Oliveira delights home crowd with 5th on first day, teammate Moncayo takes 6th
The Team Andalucia riders have started the Grand Prix of Portugal on good pace. On the first day of racing the Estoril circuit saw some good weather despite forecasts predicting the contrary and both Miguel Oliveira and Alberto Moncayo did not miss the opportunity to show that both are capable of getting strong results here.
The forecasts for the Portuguese GP were not very reassuring, but today the riders were lucky and only the second practice of the Moto2 class was run in the wet. Dark clouds were hanging over the track all day, even with the occasional lightning, but when the 125 riders got out on track the conditions couldn’t have been better.
In the second free practice the sun came out and temperatures were rising several degrees, enough to offer optimal conditions for the 45-minute session, enabling a big overall improvement of the morning laptimes.
Miguel Oliveira, who competes for the first time at home as a world championship rider, took advantage of this first opportunity to show his countrymen that he is not in the world championship by accident and has not just come to fill the grid in his debut season.
His teammate Alberto Moncayo arrived at Estoril highly motivated, giving a superb performance at this track last year. From the very beginning he has been very confident and moved up to the top positions. In the second free practice he achieved a great improvement which finally saw him finish in sixth.
MIGUEL OLIVEIRA, 5º (1’48.010)
“The practice went very well, the condition of the track improved quite a bit in the second session and I managed to improve my best time by more than two seconds. The weather spared us today, but for tomorrow there is rain forecast so we’ve sped up our work plan to have the bike ready for the race. I usually do my laptimes on my own, but today I could follow Faubel and I did my best laptime riding very comfortable. It’s been several very productive laps which helped me to learn different lines and some details of Hector’s riding which I think can come in handy for me.
If it rains tomorrow I’m sure we can improve a lot, but I think we’re in a very good position.”
ALBERTO MONCAYO, 6º (1’48.250)
“I’m pretty happy with how everything went. We have improved one position compared to the first practice, but the important thing is that I improved my laptime by more than 1.5 seconds and that we are on a good way. The tyres gave us very good results because they worked very well for several laps, but in the last minutes, when I pushed the pace, I had a a little moment in a complicated curve and I was about to crash. I’m sure we can still improve a lot, there is still a considerable gap to the first, so we have to shave off more tenths. In any case, I’m happy and satisfied with the result of today’s work.”
Source: Team Machado