The MotoGP has reached the end of a season that’s been heavily impacted by the worldwide pandemic, with the organiser being forced to revise both the calendar and the tracks where the races could be held, among other things.
The season thus draws to a close in Portimao, at a track where no MotoGP championship race has ever been held, but nevertheless guarantees quite a show. Located in Portugal's Algarve region, the track has been a fixture in the Superbike championship for many years, and is a favourite among riders in that category. This year, the Portuguese track even hosted a Formula 1 World Championship, resulting in one of the most spectacular Grand Prix races of the season.
In view of the upcoming race, the MotoGP held trials here with test riders just a couple of months ago, while for the titular riders this year's regulations required road bikes to be used for the test. Dovizioso and Petr ucci took the opportunity to use the Superleggera V4, learning the ups and downs of the Portimao track on the road bike that most closely resembles a MotoGP model.
For Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, Portimao will be their last appearance in Ducati red, and since both have been with the team for a long time (8 and 6 years respectively), we’re looking forward to both having an excellent farewell race. Valencia certainly wasn’t the ideal track for the performance levels of the Desmosedici GP, but the Portimao track, which, among other things, features a very long straight away, appears to be much more favourable for the Ducati models, at least on paper.
While Petrucci won’t have any particular ranking goals for his final race, the championship podium is still theoretically within reach for Dovizioso. It won’t be easy, but it’s still mathematically feasible, and Andrea will do everything he can to complete his time at Ducati with the best possible ranking. Once the riders’ title has been awarded, the constructors’ title remains at stake, with Ducati standing an excellent chance of winning, as it is tied with Suzuki for top place. Therefore, considering the fact that only the manufacturer’s top ranked bike will be awarded the points valid for purposes of the championship, regardless of the team it belongs to, Portimao will certainly pose a major challenge.
The Autodromo Internazionale do Algarve is a spectacular track with an extremely pronounced elevation profile. Inaugurated in 2008, it’s famous for its two downhill jumps, which the bikes tackle at moderate speeds, as well as for its ultra-long final bend, which instead is taken at much greater speeds. The facility also boasts a top-notch infrastructure, the excellence of which was highlighted by the recent Formula 1 race.