The third race of the MotoGP season takes place this coming weekend, as the first race in Europe takes place. It is already shaping up to be a competitive season, but which driver stands the best chance of victory in Portugal following the double header in Qatar and Doha in the past couple of weeks?
History And Past Winners
The Portuguese Grand Prix has a storied history and was a prominent part of the MotoGP season between 2000 and 2012. However, the race wasn’t held between 2013 and 2019, before returning in 2020 for the first time in eight years. As well as returning to MotoGP, it also now takes place at a new home. The race this weekend will be taking place at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Previously, the race had taken place at the Estoril Circuit and Circuito del Jarama. The latter of those tracks actually saw the race take place in Spain. However, it returned to Portugal in the following year.
Valentino Rossi is the most successful driver in the history of this race, as he won on five separate occasions. His final success came in 2007, while his first success came in 2001. Three drivers have won the race on three occasions, with Toni Elias, Alvaro Bautista and Jorge Lorenzo achieving that feat. Daikiro Kato, Stefan Bradl, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez all on the Portuguese Grand Prix on two occasions. Honda narrowly holds the advantage in terms of manufacturer wins, as they have won 13 times. Meanwhile, Aprilia won on 12 occasions.
Leading Contenders For 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix
The favourite in the BetXChange market for the race this weekend will be Portuguese driver Miguel Oliveira. The 26-year-old will come into this race after having claimed a point in the drivers’ championship after finishing in 15th place in the recent Grand Prix of Doha. He also finished in 13th place in the Qatar Grand Prix. He will be the reigning champion coming into the race this year, as he won the first Portuguese Grand Prix in eight years in 2020. That victory was a significant one for the host nation, as he became the first Portuguese driver to win the event.
Marc Marquez will be another leading challenger for the race, as the Spanish have dominated this race in the past. Marquez is the heavy favourite in the BetXChange betting to win the MotoGP outright this season, and comes into this race looking for his first win this season. Frenchman Fabio Quartararo could also have leading claims, as he won the recent Doha Grand Prix. However, that result means that he is still second in the standings, behind Johann Zarco, who has finished second in both previous races this season.
MotoGP: Portuguese Grand Prix Pick
The pick for this race is actually for Spanish driver Maverick Vinales. He won the opening race of the season, and finished fifth last time out. Spanish drivers have won the various forms of MotoGP race at this event on 21 previous occasions, and he could be the leading player to add to that record this weekend.