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13/11/2020 News

Top 5 finish for Oliveira

MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe

Following a tough weekend in Valencia marked by changeable weather conditions, Miguel Oliveira emerged with a creditable fifth place. However, there was no happy ending for Sam Lowes, whose retirement saw him surrender the lead of the Moto2 championship with two races to go.


With two days of practice sessions during which the track was never truly dry, riders and mechanics alike had their work cut out at the Grand Prix of Europe, the first of back-to-back races around the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia. But even though he only had a few warm-up laps to finalise his settings and make his tyre choice, Miguel Oliveira proved equal to the challenge. The Portuguese rider held off the Ducati of Jack Miller to take fifth place at the finish line. “I’m happy about this race,” said the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider. “The strategy in the warm-up paid off because we managed to have a good balance in the bike, even if I couldn’t keep the pace seven or eight laps to the end and I lost contact with the leading group. The bike lost stability, so I decided to calm down and ensure I made it to the end.” As far as Hervé Poncharal was concerned, Oliveira demonstrated his class all weekend. “Despite very difficult conditions, Miguel didn’t make any errors,” enthused the KTM Tech3 team principal. “He had a good qualification, a good warm-up and a good race. He was in the top four for a long time, hanging out there right behind Pol Esparargo. It’s a very good result for the team.” Unfortunately, Miguel Oliveira was left to fly the flag alone for the French team at the Grand Prix of Europe. Having tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of the week, Iker Lecuona was forced to sit out the race.


Arriving on the back of three successive wins in Le Mans and Aragon, Sam Lowes was determined to strengthen his lead in the overall standings in Valencia. Unfortunately he crashed from second place on lap 16, putting paid to his hopes of another podium finish. Having once more started from the front row of the grid, the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider was forced to retire. “I was in second place behind Bezzecchi and I was happy to sit there and understand everything until the last few laps,” explained Lowes. “Unfortunately, I lost the front wheel and fell in turn six. The conditions were really tricky all weekend. Today was a completely dry race, even though it rained for practically the whole of qualifying. I didn’t make a good start but then I was enjoying the battle with the front group. Obviously, it’s a shame but we have to stay positive. There are two races left, we are just 6 points behind and anything can happen.” Sadly, the Grand Prix of Europe ended on Friday evening for teammate Augusto Fernandez. Having fractured a metatarsal in his left foot, the Spaniard decided to cut short his weekend in order to maximise his chances of competing in the last two Grands Prix of the season.


Even though both finished in the points in Valencia, neither Ayumu Sasaki nor Deniz Öncü took home the result they had hoped for around a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult. Having started from well down the grid (twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh), the KTM Tech3 riders fought hard to catch up with the main pack. “Once more, qualifying was the low point of the weekend,” was Hervé Poncharal’s analysis. “We knew the pace was good enough to be top 10, but we didn’t use track conditions at their best in qualifying. On the positive side, Ayumu and Deniz had a good start, which laid the foundations for both of them to finish in the points.” The Japanese rider took the chequered flag in tenth position, with his Turkish teammate following him home in fourteenth.

The championship

Miguel Oliveira remains tenth overall in the MotoGP standings and is now within 2 points of Jack Miller. Iker Lecuona also retains his seventeenth place, despite his absence from the starting grid in Valencia. Sam Lowes loses the overall lead of the Moto2 championship. He nonetheless remains second, only 6 points behind new leader Enea Bastianini. Augusto Fernandez drops two places to fourteenth with only two races to go. In Moto3, Ayumu Sasaki slips a place to sixteenth, while Deniz Öncü holds onto nineteenth spot on 34 points.


MOTOGP Miguel Oliveira 5th 10th (90 points)
Iker Lecuona DNS 17th (27 points)
MOTO2 Sam Lowes DNF 2nd (178 points)
Augusto Fernandez DNS 14th (62 points)
MOTO3 Ayumu Sasaki 10th 16th (49 points)
Deniz Öncü 14th 19th (34 points)


  • MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe

  • MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe

  • MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe

  • MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe

  • MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe

  • MotoGP World Championship - Grand Prix of Europe