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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Prepare for Round 2 in Portugal

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team packed up their YZR-M1s and flew them from Qatar to Portugal to get back into action at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve this weekend.
Portimao (Portugal), 20th March 2024
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo and Álex Rins are looking forward to riding at the 'roller coaster' Autódromo Internacional do Algarve track this weekend. The duo is keen to score points at the Grande Prémio de Portugal.

After a challenging first round, Quartararo's sole focus is to make steps in terms of bike and setting development. The Frenchman has good memories of riding the YZR-M1 in Portimão. The combination of El Diablo and his Yamaha have proved to be a winning formula at this circuit in 2021 and 2022. He is currently 11th in the 2024 championship standings and will give it his best effort to shoot up the rankings at the Algarve track.

Rins showed plenty of overtaking manoeuvres in Qatar, but he found himself outside the points after his first Race on the M1 due to tyre degradation. The Spaniard is therefore extra keen to start Round 2. He is currently in 16th place in the overall classification and feels there is potential to make steps. His best MotoGP finish at Portimao is fourth place in 2022.

The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – better known as Portimao (after the port city from which it is half an hour's drive removed) – is situated in the Algarve region of Portugal. The circuit was opened in 2008 and added to the MotoGP calendar in 2020. It's a big hit with the riders but also especially with the fans, who can't get enough of their heroes taking on this track that is famous for its elevation changes. The circuit has 15 corners – nine right, six left – and the front straight will allow the MotoGP riders to really stretch the legs of their machines before a unique downhill descent into Turn 1.

The Grand Prix of Portugal takes place in the GMT +0 timezone. MotoGP's FP1 will take place on Friday afternoon from 10:45 - 11:30, local track time followed by the Practice session from 15:00 - 16:00. On Saturday, FP2 will be held from 10:10 - 10:40, the qualifying sessions from 10:50 - 11:30, and the Sprint starts at 15:00. On Sunday, the warm-up is held from 09:40 - 09:50, and the Race starts at 14:00.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

The previous GP's results showed us where we stand. It's obvious that we have work to do, so this will be a busy week for us. But, as said before, the changes we are trying to make are no quick turnarounds – the significant progress that we're looking for will require time and hard work. That said, the team and Yamaha are highly motivated to find improvements at every opportunity and are fully supporting Fabio and Álex. This will be a valuable race weekend for us, as it's an opportunity to confirm findings from the Qatar GP. 
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

The Qatar GP was not an easy start to the season but now we know what to work on. The Portimao track is very different from the Lusail circuit, so it will be interesting to see how the bike's handling and the tyre wear compares. With no points in the Sprint in Qatar, we are in the middle bracket of the standings, so we'll do our best to climb up in the rankings this weekend. As always, I'm giving it my 100%, and I know the team are too, so let's see what we can do!

Álex Rins

Álex Rins

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

Even when the result wasn't great, our race in Qatar was very useful to extract some data and learn a lot for Portimao. It's a shame that the last 6 laps we paid the price for pushing too hard to recover positions because our tyres were finished. However, I'm happy because we were riding at a similar pace as the other Yamaha, which means that we are on the same level, and we can both work together to improve in the same way.