Qatar Motorcycle Grand Prix
Oliveira On the Up
Although he was not fully successful on the Losail circuit, Miguel Oliveira made a strong impression for his MotoGP debut. A rookie worth following!
From his first laps with the KTM RC16 of the Tech 3 Team, Miguel Oliveira impressed his peers with his speed, his ability to progress and his determination. The Portuguese rider, who starts this season in the premier-class category, confirmed his talent in Qatar by riding his first MotoGP Grand Prix as best he could. Starting in last position after stalling on the starting grid, Oliveira managed to get back into the pack to join the fight for tenth place with Nakagami and Espargaro. Unfortunately, the premature wear of his rear tire ruined the end of the race for him.
“I could feel the vibrations building at the back of the bike,” he said. “I felt like my tire was going to explode. I finally finished seventeenth and I was disappointed not to have scored my first points in MotoGP.”
There’s no doubt that it’s only a matter of time before he does. Lacking confidence, Hafizh Syahrin crossed the finish line in twentieth position. In Moto2, it was the Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS riders who came out on top by all making it to the top ten. Second on the starting grid, Xavi Vierge completed the first lap in the lead before downshifting to tenth place due to a lack of grip with his rear tyre in the middle of the bends. Álex Márquez finished seventh. On the side of the KTM Tech 3 riders, Marc Bezzecchi fell in the first lap and Philipp Oettl was ranked twenty-third.
Only the two Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS riders managed to make it to the Moto2 championship standings at the finish of the first race of the season. Álex Márquez is in seventh place and Xavi Vierge tenth. The KTM Tech 3 riders will have to wait until the next Grand Prix in Argentina to try to score their first points of the season.