Miguel Oliveira delivered a stunning Qualifying today, grabbing his first ever MotoGP class pole at the Autodrom Interncaional do Algarve, pleasing his entire Red Bull KTM Tech3 team and home crowd. After being second fastest in FP3 this morning and in FP4 this afternoon, the Portuguese hero timed his Q2 to perfection. Oliveira did a breathtaking 1:38.892 lap in the last minutes, which none of his contenders could beat today.
Meanwhile, Mika Kallio, who jumped back aboard the KTM RC16 this weekend in place of Iker Lecuona, could improve his Friday’s best slightly in Q1 today, but struggled to find the right feeling after being out of competition for more than one year. He will start the first Portuguese Grand Prix of premier class history at the Portimao circuit at 14:00 local time (15:00 CET) from row eight of the grid.
"It feels really good to be on pole at home. I feel like every time I go on bike on this track I just enjoy every lap and I think that was key today to perform well. For sure, when you enjoy yourself, things somehow get easier. It’s nice to do the first pole here in Portugal and still, we want to finish strong tomorrow and complete the job."
"It was harder as we expected. It seems to be really difficult to improve, even if I did of course a lot of laps today and more than yesterday, I thought I get better used to the bike, the tyres and especially to the track, but in the end, the lap time didn’t really arrive. It was similar as yesterday, which is a bit weird. My riding apparently is not on the level to get the tyres working and I feel like the bike is on the limit all the time. This is the main thing and it’s hard to say, how to go through that. Of course, everything comes from my side, but somehow I must be able to push more and stress the tyres more in order to get the temperature in and generate the grip. There are many things. I knew it’s going to be difficult, but maybe it’s slightly more complicated than I expected."