The Red Bull KTM Tech3 team faced a challenging sixth round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today. Launching off from P12, Miguel Oliveira lost some positions in the beginning to cross the line in 15th at the end of the opening lap. Step by step he found his rhythm, picked his way through and managed to pass some of his contenders to be in P12 around halfway stage of the race. Towards the end, he made up another position to eventually see the flag in 11th.
At the same time, Iker Lecuona stalled his KTM RC16 at the start of the warm up lap and during the initial stages of the race received a long lap penalty for this grid procedure infraction. Following the long lap, the MotoGP rookie queued in P20, but grit his teeth to find himself back in 17th after 12 laps. With fast times, he caught up even more in the latter stages of the race and even took over 14th on the final lap to score two more points.
"It was a tough race. To be honest, it was quite hard to make up positions, especially in the beginning of the race. We had many riders with different tyre choices, so it made our life very difficult, but we had a good pace, where just too far away. Now we are focusing on Tuesday, trying a couple of things during the test in order to have a better weekend and especially a better Qualifying the upcoming weekend."
"In the Warm Up this morning, I felt really good with the bike. Like in FP3, I felt very fast and constant and my pace for the race was strong. I knew that my grid position was not ideal to fight for the top 10. Finally, in the race, I did that mistake in the Warm Up lap. I stopped the engine and eventually, I needed to do the long lap. I was very nervous, because I knew my potential. In the end, I could manage the situation with the penalty and lap by lap I improved. For many laps, I was the fastest KTM rider on the track, overtook many riders and finished in the points, so finally, I’m really happy. Sorry to my team for that mistake, but at the same time thanks to them for their great work."
"Overall this was a quite strong team result for Red Bull KTM Tech3 here in Misano. For sure, we didn’t expect to duplicate the incredible and unforgettable victory from Spielberg here, but it was an interesting circuit for us. We end up 12 seconds to the winner, but we lost six seconds in the first two laps, so it means out of the 25 laps left we lost six seconds, which is showing how close the grid is. We could see that KTM has got a really strong line-up, because the four riders were doing the same lap times and Miguel was in a sandwich between Pol (Espargaro) and Brad (Binder) on the finish line. We got some good points. We need to understand what we can improve on that circuit, but I want to see the glass half full and I think we are not too far and we can improve next weekend. The championship is wide open, which is also very interesting, we are 28 points to the leading guy at the moment, so we need to keep our heads down and keep on believing and pushing. This is for Miguel. It was a bit more eventful race for Iker. He stalled the bike on the grid, which is not happening very often and he didn’t know exactly what to do. He went back to the starting grid, although he should have been starting from the pitlane. Then he was given a long lap penalty, that he did really well. He didn’t waste any time, put his head down and managed to finish 14th, which is really impressive. Most of the race he was the fastest KTM guy, doing the fastest laps. I think we can be proud of our four riders as KTM, we as Tech3 can be proud of Miguel and Iker and we need to keep on working hard and follow the same method, plus always improve and get closer to the leaders. I believe we can do it and this is a story I can tell you in a few days, because we’re staying here."