The Red Bull KTM team closed an intense 2020 MotoGP campaign with Miguel Oliveira romping free of the pack to win his second race of the season at the Algarve International circuit for the Grand Prix of Portugal.
Oliveira’s home GP success was the KTM company’s third victory from 14 rounds.
The 15th and final outing for MotoGP this year could not have found a more spectacular setting. The flowing course of the ‘Autodromo Internacional do Algarve’ was new to the FIM World Championship and hosted Portugal’s first Grand Prix since 2012.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Oliveira was the quickest to adapt and blazed to his first pole position in MotoGP (and for his country) on Saturday.
Come Sunday and Oliveira put the race beyond doubt from the opening laps. The 25-year-old, completing his second term in MotoGP and the last race for the Tech3 squad before he transfers into the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad for 2021, was dominant from the lights to the flag for his second set of 25 points this term.
Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) finished the race runner-up, Italy’s Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) was third and Spain’s Pol Espargaro crossed the finish line in 4th for his last run in Red Bull KTM colours.
Spain’s Joan Mir had already clinched the MotoGP title for Team Suzuki Ecstar the previous weekend at the MotoGP at Valencia and he had a miserable afternoon in Portugal, an electronics issue ruling him out of the race on lap 16, although he was obviously still well satisfied to have won the world crown for 2020.
Brad Binder (KTM) confirmed his Rookie of the Year distinction in Portugal even after the race ended early for the South African as he carried too much speed into the first turn and crashed.
“It’s unreal. You dream about these kinds of races and to finally be able to do it is incredible,” said Oliviera afterwards.
“I have no words. My gratitude to all the people and all the fans at home who could not be here today. To my team; it was a great way to make the farewell to Tech3 and give this accomplishment to them. My family didn’t get to see my first win ‘live’, so it is great they were here. It’s an incredible day and very emotional to finish the season on a high and with a strong performance like today.”
The 2021 MotoGP season is scheduled to begin at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on March 28.
The MotoGP teams will have their first shakedown tests of the year at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on February 14-16.
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Results MotoGP Grande Prémio MEO de Portugal 2020:
- Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 41:48.163
- Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +3.193
- Franco Morbidelli (ITA) Yamaha +3.298
- Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +12.626
- Takaaki Nakagami (JPN), Honda +13.318
- Mika Kallio (FIN), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +48.410
Final Rider Standings for 2020:
|1||Mir Joan||SPA||171||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|2||Morbidelli Franco||ITA||158||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha|
|3||Rins Alex||SPA||139||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|4||Espargaro Pol||SPA||135||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM|
|5||Dovizioso Andrea||ITA||135||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|6||Miller Jack||AUS||132||Pramac Racing||Ducati|
|7||Vinales Maverick||SPA||132||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|8||Quartararo Fabio||FRA||127||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha|
|9||Oliveira Miguel||POR||125||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM|
|10||Nakagami Takaaki||JPN||116||LCR Honda||Honda|
|11||Binder Brad||RSA||87||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM|
|12||Petrucci Danilo||ITA||78||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|13||Zarco Johann||FRA||77||Esponsorama Racing||Ducati|
|14||Marquez Alex||SPA||74||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|15||Rossi Valentino||ITA||66||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|16||Bagnaia Francesco||ITA||47||Pramac Racing||Ducati|
|17||Espargaro Aleix||SPA||42||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia|
|18||Crutchlow Cal||GBR||32||LCR Honda||Honda|
|19||Bradl Stefan||GER||27||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|20||Lecuona Iker||SPA||27||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM|
|21||Smith Bradley||GBR||12||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia|
|22||Rabat Tito||SPA||10||Esponsorama Racing||Ducati|
|23||Pirro Michele||ITA||4||Pramac Racing||Ducati|