2020 Portuguese MotoGP Results and News

Rennie Scaysbrook | November 22, 2020

Sunday

MotoGP

From pole to victory in Portimao: Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) took his second victory of 2020 in stunning style to complete the dream weekend on home turf, the Portuguese rider cruised to a wonderful win at the Grande Premio MEO de Portugal. The untouchable number 88 finished 3.1 seconds clear of second place Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), who helps Ducati to claim the Constructor crown, with the Australian getting the better of third place Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) on the last lap as 2020 draws to a brilliant close.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Oliveira
Oliveira was simply on another planet at his home race.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Results

1 Miguel Oliveira (KTM)  
2 Jack Miller (Duc) + 3.193
3 Franco Morbidelli (Yam) + 3.298
4 Pol Espargaro (KTM) + 12.626
5 Takaaki Nakagami (Hon) + 13.318
6 Andrea Dovizioso (Duc) + 15.578
7 Stefan Bradl (Hon) + 15.738
8 Aleix Espargaro (Apr) + 16.034
9 Alex Marquez (Hon) + 18.325
10 Johann Zarco (Duc) + 18.596

Moto2

Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini wrapped up the 2020 Moto2™ World Championship in an incredibly tense season finale at the Grande Prémio MEO de Portugal, with both SKY Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini and EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes making the Italian sweat during a tight Portimao affair. In the end, a fifth place finish was enough for The Beast whilst, at the front, ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Remy Gardner pounced late to secure a career-first Grand Prix victory.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Gardner
Gardner (87) hunted down on Marini (10) to finally deliver on the promise he’s shown for so long by winning in Moto2.

2020 Portuguese Moto2 Results

1 Remy Gardner (Kal)  
2 Luca Marini (Kal) + 1.609
3 Sam Lowes (Kal) + 3.813
4 Marco Bezzecchi (Kal) + 8.437
5 Enea Bastianini (Kal) + 8.646
6 Jorge Martin (Kal) + 8.899
7 Joe Roberts (Kal) + 8.956
8 Augusto Fernandez (Kal) + 9.568
9 Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kal) + 10.367
10 Xavi Vierge (Kal) + 11.084

Moto3

It was always going to be an absolutely spell-binding final Moto3™ race of the season, wasn’t it? Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) decimated the field to win his second race of the year, but it’s Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) who claims the 2020 Moto3™ World Championship title after finishing P12 in an utterly brilliant title battle. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) came from P27 on the grid to finish P5 to take second in the Championship, level on points with 8th place Portimao finisher Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). The Italian and Japanese rider miss out on the title by four points in the end as Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) complete the podium.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Fernandez
Fernandez made everyone else look slow in his final Moto3 race.

2020 Portuguese Moto3 Results

1 Raul Fernandez (KTM)  
2 Dennis Foggia (Hon) + 5.810
3 Jeremy Alcoba (Hon) + 5.866
4 Sergio Garcia (Hon) + 6.447
5 Tony Arbolino (Hon) + 12.998
6 Darryn Binder (KTM) + 13.065
7 Celestino Vietti (KTM) + 13.907
8 Ai Ogura (Hon) + 13.929
9 John McPhee (Hon) + 13.945
10 Deniz Öncü (KTM) + 14.438

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Results—Saturday News

FIM Stewards questioned

Not for the first time in 2020, a decision of the FIM Stewards was called into question. Johann Zarco’s engine went pop at the end of FP4 as he rounded turn 14. The Frenchman immediately pulled off to the track’s outside. But he then inexplicably rode across the track and into pit lane while aware the engine was smoking and dropping oil.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Saturday News Zarco
Zarco raised the ire of Espargaro on Saturday.

No penalty was handed out, leaving Aleix Espargaro to express his dismay via Twitter. “Once again good job of race direction by no putting any sanction to a MotoGP rider after crossing the track with broke engine smoking oil… Incredible,” he wrote.

Secret to Portimao? Follow

Jack Miller explained one way to deal with the challenging nature of the Portimao circuit: follow. With so many blind bends, the Australian expressed the belief that using a rider just ahead as a reference can guide you with regards to turning in.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Saturday News Miller
“Everything is blind”, according to Miller.

“I followed (Miguel Oliveira) in the first run in Q2, but simply because he was the guy I saw. We went out together. To be honest, around here, I found if you get a marker it makes it a lot easier to push because everything is blind. So you can find a few tenths around here.

“Even if it’s somebody a lot faster or somebody a lot slower you can gauge a little bit more, I think more than other tracks. Other tracks it’s very easy to go and do the lap time alone. Here is one of the tougher ones, I think, especially braking into turn one and stuff like that. It’s very easy to overcook it and lose a whole lap.”

