Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal 2023 – R1

2023-03-27 03:23
Portugal’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve close to Portimão opened the curtain this weekend on the 2023 FIM MotoGP World Championship campaign. The grand prix was the fifth to be held at the Algarve circuit over the past four seasons, with two races having been staged there in 2021 as a result of the Covid-enforced calendar reshuffle. Its fast, undulating and demanding layout poses a stern challenge for riders and bikes alike, while putting Michelin’s tyres truly to the test.

Following Friday’s two practice sessions, characterised by moderate temperatures, wind and light rain, the sky cleared on Saturday morning, leaving ideal weather for Q1 and Q2 in qualifying. “Marc Márquez’s best lap of 1m37.226s not only secured him pole position, but also lowered by some 0.7 seconds the previous benchmark time from 2021, posted in similar conditions,” remarked Piero Taramasso, Manager of Michelin’s two-wheel motorsport programmes. “This new outright lap record represents huge progress, and proves that the tyres we supplied to our partner teams this weekend matched their requirements perfectly. It should also be noted that four different manufacturers featured inside the top five spots on the starting grid, which goes to show that the MICHELIN Power Slick range generates excellent balance for all the bikes.”

A breathless Sprint race, showcasing different tyre combinations

In modifying the programme of the three days of track action, the MotoGP organiser has succeeded in enhancing the championship’s appeal and entertainment value. The replacement of the fourth free practice session with the 12-lap Sprint race on Saturday afternoon presented a first-class opportunity for the riders, with Michelin’s selection of tyres enabling each of them to fully show off their unique riding style. “For the Sprint race, the riders chose different tyre combinations to suit the settings of their bike and their personal riding style. Throughout the 12 laps, the battle was intense, and the feedback on the tyres was perfectly positive,” adds Piero Taramasso.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) etched his name into the history books by becoming the first winner of a MotoGP Sprint race, leading home Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martín and Marc Márquez.

A range of tyres at the peak of its powers

The main race got underway at 14:00 local time Sunday and generated drama right from the outset, with pole-sitter Márquez crashing out on Lap 3 and taking CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team’s Miguel Oliveira with him.

After assuming the lead of the Grand Prix on the second lap, Bagnaia remained at the head of the field throughout, artfully keeping Maverick Viñales at bay as he obliged the Aprilia Racing rider to settle for the runner-up spoils. The third spot on the podium went to Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team).

In the race, Bagnaia and Bezzecchi both opted for Michelin’s medium-compound Power Slick tyre front and rear, while Viñales chose the Hard front and Medium the rear.

The race lap record was beaten by Aleix Espargaró with a time of 1m38.872s ninth time around. That was more than half-a-second faster than the previous best (1m39.435s), posted by Quartararo last year. Bezzecchi, Martín, Viñales and Prima Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco continued to flirt with Espargaró’s new benchmark as late as Lap 17, demonstrating that the MICHELIN Power Slick range offers dependable performance from lights-out to chequered flag.

Not only that, but running to the same number of laps, this year’s race was 14 seconds quicker than ever before – marking an improvement of approximately half-a-second per lap over the 2022 edition.

“We have refined our range of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres in recent seasons, using the riders’ preferred structure and profile as a basis. We have identified the most successful compounds and reduced the total number of specifications in order to keep only the fastest and most consistent. This weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix proves that our work is bearing fruit and that our current range is particularly accomplished,” concludes Piero Taramasso.

Round two of the 2023 FIM MotoGP World Championship campaign follows in just a week’s time, as the Gran Premio Michelin de la República Argentina takes place from Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 2.

About Michelin

Michelin’s ambition is to sustainably improve its customers’ mobility. The leader in the mobility sector, Michelin designs, manufactures, and distributes the tires best suited to their requirements and uses as well as services and solutions to improve transport efficacy. Michelin also puts forward offers that allow its customers to enjoy unique moments when traveling. Michelin also develops high-technology equipment intended for multiple fields. Based in Clermont-Ferrand, Michelin is present in 175 countries, employs 132,200 people and operates 67 tire factories that, together, produced approximately 167 million tires in 2022. (

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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