/MotoGP: in Algarve, an historic day for Portugal

MotoGP: in Algarve, an historic day for Portugal

The absence of the public, due to Covid-19, was the only negative in the first time the MotoGP, the highest category of motorbike competition in the world, visited the Algarvian circuit of Portimão. After seven years without a race in Portugal, Algarve was the perfect place for a more relaxed season-ending. The Portuguese organisers would have been pleased to host a title-deciding race, but the Spanish Joan Mir had already clinched his first MotoGP title.

Nonetheless, the Portuguese were hoping for a good result from the local hero Miguel Oliveira, the first Portuguese rider ever to win a race in the MotoGP (formerly 500cc) category. Oliveira had won in style the Styrian GP, and his promotion to the leading KTM team had already been announced. If he could do well in his home race, it would be the perfect ending for the season. Oliveira did very well given that it was only his second season at the top-tier of motorbike racing and given the potential of his bike.

Grand Chelem

Oliveira made what looked impossible before the race, something he was very far to achieve in any other race in the season. In the Styrian race (a race performer in the Austrian circuit of Red Bull Ring, which hosted two races this season, due to the pandemic), he only took the lead on the final corner of the last lap, after both leaders ahead of him made a mistake.

Now, Oliveira achieved a Grand Chelem: pole position (his first), fastest lap and victory leading the entire race, from the green lights to the checkered flag. The Aussie Jack Miller was his closest rival, finishing 3 seconds adrift.

Spanish and Italians still dominating

The MotoGP category continues to be dominated by Spanish and Italian riders, just like it has been for some years now. Miller, in 7th place, was the best non-Spanish or Italian in the season’s final standings. Oliveira granted 9th place with this 2nd victory of the season. The Briton Cal Crutchlow, in a Honda, finished 13th in the race and 18th in the championship.