After the long summer break – the last race was in Laguna Seca in mid-July – it's time to restart the engines this weekend on the track in Portimao. In reality a test session was held during the third week of August where both Bautista and Davies had a chance to test the Panigale V4 R on the Portuguese track. Davies arrives in Portugal after his first win on the Panigale V4 R in Race 2 at Laguna Seca. The Welshman seems to have finally found the synergy he was searching for, and so by the end of the season we hope to see him competing for a top spot in the standings. Alvaro Bautista also took some test runs on the track to work on his Panigale V4 R, but also to check the status of his shoulder that was injured in July at Laguna Seca. Aside from his times on the test rides, his shoulder still gave him some trouble but the two weeks between the tests and the race will give the Spaniard some more time to heal.
The autodrome in Algarve has gone from being one of the world's top circuits at its debut in 2008 to the point of risking being excluded from the world stage. The track now has a rather choppy asphalt surface. So it will be critical to have a track alignment that can absorb the roughness without penalising roadworthiness. It's a shame because this track is extremely technical and includes two jumps that make it quite spectacular.