MotoGP: Miguel Oliveira dominates home Grand Prix at Portimao

Miguel Oliveira dominated his home Grand Prix at Portimao to secure his second victory of the 2020 MotoGP season.

Oliveira, who started from pole, led from start to finish and pulled the pin almost instantly. The Tech3 KTM rider posted fastest lap after fastest lap in the opening few laps and pulled away from the chasing pack.

Sunday at Portimao

The Portuguese rider ended the 2020 season finale with a 3.193s advantage over Jack Miller, who got the better of Franco Morbidelli on the final lap. Oliveira and Miller were the only riders to dip into the 1:39 lap-times today. 

Miller, who secures back-to-back podiums, went down the inside of the Petronas Yamaha rider at turn 13. Morbidelli ends the season as the runner-up, 13 points behind Joan Mir. 

Remarkably, as a result of Miller’s podium finish, Ducati have been crowned winners of the Constructor’s Championship for the first time since 2007. 

Pol Espargaro ended his final race for the factory KTM team in fourth spot and finishes fifth overall in the standings – his best result in the premier class. 

Takaaki Nakagami was fifth for LCR Honda, whilst Andrea Dovizioso was sixth in his final race for Ducati. The Italian ends 2020 fourth overall and brings an end to an eight-year association with the manufacturer. 

Stefan Bradl produced his best performance of 2020 in seventh spot, in what could be his final appearance on the Repsol Honda. Aleix Espargaro was eighth, whilst Alex Marquez and Johann Zarco completed the top 10.

The 2020 Yamaha M1 riders struggled once again. Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi, in his final race as a factory Yamaha rider, finished 11th and 12th respectively, whilst Fabio Quartararo could only manage 14th. Despite his promising start to 2020, the Frenchman ends the year eighth overall. Vinales ends 2020 in sixth overall, level on points with Miller (seventh). 

Cal Crutchlow was 13th in his final race as a full-time MotoGP rider, but was battling inside the top six in the early stages. Crutchlow now becomes the official test rider for Yamaha. 

Alex Rins finished 15th and takes the final point available. The Spaniard ends 2020 in third place overall, 19 points behind Morbidelli in second. 

Mir’s fantastic season ended on a bad note after he was forced to retire with a bike problem. Mir had encountered electronical problems earlier in the weekend and was a long way down the order when he came into pit lane. 

Francesco Bagnaia retired on the opening lap after being struck by Mir’s Suzuki. The Pramac Racing Ducati rider was seen clutching his right shoulder in the garage and has been taken to the medical centre.

Brad Binder crashed out of the race at turn one on the third lap, whilst Lorenzo Savadori crashed at turn four on the 23rd lap. 

MotoGP Portimao - Race Result

Moto2: Enea Bastianini crowned 2020 world champion whilst Remy Gardner secures maiden win

First published: 22 November 2020 by Josh Close

Enea Bastianini Moto2 Champion

Enea Bastianini has been crowned 2020 Moto2 world champion at Portimao, whilst Remy Gardner is a Grand Prix winner for the first time. 

Bastianini ended the race in fifth spot after battling with Augusto Fernandez and Jorge Martin throughout the race. That was enough to beat Luca Marini and Sam Lowes by nine points overall in the standings.

The Italtrans Racing Team rider takes the crown in only his second Moto2 campaign. The 22-year-old moves up into MotoGP next year with Esponsorama Racing Ducati.

Marini finshed second after being overtaken by Gardner on the penultimate lap, whilst Lowes battling through the pain once again to take third. Lowes was riding with two broken bones in his right hand following his crash at Valencia last weekend. Marini pips Lowes to second in the standings 

Meanwhile, Gardner secured his maiden Moto2 victor, in his 75th race, in style after taking pole and securing the fastest lap of the race on the final lap. The Australian moves to the Red Bull KTM Ajo team next season and goes into the winter on a high after winning today. 

