A dramatic first Grand Prix weekend of the year concluded with Joan Mir recovering to 11th place. An apologetic Marc Marquez was left to lament his mistake which took out home hero Miguel Oliveira.
Joan Mir approached Sunday’s 25-lap Portuguese Grand Prix with an open mind, aiming to gather as much data as possible after his efforts on Saturday were cut short. A solid start saw the #36 maintain his grid position as the field settled into their early rhythm in Portugal. After serving his long-lap penalty for his contact with Quartararo the day before, Mir rejoined in 15th and was able to progress through the field to finally cross the line in 11th. His first points as a Repsol Honda Team rider, Mir is satisfied with the information he and the team were able to gather as there are now clear areas to work on in the coming races.
From pole position, Marc Marquez did his best to stay with the front group. Unfortunately at the start of the third lap, Marquez made a mistake and locked the front – releasing the brakes to avoid contact with Jorge Martin. This resulted in Marquez colliding with Miguel Oliveira, ending both of their races. Marquez immediately apologised to the RNF Team before heading to the medical centre to check the condition of Oliveira and his own injuries.
Marquez was diagnosed with a potential fracture in the first metacarpal of the right hand and will travel to Spain to assess the injury further. He also received a double long-lap penalty for the Argentina GP.
The MotoGP World Championship will now head directly for Termas de Rio Hondo for the second round of the 2023 season.
“The crash from yesterday impacted today a lot, not just because of the long lap penalty. If I was able to finish the Sprint race I would have had a lot more understanding of the bike because today’s race was the first time I was able to do more than ten laps in a row on the Honda. This meant I spent a lot of today learning, so from this side today was a positive because I understood more. I still need more time to improve how I am riding and how the bike is behaving, especially to get the most out of the tyre over the race. With a bit more knowledge we could have made a very good race, but I am happy to have the experience now.”
“First of all I want to say that I am very sorry to Oliveira, his team and the Portuguese fans because it was his race. I did a really big mistake today, of course it was not my intention to have this happen, my intention was not even to overtake Martin at that point, but I had a massive lock with the front. Maybe the hard front was not fully up to temperature, I released the brakes and the bike went inside. I avoided Martin but made contact with Oliveira. I straight away went over to Miguel and then in the medical centre I went to check on him – fortunately it looks like he is OK and this is the most important thing. On my side I have some pain in my right hand and with my knee but this is not so important at the minute. I fully accept and respect the penalty of the double long-lap during the Argentina GP because I did a mistake.”
- From Repsol Honda Team