Eighth in the MotoGP World Championship, Portuguese Miguel Oliveira went no further than 12th in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Catalunya in MotoGP. After a crash at the start of the last qualifying round – with no physical consequences – the Team Tech 3 KTM rider got the best lap towards the end of the session, with 1.40.188 minutes, 475 milliseconds of the Italian Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) , who got pole position.
“This morning I did not finish with very good feelings, but in the afternoon the conditions changed and I did not feel comfortable with a medium tire”, said Oliveira, referring to the fact that, in the morning, he reached the third best time in the final free practice.
The 25-year-old Almadense admitted that he lost confidence after the crash on the first lap and that he was unable to improve the morning time.
“I am a little disappointed, but we will have a long race, which will be very difficult, so I hope to do a smart race and get as close as possible to the front places,” said Miguel Oliveira, assuming he had “a difficult qualification”.
In addition to Morbidelli, the front row of the starting grid was filled by the Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and the Italian veteran Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who in Barcelona will fulfill the 350th Grand Prix of a career rich in achievements – the driver 41-year-old has 7 World titles and 199 podiums.
Rossi made news yesterday for having signed a one-season contract, valid for 2021, with the Yamaha Petronas team, the Japanese manufacturer’s satellite team, for which he will race for the ninth consecutive year.