PORTUGUESE rider Miguel Oliveira did himself and his country proud with a runaway win in the end of season MotoGP on the undulating rollercoaster circuit at Portimao, on the south coast of Portugal.
It was his second win of the season in the premier class, and he started from pole, and led all 25 laps of the 4.7km circuit, finishing more than three seconds ahead of Australia’s Jack Miller.
Oliveira, who had never before led a single lap in MotoGP, had a faultless run on his Tech3 KTM and was never even challenged.
Behind him, however, Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli and Miller had a near-repeat of their previous battle, but this time Miller managed to sneak through on his Pramac Ducati, which gave Ducati its first constructors’ championship since 2007.
Joan Mir, who had already secured the 2020 MotoGP championship, had an awful day on his Suzuki, colliding with Francesco Bagnaia’s Ducati and then retiring his Suzuki with an electrical problem on lap 16 — while teammate Alex Rins dropped down the order to finish 15th after starting from 10th.
Rins also made contact with Johann Zarco’s Avintia Ducati and KTM’s Brad Binder retired early after a crash – but he still finished the season as rookie of the year.
As well, and despite being pipped to second spot by Jack Miller, Franco Morbidelli still finished as runner-up in the championship on his 2019-spec Petronas SRT Yamaha.
Pol Espargaro took his KTM into fourth spot, with Takaaki Nakagami close behind on the Honda.
Next came Andrea Dovizioso who started from 12th on the grid and came out on top of a race-long battle with a quartet of other riders to claim sixth, ahead of Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia and the Honda of Alex Marquez.
Johann Zarco completed the top 10 despite his early contact with Mir, with Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi 11th and 12th on their Yamahas.
Cal Crutchlow qualified fourth on his Honda, but sank to 13th, ahead of a struggling Fabio Quartararo on the Yamaha M1 and Suzuki’s Alex Rins.
Danilo Petrucci missed the points on his final Ducati outing, as did Tech3 stand-in Mika Kallio and Avintia’s Tito Rabat.
Qualifying was a lot closer than the actual race, with less than a second between Oliveira and Aleix Espargaro, back in 14th place.
And so ended a thrilling 2020 MotoGP season, which had no fewer than nine different winners: Fabio Quartararo, Brad Binder, Andrea Dovizioso, Franco Morbidelli, Maverick Vinales, Danilo Petrucci, Alex Rins and Joan Mir.
It was a big pity being that the COVID bug prevented spectators and Oliveira’s countless fans from seeing his dominant performance.
But his family was there.
“It’s unreal,” the 25-year-old said.
“You dream about these kinds of races and to finally be able to do it, it’s incredible. I have no words to describe it . . . just my gratitude to all the people . . . and my team.”
Next year he will replace Pol Espargaro in the KTM factory team, riding with new teammate Brad Binder.
|1||25||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||164.7||41’48.163|
|2||20||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Pramac Racing||Ducati||164.5||+3.193|
|3||16||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||164.5||+3.298|
|4||13||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||163.9||+12.626|
|5||11||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||163.9||+13.318|
|6||10||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||163.7||+15.578|
|7||9||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||163.7||+15.738|
|8||8||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||163.7||+16.034|
|9||7||73||Alex MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||163.5||+18.325|
|10||6||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Esponsorama Racing||Ducati||163.5||+18.596|
|11||5||12||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||163.5||+18.685|
|12||4||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||163.5||+18.946|
|13||3||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||163.5||+19.159|
|14||2||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||163.1||+24.376|
|15||1||42||Alex RINS||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||162.9||+27.776|
|16||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||162.5||+34.266|
|17||82||Mika KALLIO||FIN||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||KTM||161.6||+48.410|
|18||53||Tito RABAT||SPA||Esponsorama Racing||Ducati||161.6||+48.411|
|32||Lorenzo SAVADORI||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||162.6||3 Laps|
|36||Joan MIR||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||161.3||10 Laps|
|33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||157.4||23 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0 Lap|
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