American Joe Roberts earned provisional pole position for Sunday’s Grand Prix 888 of Portugal with the former MotoAmerica 600 Superstock Champion leading both sessions today at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao. Roberts’ Californian counterpart Cameron Beaubier completed FP1 in 10th but faltered in FP2 to end the opening day in Portugal in 22nd.
Roberts and his Italtrans Racing Team Kalex led the morning session with a 1:43.905 lap time and he clipped .761 of a second off that in the second session with a 1:43.144. The lap record, set by last year’s Moto2 race winner Remy Gardner, is a 1:42.504.
Beaubier was 10th in the morning session with his 1:44.714 and he managed to take .140 of a second off that in FP2, but it wasn’t enough as the entire field went quicker in the second session and the American Racing Team rider dropped to 22nd. Tomorrow, the five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion will try to work his way into the top 14 that would put him directly into Q2. If not, Beaubier will be forced to go to Q1 and attempt to get to Q2.
With Roberts leading the way, Red Bull KTM Ajo class rookie Raul Fernandez slotted himself into second, .317 of a second off Roberts’ best. Solunion Aspar Team’s Aaron Canet ended up third in front of Gardner on the second Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex.