Team San Carlo Honda Gresini were able to reflect on a positive first day at Estoril following the first free practice sessions for the Grand Prix of Portugal. Despite difficult conditions, with cold and rain making for a slippery track surface, Shinya Nakano was able to end the first session with the third fastest time. Alex De Angelis has been the victim of a heavy bout of tonsillitis and his participation was in doubt until the last minute due to a high fever.
Alex de Angelis (27 laps; 1'41.033): "Today hasn't gone very well, unfortunately I've spent the last two days with a high temperature which has made me weak and a little fuzzy. Thanks to the Clinica Mobile I was able to get out on track for first practice I'm really grateful to all the staff for that. It was important to get something out of today and we have done that even though I wasn't at full fitness and only managed five laps in the morning. Luckily in the afternoon I was able to contest the whole session even though I still felt very weak. I crashed but fortunately I wasn't hurt any further."
Shinya Nakano (46 laps; 1'39.309): "I'm very satisfied with how these two opening free practice session have gone. In the morning we saw the damp conditions and went for a wet setting with soft rain tyres that allowed me to set a good pace immediately. Later the track started to dry and with a change of tyres I was able to go even faster, ending up in third place. In the afternoon we managed to find a good pace from the start on the dry track but with the low temperatures it was difficult to make the right tyre choice. We had a few problems with the rear end, which became too unstable, but I'm confident about tomorrow because together with the engineers we have recently found a good way to improve the setting for qualifying."