Portuguese hero Miguel Oliveira left no room for questions in today’s Grande Prémio de Portugal and brought home an outstanding second victory in 2020. Starting from pole the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider did not one single mistake, proving that he is the man to beat on home soil from lap one. He led the race in incredible form from the first to the final corner and crossed the line with more than three seconds of advantage. Therewith, he moves up to ninth in the final standings of the MotoGP World Championship 2020.
At the same time, Mika Kallio, who jumped aboard the KTM RC16 for the season finale in place of Iker Lecuona, was starting from P22 and improving on his feeling throughout the race, after he has been out of competition for more than one year. Towards the end of the race, he had a decent a fight with Tito Rabat and bet him on the line to take home 17th position at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
"I knew I had a good pace, but as I said to everyone yesterday, it was going to be a little bit unpredictable after mid-race what was going to happen to the tyres. Surprisingly I kept doing the 40.1’s, 40.2’s quite easily without taking too much risks, so the tyres hold on very well. After five laps to the end, I really started to think about too many things, so I decided to just lose a couple of tenths and just tried to enjoy as most as possible. At that point, I honestly just wanted the race to finish earlier. I came to lead from start to finish, it was a good experience for me. I enjoyed myself on the bike, I had a little bit of pressure, but I could handle it and that’s the most important thing."
"It was tough. Of course, we knew that this track is quite demanding and you have to work a lot with the body. To come back to racing is especially on the physical side not easy. But I managed to do it, so I’m happy about that. I have to admit, that I thought I could do a bit better, ahead of the weekend, but in the end, this was the maximum I could do at the moment. Somehow, I’m still quite satisfied that I could make the laps quite consistently and repeat the same things, the same speed, the same lap times and no mistakes, which was really important. So, I’m satisfied with that."
"Honestly, I am speechless. We knew this weekend was going to be special, a special circuit, great weather and great people to welcome us in Portugal. But we also knew there would be some pressure and we were just hoping that everything was going to work out well. When we made the pole yesterday afternoon, I thought ‘Wow, we achieved something great’ and this is 50% of the weekend done, but I knew that the biggest part was ahead of us on Sunday. To be honest, I didn’t sleep well last night, because I knew the expectations were big and I knew there was a possibility of a great result. All the Red Bull and KTM top management was here and I knew how important this race was for Miguel, so I was very tense until the MotoGP race started and once it started, it was like a fairytale. It was a very long race, because we didn’t expect Miguel to break away the way he did and to open such a gap in just a few laps. It was just making the countdown of the laps and hoping for no mistake, because nothing is ever done until you see the chequered flag. But I’ve been impressed by how cool, calm and I would say ‘zen’ Miguel has been all weekend long. He is really a great guy, a great champion, because to cope with the pressure the way he did, means you have a lot to still demonstrate. This victory was the second one of the year, the second one with Miguel of course, and the second one with KTM, but maybe that one is even stronger in terms of how dominant Miguel has been. It was a demonstration of Miguel together with the KTM RC16 and I’m just in heaven. I’m just so happy for Miguel, all the team, for the fans, for everybody who has been working really hard. As I told the KTM Factory guys, he is ready, he is hot, so now you can receive a top MotoGP rider for the next two seasons. I would like to thank him, to thank everybody, of course Red Bull, KTM, Elf. I know, I have a second rider. We’ve been missing Iker a lot, but still we had the great pleasure – and I would like to really insist – we had the great honor to have Mika Kallio coming to replace Iker. It was not easy. He didn’t have any time on the bike almost, he didn’t know that circuit. The whole grid is riding every week, so it was very difficult. But he did a perfect weekend, not one crash, improving his lap time nearly every session and finally a very decent result. So, I would like to thank him, to congratulate him and I would like to hope that he enjoyed this week with the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. So, thanks to everyone, riders, team, crews, media staff, communication department, everyone! It was a long season, a tough season, but we are already thinking in a few days we’ll be a bit bored and we are really wishing to be back on the tracks as soon as possible!"