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.

Results

Pos.PointsNum.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTime/Gap
12588Miguel OLIVEIRAPORRed Bull KTM Tech 3KTM164.741’48.163
22043Jack MILLERAUSPramac RacingDucati164.5+3.193
31621Franco MORBIDELLIITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha164.5+3.298
41344Pol ESPARGAROSPARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM163.9+12.626
51130Takaaki NAKAGAMIJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda163.9+13.318
6104Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati163.7+15.578
796Stefan BRADLGERRepsol Honda TeamHonda163.7+15.738
8841Aleix ESPARGAROSPAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia163.7+16.034
9773Alex MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda163.5+18.325
1065Johann ZARCOFRAEsponsorama RacingDucati163.5+18.596
11512Maverick VIÑALESSPAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha163.5+18.685
12446Valentino ROSSIITAMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha163.5+18.946
13335Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRLCR Honda CASTROLHonda163.5+19.159
14220Fabio QUARTARAROFRAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha163.1+24.376
15142Alex RINSSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki162.9+27.776
169Danilo PETRUCCIITADucati TeamDucati162.5+34.266
1782Mika KALLIOFINRed Bull KTM Tech 3KTM161.6+48.410
1853Tito RABATSPAEsponsorama RacingDucati161.6+48.411
Not Classified
32Lorenzo SAVADORIITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia162.63 Laps
36Joan MIRSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki161.310 Laps
33Brad BINDERRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM157.423 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
63Francesco BAGNAIAITAPramac RacingDucati0 Lap

CHECKOUT: Mir takes MotoGP crown at Valencia 

CHECKOUT: Spanish flyer for Suzuki at Valencia

Hometown win for Oliveira in MotoGP finale

Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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