MotoGP moves on to Portimao for its final round of the 2020 season, the Portuguese Grand Prix, after Joan Mir wrapped up the riders’ title.
Mir completed his stunning world title charge by securing seventh place at last weekend’s Valencia GP and with it sufficient points to seal the championship with a round to spare.
While Suzuki has also wrapped up the MotoGP teams’ title, it faces off against Ducati to complete a hat-trick of 2020 crowns, with both manufacturers level on points in the world constructors’ standings going into the Portuguese GP. After its points deduction, Yamaha remains in contention albeit 13 points back.
Focus will also turn to both the Moto2 and Moto3 title fights which remain on a knife-edge.
The Portimao race will also mark the end of an era for a number of riders, including both Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, the headline riders who will not feature on the 2021 MotoGP grid. Dovizioso is taking a MotoGP sabbatical next year with a view of returning to the grid in 2022, while Crutchlow will become Yamaha’s test rider in 2021.
Valentino Rossi will bid an emotional farewell to the factory Yamaha team as he switches to the Petronas SRT squad to swap places with Fabio Quartararo from next year.
KTM test rider Mika Kallio will make his first start of the season as he steps in at Tech3 with Iker Lecuona ruled out after producing a positive PCR COVID-19 test at last weekend’s Valencia race.
Why is MotoGP racing in Portugal?
As part of the additional races included on the redrawn 2020 MotoGP calendar, the Portuguese GP at Portimao is the only all-new event that wasn’t on the initial race schedule before the shake-up triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MotoGP has never raced at Portimao, with Estoril hosting the Portuguese GP between 2000-12. Jarama hosted the inaugural Portuguese GP in 1987 despite the circuit being located north of Madrid in neighbouring Spain.
All the previous ‘new’ races have been part of double-headers at the same circuit (Andalusia GP at Jerez, Styrian GP at the Red Bull Ring, Emilia Romagna GP at Misano, Teruel GP at Aragon and European GP at Valencia).
2020 Portuguese MotoGP session timings
MotoGP will run longer versions of the Friday practice sessions compared to its traditional schedule to provide riders with more time to familiarise themselves at the Portimao circuit as it is a new addition to the reshaped 2020 calendar.
The two practice sessions on Friday will run for 70 minutes each rather than the usual 45-minute period.
From Saturday onwards the weekend schedule reverts to its traditional format with a 45-minute practice session on Saturday morning. The top 10 on the combined FP1-2-3 timesheet will automatically enter into Q2 of qualifying. A final 30-minute FP4 session is held on Saturday afternoon ahead of qualifying.
Q1 of qualifying sees all riders who did not finish in the top 10 of the combined practice times take part with the top two finishers progressing into Q2 alongside the top 10 who gained an automatic spot via their practice times.
Q2 is the pole position shootout which decides the order of the front four rows, with the rest of the grid organised on Q1 times, for the 25-lap Portuguese GP on Sunday.
Moto2 and Moto3 are also in action during the Portuguese GP.
Friday 20th November 2020
Free Practice 1: 10:10am-11:20am GMT (10:10am-11:20am local)
Free Practice 2: 2:00pm-3:10pm GMT (2:00pm-3:10pm local)
Saturday 21st November 2020
Free Practice 3: 9:55am-10:40am GMT (09:55am-10:40am local)
Free Practice 4: 1:30pm-2:00pm GMT (1:30pm-2:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:10pm-2:50pm GMT (2:10pm-2:50pm local)
Sunday 22nd November 2020
Warm Up: 10:00am-10:20am GMT (10:00am-10:20am local)
Race: 2:00pm GMT (2:00pm local)
How can I watch the Portuguese MotoGP?
· Channel: BT Sport 2
· Channel numbers – Sky: 414 (BT Sport 2)
· Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 528 (BT Sport)
BT Sport’s live coverage of Sunday’s action starts with the warm-up sessions at 09:00am, taking it from the world feed, before switching to its own broadcast at 10:30am for the pre-race show ahead of the Moto3 race.
The build-up to the MotoGP race starts from 1:30pm, or when the Moto2 race finishes, ahead of lights out at 2:00pm.
Can I stream the Portuguese MotoGP?
Viewers in the United Kingdom can also stream the Valencian GP by purchasing a video pass from MotoGP.com. A one-off video pass, which includes the 2020 Portuguese GP plus the entire 2021 MotoGP season, costs £179.63p.
The video pass gives access to every live session, qualifying and race, plus world feed content and the chance to watch previous races.
Weather forecast for the Portuguese MotoGP
Portimao is set for dry and sunny conditions throughout the weekend, with a small chance of rain. Highs of 20 degrees Celsius are forecast on race day, making it the slightly cooler conditions than the Valencia GP last weekend.
Given the seasonal conditions of the region at this time of the year, cold temperatures are also expected for the early morning sessions.
Most Portuguese MotoGP winners (premier class only)
Valentino Rossi: 5 wins (500cc – 2001, MotoGP – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007)
Jorge Lorenzo: 3 wins (2008, 2009, 2010)
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