MotoGP 2024. Round 2. Portimao

motul. motorcycle oil. oil. bikewise.

By: The Karr Report

This track was called ‘dirty’ so many times, it now identifies as a pornstar. It’s got the curves, so why not?

This weekend also rates as one of the most unpredictable across all classes.


The Junior Class kicked off the MotoGP action in fantastic style. So many close calls, so much paint swapped. They truly set the bar high for the rest.

Dettwiler got confused as to what type of race he was starting, which saw him left behind on the grid, pushing his bike. Not sure about that ‘running start’, Dettwiler.

Going into Turn Nine on the opening lap, Yamanaka washed out the front, smashing into a most unfortunate Piqueras like a massive, spark-tailed meteorite. Enough sparks were generated to affect the ambient temperature; how could we not award Yamanaka the Sparky Award?

In a carbon-copy of his qualifying-whipping, Lunetta flew over the handlebars at Turn Nine during the fourth lap. This time, his bike tail-whipped him across his visor for good measure.

He managed to rejoin the race, after scolding his machine for its terrible behaviour.

Rossi, dizzy as hell from whirring up and down the Timing Tower all race long, finally crashed out for real on Lap Fifteen. Stupid malfunctioning transponders.

At the end of an attack-filled race, Holgado came out on top, winning the race by a whole four-hundredths of a second; Rueda followed him to take second, and Ortolá claimed third.


Buckle up, folks, ‘cause this one was a doozy!

Aldeguer was happily fighting his teammate for the race lead when, much to his dismay, he was handed a Double Long Lap Penalty for jumping the start. He served his penalties, and went on a full, fury-filled rampage. Fermín was barging his way up the rankings like a bullet train on crack, throwing sparks around every corner as he went.

In the end, he took an unbelievable fourth. Well done, kid.

The falling didn’t really start until half the race had been run, with Cardelús being the first to bite the gravel during Lap Ten, at the third turn.

On Lap Eleven tragedy struck for then race leader López when he flopped over at Turn Thirteen, very nearly getting an impromptu colonoscopy a la buttcam as he slid from the seat.

Shortly after the López incident, Vietti and Agius were both told to drop a position for passing under yellow flags. Vietti complied swiftly, but it appeared that young Agius was oblivious of his transgression. A few laps later, his penalty got upgraded to a Long Lap, which he seemed to understand better.

Sasaki became one of Turn Thirteen’s anonymous victims during Lap Sixteen.


Meanwhile, at the front of the field… Canet was leading. This wasn’t an unfamiliar sight, but as the laps counted down, our fingernails grew shorter and shorter. Could this be the day we see Canet win a Moto2 race we asked ourselves?

The world stood still for that final lap; people stopped breathing, birds shut up, and one or two maidens fainted.

The bastard even decided to give us all a mild heart attack by lifting his left leg off the peg through the final turn.

Only when Canet was safely and officially over the finish line did we breathe again, so happy for the ink-patron of Moto2. He might as well have been our child winning his first fifty metre athletics dash!

 He has finally won a race in Moto2, after fifteen second places. Well done, Arón!

Uh, Arón … Maybe calm down just two notches.

The poor guy was so elated, he nearly broke his neck falling over the carpet in Parc Fermé that he himself folded over upon his entry. Bouncing off the walls – and everything else – Canet smashed the Number One marker board on the floor. Rarely has anyone been this happy with a race win.

He managed to hold back the tears right up to the playing of the national anthem. Floodgates were opened. Prosecco flowed. It’s going to be a week of massive celebrations for Canet & co.

Our man Darryn  Binder had a solid ride and ended fifteenth over the line.

Maverick Vinales. Aprilia.


Saturday Sprint Race:

We bet you didn’t see any of that coming!

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start from the start.

More shoulders rubbed during the Sprint than at a parliament sitting. Less folks fell asleep.

Rins binned it three laps in, shooting off stage left in the background, at Turn Three.

One lap later, Zarco spun out at the fifth turn, but managed to get back on his bike. On the same lap, DiGi fell off at Turn Eleven.

Also on the same lap, Binder went off in a cloud of dust at Turn Thirteen – indeed an unlucky number for our local hero this Saturday.

We were all convinced that Bagnaia was cruising towards another victory when, for reasons unknown, he decided to go sightseeing at the start of Lap Nine. This cost him a handful of spots, and the ultimate win.

Surprising many, Viñales fought his way to his maiden Aprilia Sprint victory, leaving Márquez – Marc, as it were – in second, and Martín in third.

Main Race:

Moto3 was great, Moto2 was epic, but the Grand Prix was legendary.

It started off relatively normal, with Morbidelli going off on the first lap and quickly rejoining the action.

On Lap Two Márquez Junior’s Ducati felt like some cuddling was in order, and laid down mid-fifth-turn to get some. Álex managed to persuade it into returning to the race at hand, but ultimately called it a day by Lap Eighteen.

