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25/11/2020 News

Unstoppable Oliveira

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

 

Miguel Oliveira claimed victory in Portimao with a truly virtuoso performance. In doing so, he gave the Tech3 team its second MotoGP race win.

MotoGP

Pole position, a race win and the fastest lap: Miguel Oliveira did not do things by halves at his home Grand Prix. Earlier in the season in Austria, the Portuguese rider had claimed his first ever victory in MotoGP by smartly taking advantage of a scrap between Pol Espargaro and Jack Miller at the last corner. Yesterday in Portimao, however, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider had more time to enjoy his triumph. Having led from start to finish, he ultimately took the chequered flag by over three seconds from Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli. Hervé Poncharal was left suitably impressed by his rider’s tour de force. “Following his win in Austria, some people tried to play down Miguel’s performance by saying that he had just taken advantage of his opponents’ mistakes,” explained the Tech3 team principle. “Here, he clearly demonstrated his superiority. There are no doubts this time round.” In doing so, the Portuguese rider secured a second victory in MotoGP for the team from the Var region. “For us, 2020 will go down as a very special season in every respect,” enthused Poncharal. “We’ve been competing in the premier class since 2001. We raced for eighteen seasons with Yamaha without a victory, and after two seasons with KTM we’ve already won twice.” With Iker Lecuona unable to take part in the season finale owing to a positive COVID-19 test, Mika Kallio stepped in as a replacement rider. The Finn rode home in seventeenth.

Moto2

Just as he had promised, Sam Lowes went for broke in Portugal. Despite a right hand that was revealed to have been broken since his crash in Valencia, the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS star bravely rode to a podium finish in the last race of the season. “I honestly think this was one of my best ever rides,” he declared afterwards. “I could hardly even ride the bike in the warm-up this morning, I was struggling so much that I wondered whether I would even be able to race. In the end, I gritted my teeth and gave everything until the very end, which was the best way for me to repay the team. That’s the most important thing: never to give up. This is what we did and I’m so proud.” Augusto Fernandez finished his first season in the colours of VDS with an eighth place. “I was struggling in the last two corners and then on the home straight,” said the Spaniard. “Once I had new tyres, it was a bit better. But as soon as they started to drop, both front and rear, it got really tough. It was getting worse and worse with each lap, it was frustrating because everyone was passing me and I couldn't fight back.”

Moto3

Deniz Öncü signed off from his first season in Grand Prix racing for the KTM Tech3 team with a top ten finish around the Portimao circuit. Scrapping in the leading group from start to finish, the Turkish rider proved to be more than capable of holding his own. “I made a mistake on the last lap that cost me dear, but I enjoyed this race a lot,” he said. “This first season has been fantastic, I’ve made real progress from the first to the last race. I can’t wait to start 2021.” Hampered by deteriorating tyres after he too had been up with the leading pack, Ayumu Sasaki ended up crossing the finish line in thirteenth position.

Le championnat

Following his second victory of the season, Miguel Oliveira finished in ninth position in the MotoGP championship, only 14 points behind third place. The season leaves a bittersweet taste in the mouth for the Portuguese, who was taken out by reckless opponents in both Jerez and Austria. Unable to compete in the final three races of the season, Iker Lecuona finished his first season in the premier class in twentieth position overall. In Moto2, Sam Lowes ended up in third, on equal points with second-placed Luca Marini and only 9 points behind newly-crowned world champion Enea Bastianini. On the final day, Augusto Fernandez moved up to thirteenth place in the overall standings. In the Moto3 class, there were only 2 points separating Ayumu Sasaki and Deniz Öncü, who finished in sixteenth and seventeenth respectively.

 

CATEGORY RIDER RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
MOTOGP Miguel Oliveira 1st 9th (125 points)
Iker Lecuona DNS 20th (27 points)
MOTO2 Sam Lowes 3rd 3rd (196 points)
Augusto Fernandez 8th 13th (71 points)
MOTO3 Ayumu Sasaki 13th 16th (52 points)
Deniz Öncü 10th 17th (50 points)

 

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal

  • MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal