Oliveira takes home pole, Miller on front row

Miguel Oliveira pic: MotoGP.com

Miguel Oliveira has taken pole position for the MotoGP season finale at Portugal’s Portimao while Jack Miller is set to start third.

The Portuguese rider and the Australian will be split on the front row by Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT Yamaha) after the Italian got out of Qualifying 1.

New world champion Joan Mir failed to do that, however, and the #36 Suzuki Ecstar entry is all the way back in 20th on the grid for the first race after the Spaniard sealed the title.

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) was fastest after the first flyers in Qualifying 2 with a 1:39.689s, but it was Morbidelli who held sway at the end of the first runs with a 1:39.245s.

Miller (Pramac Ducati) was second at that point with a 1:39.336s, from Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Ducati), Viñales, and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory).

Morbidelli shifted the benchmark to a 1:39.141s at the start of his second run, before Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda) and then Cal Crutchlow (Castrol LCR Honda) slotted into second spot.

Morbidelli consolidated his hold on first position when he went to a 1:38.936s next time around, while Miller laid down a 1:39.038s in the final minute of the quarter-hour session.

Oliveira had been shuffled back to eighth when he rode the #88 Red Bull KTM Tech3 machine to a 1:38.892s not long before the chequered flag.

There was still a chance for KTM stablemate Pol Espargaro to put in some fast sectors and while he went quickest to Sector 2 on his final flyer, #44 could only move from 11th to eighth at the time.

That locked in the front row, with Crutchlow qualifying fourth for his final grand prix as a full-time rider, at least, having topped Q1.

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas SRT Yamaha) was fifth all told, from Bradl, and Zarco, the latter of whom crashed at Turn 8 early in his second run.

Viñales ended up eighth, ahead of Pol Espargaro, Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda), and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

Brad Binder looked a threat of beating Morbidelli to Q2 but ultimately ended up 13th on the grid with a 1:39.390s after the chequered flag on his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing entry.

Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) is set to start 17th and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) in 18th, while Mir was consigned to 20th after his final flyer in Q1 was cancelled.

The final race of 2020 is due for a start on Monday at 01:00 AEDT.

Qualifying: Portugal MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev
1 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:38.892
2 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:38.936 0.044 / 0.044
3 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 1:39.038 0.146 / 0.102
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:39.156 0.264 / 0.118
5 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:39.199 0.307 / 0.043
6 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:39.204 0.312 / 0.005
7 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Esponsorama Racing Ducati 1:39.238 0.346 / 0.034
8 12 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:39.260 0.368 / 0.022
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.284 0.392 / 0.024
10 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:39.467 0.575 / 0.183
11 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:39.531 0.639 / 0.064
12 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:39.587 0.695 / 0.056
13 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.390 Q1 / Q1
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:39.762 Q1 / 0.372
15 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:40.019 Q1 / 0.257
16 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:40.049 Q1 / 0.030
17 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:40.058 Q1 / 0.009
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:40.091 Q1 / 0.033
19 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:40.174 Q1 / 0.083
20 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:40.290 Q1 / 0.116
21 53 Tito RABAT ESP Esponsorama Racing Ducati 1:40.427 Q1 / 0.137
22 82 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:41.753 Q1 / 1.326

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