Fernandez steps up, Acosta’s promotion

The shock news that Aki Ajo is rearranging his rider line-up for 2021 was confirmed on Saturday. The Finn had already signed Remy Gardner to his Red Bull Ajo KTM Moto2 squad and Jaume Masia for Moto3.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Saturday News Fernandez
Fernandez is heading to Moto2 at the expense of Tetsuta Nagashima.

But Moto3 pole-sitter Raul Fernandez, who was slated to stay in the lightweight class, has been moved up to the intermediate category for next year at the expense of Tetsuta Nagashima. One reason is because of the Spaniard’s height (Fernandez has physically outgrown a Moto3 machine). But it’s also to make way for teenage sensation Pedro Acosta, a 16-year old Spaniard, who dominated the Red Bull Rookies series this year.
“I am really happy to go to Moto2 with this incredible team,” said Fernandez of the move. “I’m really happy to continue to work with Aki. Aki is an incredible person and he helps me with everything. For this, I am really happy. I want to continue with KTM in the future, and for this it’s incredible.”

Saturday

MotoGP

For the first time ever, Portugal has a MotoGP polesitter. The man to do it was Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) as the home hero produced an outstanding final lap in Q2 at the Grande Premio MEO de Portugal to secure a memorable maiden premier class pole position. His 1:38.892 lap record was enough to see him beat Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) by 0.044 seconds in the final qualifying session of the season. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) is on the front row in P3 but Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) starts from P20, a disaster from the newly-crowned World Champion.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Oliveira takes pole
Oliveira would have sent the home crowd crazy (if they were allowed to come to the race) by setting his and Portugal’s first pole position in MotoGP and at home, no less.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Results—Qualifying

1 Miguel Oliveira (KTM) 1:38.892
2 Franco Morbidelli (Yam) + 0.044
3 Jack Miller (Duc) + 0.146
4 Cal Crutchlow (Hon) + 0.264
5 Fabio Quartararo (Yam) + 0.307
6 Stefan Bradl (Hon) + 0.312
7 Johann Zarco (Duc) + 0.346
8 Maverick Vinales (Yam) + 0.368
9 Pol Espargaro (KTM) + 0.392
10 Alex Rins (Suz) + 0.575

Moto2

Remy Gardner signed off the final qualifying session of the season with pole position on the Onexox TKKR Sag Team Kalex, putting in a 1:42.592 to better title challenger Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Kalex) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up). Marini lies third in the standings heading into tomorrow’s race, although title leader Enea Bastianini has qualified fourth to head the second row of the grid.
Sam Lowes (Marc VDS Kalex) is closest to Bastianini in the title race (194 to 180) and qualified fifth. The only other rider capable of winning the title, Marini’s teammate Marco Bezzecchi, qualified in 12th.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Gardner takes pole
In his last ride for the Sag Team before he joins Red Bull KTM in 2021, Gardner put it on pole position.

2020 Portuguese Moto2 Results—Qualifying

1 Remy Gardner (Kal) 1:42.592
2 Luca Marini (Kal) + 0.118
3 F. Di Giannantonio (Spe) + 0.129
4 Enea Bastianini (Kal) + 0.130
5 Sam Lowes (Kal) + 0.167
6 Jorge Martin (Kal) + 0.206
7 Nicolo Bulega (Kal) + 0.253
8 Augusto Fernandez (Kal) + 0.279
9 Marcos Ramirez (Kal) + 0.313
10 Tetsuta Nagashima (Kal) + 0.401

Moto3

Pole position in Moto3 went to Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) for the sixth time this year. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) line-up on the front row for the first time this season as title challenger Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) came through Q1 to beat championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3). The only other rider capable of winning the title, Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team), starts from a lowly P27.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Fernandez takes pole
Yet another Moto3 pole position for Raul Fernandez.

2020 Portuguese Moto3 Results—Qualifying

1 Raul Fernandez (KTM) 1:48.051
2 Jeremy Alcoba (KTM) + 0.185
3 Ayumu Sasaki (KTM) + 0.240
4 Tatsuki Suzuki (Hon) + 0.291
5 Ai Ogura (Hon) + 0.315
6 Albert Arenas (KTM) + 0.427
7 Niccolo Antonelli (Hon) + 0.478
8 Dennis Foggia (Hon) + 0.842
9 Jaume Masia (Hon) + 0.859
10 Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) + 0.869

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Results—Friday News

Cal versus Jorge

As he nears the end of his career as a full-time MotoGP rider, Cal Crutchlow managed to land a few verbal blows on Jorge Lorenzo, the man he is replacing as Yamaha’s test rider in 2021. Lorenzo had described Yamaha’s decision to move for the Briton to lead its European test team in his place as “like replacing gold with bronze” when answering fans’ questions on Twitter.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Crutchlow
Crutchlow and Lorenzo have thrown a few verbal barbs at each other.

