Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira started the first day at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve with a 1:40.122, which was the fastest time of the extended FP1 session. Later on, the Portuguese home hero was leading the way at the start of FP2 as well and improved his time by 0.176 seconds, but eventually concluded Friday in 13th, just 0.529 seconds from the top of the ultra-competitive premier class field.
Yet, Mika Kallio is back to racing this weekend after more than one year of MotoGP absence, replacing Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider Iker Lecuona, who was tested positive on Covid-19 last week. The KTM test rider lowered his pace from Free Practice one to Free Practice two this afternoon by more than two seconds. While finding back to his rhythm aboard the KTM RC16, he is eager to make further steps tomorrow in FP3 at 9.55 local time (10.55 CET).
"We had a good first day here in Portimao. I think from the morning to the afternoon, we were able to set up the bike better. There are still a couple of things, we can improve for sure, as this is a new track. From my side, I feel very good on the bike, I’m enjoying every lap on this track. This afternoon we wanted to save one extra soft tyre for tomorrow morning, so I think we could not get the maximum out of our package, but I’m still happy with this opening day."
"Before I arrived, I knew that it’s going to be a tough day for many reasons, first of all of course learning a new track. I have never been here and it took some time to understand it, plus it’s one of the most complicated circuits I’ve ever been, although it’s really nice and I like it a lot. But it’s not easy and it takes time. So, the first practice was mostly for this and trying to learn the bike again, understanding the new tyres. My last race was more than one year ago, so we didn’t expect that much from the first day, but somehow, we improved at the end of FP2 and also my feeling was slightly better. We are still far from the fastest guys, but at least we saw, that we are finding the correct way. On some points, I’m losing quite a lot in braking, so I need to find out how I can get out everything from the front tyre, because this is the place we are losing. There are many things to do for tomorrow, so let’s see what happens."