Bastianini and Ducati Lenovo Team top Portimão Practice, Bagnaia 8th

The Ducati Lenovo Team has topped the timesheets at the end of the opening day at Portimão’s Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve, with Enea Bastianini the quickest rider in the afternoon’s Practice session, courtesy of a 1:38.057 lap-time logged with ten minutes to go. His teammate Francesco Bagnaia managed to make up several positions in the final moments of the session as he also secured a direct seed to Q2 thanks to the eighth quickest lap-time (1:38.541).

Thanks to the good work done with their crews, both Enea and Pecco managed to turn the tide of a Portuguese Friday that had started with a nineteenth and a thirteenth place, respectively, in FP1, which was characterised by far-from-ideal track conditions due to the poor weather that had hit the Algarve region in the previous two days.

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back in action tomorrow morning at 10:10 local time (GMT +1) for FP2, which will be followed by the Q2 session (11:15) and by the Sprint Race, which will get underway at 15:00.

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“It had been a while since I last was on top of the timesheets! It was a day of constant improvement: we didn’t start on the right foot, but we kept making progress lap after lap. We continued to work on the set up especially with regards to the issues we encountered in Qatar.  We did really well with the soft tyre, while there’s still work to be done with the medium compound. The track was very dirty this morning, so the important data will be the one from the afternoon session; I feel like I always make the difference on corner entry, and I feel really comfortable with this bike.”

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th
“We are still working. The GP24 requires something different at this track and it wasn’t easy: the track got cleaner at a slow rate and truthfully at the beginning it was hard to get a good picture on what we needed to work on. In the end we went in the wrong direction so we will double back tomorrow, but the most important thing for today was to finish in the top ten. Honestly, I’m happy we figured out which direction to take. Enea did a good job, he took a different path and it worked. We understood that we need to unload the front a little, so I’m confident everything will go the right way tomorrow.”