Crutchlow replied, “I fully respect him as a racer, five-times world champion. He will tell you a lot he’s five-times world champion, but he’s incredible as a racer and he’s very, very special on the bike. But that doesn’t mean he’s a great test rider. It’s as simple as that. I think you have to take some things he says with a pinch of salt and get on, so I’m sure it’s affected him more than it’s affected me.

“What he said, I can take it, but taking things with a pinch of salt with what he says because it comes from a guy that walks around telling people things all the time. At the end of the day, it’s no skin off my back. I’m happy, I’m happy that I have things to do, I have a family, I have happiness, I have friends. Obviously, he’s just bored at home.”

Portimao MotoGP ‘like motocross’

There were rave reviews of the 2.8-mile Algarve International Circuit from riders in all three classes on the first day of the grand prix paddock’s inaugural visit. “It’s an unbelievable track,” beamed new MotoGP World Champion Joan Mir. “I don’t understand why we don’t come here every year,” said Moto2 race winner Jorge Martin.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Oliveira
Home boy Oliveira likens Portimao to motocross!

The TV footage was filled with incredible slow-motion replays of riders descending from turn eight and eleven. Five of the track’s 15 turns are blind. The secret to attacking these turns is to treat the track like a motocross venue.

“It is kind of like a motocross rider when he hits the jump,” said home hero Miguel Oliveira. “When you are facing the jump you don’t see the end but you kind of point the bike to one direction and if everything goes well you end up where you are supposed to land. In this case you point the bike where you want and hope you exit where you want to be.”

Friday

MotoGP

At the end of the first-ever Free Practice Friday at the Algarve International Circuit for the 2020 Portuguese MotoGP, Esponsorama Racing’s Johann Zarco set a 1:39.417 in MotoGP FP2 to lead the field on combined times into qualifying day. The Frenchman finished 0.119 ahead of Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on day one, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completing the top three as every rider improves their time in the second 70-minute stint.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Zarco fastest Friday
Johann Zarco pulled a fast one at the end of the session to go P1 on Friday at Portimao.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Results—Friday Combined

1 Johann Zarco (Duc) 1:39.417
2 Maverick Vinales (Yam) + 0.119
3 Aleix Espargaro (Apr) + 0.228
4 Fabio Quartararo (Yam) + 0.275
5 Brad Binder (KTM) + 0.280
6 Joan Mir (Suz) + 0.315
7 Andrea Dovizioso (Duc) + 0.324
8 Pol Espargaro (KTM) + 0.366
9 Jack Miller (Duc) + 0.403
10 Franco Morbidelli (Yam) + 0.471

Moto2

Third in the Moto2 championship, Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) set the pace on combined times on day one in Portugal as we witnessed the Moto2 riders get to grips with Portimao’s rollercoaster for the first time. The Italian left it late to beat title rival Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by 0.182 in FP2 as Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) completed the top three on Friday. The Moto2 title is up for grabs this weekend, and either Sam Lowes, Luca Marini, Enea Bastianini or Marco Bezzecchi could take it.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Marini fastest Friday
Marini got off to the right start in his hope of clinching the title with the fastest Friday Moto2 time.

2020 Portuguese Moto2 Results—Friday Combined

1 Luca Marini (Kal) 1:42.941
2 Sam Lowes (Kal) + 0.182
3 Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kal) + 0.198
4 Remy Gardner (Kal) + 0281
5 Enea Bastianini (Kal) + 0.316
6 Xavi Vierge (Kal) + 0.373
7 Jorge Navarro (Spe) + 0.417
8 F. Di Giannantonio (Spe) + 0.440
9 Marco Bezzecchi (Kal) + 0.461
10 Hector Garzo (Kal) + 0.473

Moto3

Gaviota Aspar Team’s Albert Arenas has started the Moto3 title-deciding weekend in the best possible manner by setting the fastest lap on combined times at the Grande Premio MEO de Portugal. The World Championship leader left his best until last by stealing top spot from the 2019 Moto3 Rookie of the Year, Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Jeremy Alcoba, with the checkered flag out at the Algarve International Circuit. Like Moto2, the Moto3 title will also be won this weekend and can go to either Arenas, Ogura or Tony Arbolino.

2020 Portuguese MotoGP Arenas fastest Friday
Arenas went fastest on Friday in Moto3 as he hopes to wrap up the title this weekend.

2020 Portuguese Moto3 Results—Friday Combined

1 Albert Arenas (KTM) 1:47.987
2 Jeremy Alcoba (KTM) + 0.201
3 Tatsuki Suzuki (Hon) + 0.374
4 Raul Fernandez (KTM) + 0.385
5 Jaume Masia (Hon) + 0.519
6 Dennis Foggia (KTM) + 0575
7 Deniz Öncü (KTM) + 0.578
8 Tony Arbolino (Hon) + 0.580
9 Ai Ogura (Hon) + 0.614
10 Stefano Nepa (KTM) + 0.677

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Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.