Marco Bezzecchi battled through from 12th on the grid to finish fourth, whilst Jorge Martin and Joe Roberts were sixth and seventh respectively. Augusto Fernandez ended the race in eighth spot after a valiant effort as wingman for his title-chasing teammate in the early stages. Lorenzo Baldassarri and Xavi Vierge completed the top 10.

There was a drama at the beginning of the race as Fabio Di Giannantonio fell at turn one and took Nicolò Bulega out with him. Bulega hit Di Giannantonio, rather than his bike, and the latter was taken to the medical centre as a result of the collision.

Jorge Navarro crashed out of the race at turn 13, recording his 19th crash of 2020. Hector Garzo crashed on the following lap, Kasma Daniel (turn four) and Andi Farid Izdihar also hitting the deck.

Moto3: Albert Arenas becomes 2020 world champion whilst Raul Fernandez dominates at Portimao

First published: 22 November 2020 by Josh Close

Albert Arenas Moto3 Champion

Albert Arenas clinched the Moto3 world championship title in a tense finale at Portimao, whilst Raul Fernandez dominated proceedings to take victory. 

Fernandez, as he did in both races at Valencia, pulled away at the start and had a lead of almost 10 seconds at one stage. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, who moves to Moto2 next year, eventually crossed the line with a 5.810s advantage.

Behind him there was a tense battle from second to 12th which included the three title contenders, Arenas, Ai Ogura and Tony Arbolino. The battle was close throughout the race, with positions changing every other corner.

Arbolino fought his way through from 27th on the grid to eventually finish fifth, and also battled head-to-head with Arenas at one stage. Ogura and Arenas also came very close on the final two laps and the former was off the track on two occasions, receiving a track limits warning in the process. Arenas had a few moments on the last lap and fell back to 12th, but it was enough to clinch the title.

Arenas ends 2020 with a four-point advantage over both Arbolino and Ogura. The Spaniard amassed a total of 174 points, securing three victorious and two further podiums. 

Back at the front of the chasing pack, Dennis Foggia finished the race second despite having to take two long lap penalties for irresponsible riding on Friday. Jeremy Alcoba finished third to secure his maiden Moto3 podium.

Sergio Garcia was fourth, just ahead of Arbolino, whilst Darryn Binder ended the race in sixth. Celestino Vietti was seventh, with Ogura eventually finishing eighth. John McPhee and Deniz Oncu completed the top 10. 

Jaume Masia crashed out of a podium spot on the second Leopard Racing bike after also completing two long lap penalties. Tatsuki Suzuki crashed out at turn five, whilst Alonso Lopez fell at turn 12.

McPhee ends his 2020 campaign with one victory and three further podiums. He remains with Petronas Sprinta Racing for 2021.

Moto2: Remy Gardner beats Luca Marini to take Portimao pole

First published: 21 November 2020 by Josh Close

Remy Gardner Portimao

Remy Gardner secured his second pole of the 2020 Moto2 season after narrowly beating title contender Luca Marini at Portimao. 

The Australian, who was also on pole for the Austrian GP, went top with just under two minutes remaining of the session, posting a lap-time of 1:42.592. This time enough to beat Marini by 0.118s. 

Saturday at Portimao

Fabio Di Giannantonio appeared to be closing in on top spot with his final flying lap but, despite being three tenths under the fastest lap time after the first three sectors, he was unable to knock Gardner off pole. 

Championship leader Enea Bastianini will start tomorrow’s race from fourth after jumping up from eighth on his final flying lap. Sam Lowes, Bastianini’s main title threat, fought through the pain once again to put his EG 0,0 Marc VDS bike fifth on the grid. It was a valiant effort from the Brit, who had crashed during this morning’s FP3 session. 

Bastianini and Lowes will be joined on the second row by Jorge Martin, winner of the Valencia GP last weekend. Nicolo Bulega qualified seventh ahead of Augusto Fernandez, whilst Marcos Ramirez and Tetsuta Nagashima completed the top 10. 

The fourth title contender heading into this weekend’s final showdown is Marco Bezzecchi, but he has a big job on his hands tomorrow after only qualifying in 12th. The Italian also had to go through Q1 in order to fight for a spot on the front few rows. 

