Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo claimed a second consecutive MotoGP victory after leading almost from start to finish at the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday as six-times world champion Marc Marquez finished seventh in his first race in nine months.

Starting on pole position, Quartararo made a sluggish start to slip to fourth place on the opening lap but recovered to take the lead with 17 laps remaining and never looked back.

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia rode a clinical race to finish second and Suzuki’s reigning world champion Joan Mir rounded out the podium.

Bagnaia’s qualification celebrations short-lived

Quartararo was awarded pole position on Saturday after Bagnaia had his record-breaking lap cancelled due to a yellow flag infringement. Bagnaia thought he had clinched the top spot for Sunday’s race by smashing the Algarve International Circuit record with his lap of one minute 38.494 seconds.

However, the Ducati celebrations were ended because of the yellow flags brought out due to a crash for 2020 Portugal poleman Miguel Oliveira in the closing moments of the session.

The incident meant Quartararo, who was fastest throughout the day, secured the 11th pole of his premier-class career with a time of one minute 38.682 seconds, while Bagnaia slipped to 11th.

“It’s a pole but doesn’t feel like usual,” Quartararo said.

“We saw that Bagnaia was extremely fast so I’m more happy about FP3 and FP4. The main goal was to start on the front row and we’ve achieved it.”