36 x Moto2, 69 x Moto3)
First GP: Qatar 2019 (MotoGP), Qatar 2017 (MotoGP), Qatar 2013 (MotoGP)
Wins: 10 (8 Moto2 + 2 Moto3)
First win: Qatar 2018 (Moto2), Netherlands 2016 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 8 (1 MotoGP + 6 Moto2 + 1 Moto3)
First pole: France 2018 (Moto2), Britain 2016 (Moto3)
World Titles: 1 (Moto2, 2018)
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4º (26 points)
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9º (14 points)
Ducati – 2º (40 points)
Ducati Lenovo Team – 4º (40 points)