Tomorrow’s Moto2 finale (November 22) is due to begin at 12:20. 

Moto2 Portimao - Qualifying Result

MotoGP: Miguel Oliveira secures maiden pole position at Portimao

First published: 21 November 2020 by Josh Close

Miguel Oliveira Portimao Pole

Miguel Oliveira will start his home Grand Prix at Portimao from pole position after a sensational qualifying performance in Portugal.

The Tech3 KTM rider, who clinches his first premier class pole as a result, posted the quickest lap of the weekend in the closing minutes – a 1:38.892 – to snatch top spot away from Franco Morbidelli. It’s Oliveira’s first pole position since the 2017 Moto2 race meeting at Aragon.

Morbidelli, who had to go through Q1, was the only other rider to dip into the 1:38s but was unable to keep the flying Portuguese rider behind him. Oliveira and Morbidelli will be joined on the front row by Jack Miller. The Australian looked like he could challenge for pole but he ultimately lost time in the final sector. 

Cal Crutchlow, in his final MotoGP race weekend, was fourth on his LCR Honda. The Brit, who also made it through Q1, was as high as second at one stage. Crutchlow will be joined on the second row by Fabio Quartararo and Repsol Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who secures his best grid position of the season.

Johann Zarco was seventh on his GP19 Ducati, with Maverick Vinales, Pol Espargaro and Alex Rins completing the top 10. Rins has work to do tomorrow if he’s to beat Morbidelli to second in the overall standings.

Takaaki Nakagami was 11th and looked to be in some discomfort following a crash at turn four during FP4. Andrea Dovizioso was the slowest rider in Q2 and will start the race from 12th. 

Brad Binder narrowly missed out on a spot in Q2 after losing time in the final sector on his final flying lap and will start the race from 13th. 

2020 MotoGP world champion Joan Mir had his final flying lap cancelled and, as a result, recorded his worst qualifying result of the year in 20th. Valentino Rossi also struggled and could only manage 17th on the grid. 

Danilo Petrucci will start his final race with Ducati from 18th, whilst Aleix Espargaro qualified 14th on the Aprilia. Tito Rabat qualified 21st for his final MotoGP race. 

The final MotoGP race of the season is scheduled to begin at 14:00 tomorrow afternoon (November 22).

MotoGP Portimao - Qualifying Result

Moto3: Raul Fernandez clinches his sixth pole of 2020 at Portimao

First published: 21 November 2020 by Josh Close

Raul Fernandez Portimao

Raul Fernandez will start from pole position in Moto3 for the sixth time this season after topping today’s qualifying session at Portimao.

Fernandez, who moves up into Moto2 next season, went quickest with an unbeatable lap-time of 1:48.051. Jeremy Alcoba was his nearest challenger in second, with Ayumu Sasaki completing the front row. 

Tatsuki Suzuki was fourth, and he’ll be joined on the second row by the two main title contenders. Ai Ogura, who seemed frustrated throughout Q1 and Q2, saved his day by leaping up to fifth in the dying seconds. Meanwhile, Arenas, alongside several other riders, missed the chance to put in another flying lap after running out of time. Arenas will start from sixth. 

Fellow title contender Tony Arbolino had a miserable Q1 session and could only manage to qualify 27th on the grid after abandoning his final two flying laps.

Niccolo Antonelli qualified seventh, with Dennis Foggia, Jaume Masia and Gabriel Rodrigo completed the top 10. Rodrigo crashed during Q2, falling at turn 12. Meanwhile, Masia has been handed a double long lap penalty for ‘irresponsible riding’ in FP2.

Andrea Migno was another crasher in Q2 and will start the race from 16th on the grid. John McPhee missed out on a spot in Q2 by 0.010s and will start tomorrow’s race from 19th, just behind Darryn Binder. Romano Fenati qualified 23rd today.  

Tomorrow’s Moto3 race is scheduled to begin at 12:20.

Moto3 Portimao Qualifying