Raúl Fernández went tumbling on Lap Eight, whereafter he was seen stumbling through the pebbles at Turn Eight, a vision of misery.

Absolute catastrophe hit on the twenty-third lap when, while duking it out, Bagnaia and Márquez (Senior) suddenly found themselves in the dirt off Turn Five.

What led to their misfortune was, in a nutshell this: Marc bombed past Pecco, Pecco did the cutback manoeuvre, Marc tried to shut the door, Pecco jammed his wheel in the door, they bumped shoulders, and everything went sideways.

Márquez Senior managed to cling to his bike like a monkey on a rollercoaster, and later rejoined the race. As for Bagnaia, his race was over.

Man. Crazy moves by two multiple world champs.

During all this chaos, the Diamond Rookie Acosta was hammering it out, not caring who he made moves on, hanging with the front-runners like he belonged there. 

We’ll admit his uncanny skill levels, but could we tone it down just a tiny bit there, commentator guys? There were many other riders on the track, giving it their all, too.

Upon starting the final lap, Viñales suddenly developed a mystery problem, slowing down and waggling his right leg as he sped towards Turn One. Turning, he went wide, hit the green paint, and right there his Aprilia turned into a rabid bull. It flung Maverick from its back before dying trackside. As we understand – it was all related to gearbox problems.

“I tried to put 6th, but it didn’t go in. So the bike went into neutral and I hit the RPM limiter. I put my leg out to let Bastianini understand that I had a problem.

“I kept trying to put 6th but it didn’t go in. So I went back to 2nd [at Turn 1] and when I touched the gas [the gear] entered into 2nd and then I had a high side. [The bike] didn’t lock up.

Pedro takes Pecco. What?

All the front-runner crashes had changed the podium into one wholly unpredictable trio. Martín as victor was perhaps the most predictable of the lot, and even Bastianini taking second wasn’t that big of a surprise; but the shock of the century came as everyone realised that Acosta had taken third and was on the podium.

To be totally fair, Acosta was kind of gifted his maiden MotoGP podium courtesy of all those big names crashing ahead of him. But still, he was up there to take the position when they did so, making him the third-youngest MotoGP podium-finisher ever. That on just his second GP race.

Brad Binder finished fourth, partly courtesy of all the top guys blundering out of the race, too. But, fourth is fourth, and he kept it clean.

Brad Binder
Brad Binder. A solid fourth place.


The Sparky Bois are back, with a promise of chaos.

Race One:

Race One’s mayhem started off with an anonymous crash for Finello starting Lap Two, who appeared to have rejoined somewhere in the void behind everyone else.

Also on the second lap, Granado fell from the lead when his bike saw some cool jets, and decided it wanted to try that, too. With a decent enough mimic of a jet engine noise, it sped across the gravel, leaving an angry Eric in its dusty wake.

Granado stomped off, executing the well-known ‘Constipation-Frustration’ pose once he reached the walls.

Ferrari went sliding off most seductively at Turn One just two laps later.

By Lap Five Gutierrez found himself and his bike lying on the track instead of racing. His ride decided to give him a little nudge, hurrying him up with the reminder that they ought to get off the bloody track before they were made part of it.

More big hitters fell on the penultimate lap: Zaccone’s mind wandered for just a thousandth of a second, causing him to run into the rear of Torres going into Turn Five. Bits of bodywork flew in all directions, showering the crashers and nearby non-crashers.

If looks could kill, Torres’ Glare of Death, aimed squarely at Zaccone – who was keeping a safe distance between him and the fuming Jordi – would’ve set the poor soul on fire. Torres tried it twice, just to see if it’d work. Luckily for Zaccone, it didn’t.

A few turns further, Pons slid off at speed at Turn Eight; at this point, nearly half of the field had hit the deck.

Managing not to crash, Spinelli took the first win of 2024, with Garzó kept in check in second, and Casadei in third.

Race Two:

Zaccone went into the second race with a Long Lap Penalty to his name, for his rear-ending of Torres in the first.

A few laps into the race, Spinelli was slapped with a double Long Lapper for parking over the lines on the grid – Over here that would’ve been perfectly normal parking.

Moments after he received news of his penalty, the shock thereof caused Spinelli to crash from the lead, grating heavily through the pebbles.

Safe for the unfortunate Spinelli, it was anybody’s race. We saw SO MANY OVERTAKES. It was brilliant.

But, in the end, it was Casadei who crossed the finish line the triumphant victor. Garzó had to live with second place, while Gutierrez claimed a happy third.

That’s a wrap on the second MotoGP weekend. Yes, the season has barely started and the chaos levels are already through the roof. Hold on to your wigs. It can only get better.

~ Karr

(My Patreon link. Just, you know, in case one might want to show some appreciation for the hours of toiling over a grubby keyboard: )


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