Oliveira puts Portugal on the map

Oliveira puts Portugal on the map
Friday, 8 June 2012

Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira made motorcycle-racing history last weekend by becoming the first Portuguese rider to stand on the podium in the MotoGP™ World Championship.

Oliveira had started the season as one of the favourites after having displayed good pace in the pre-season tests. After a promising start in Qatar in fifth, the Portuguese youngster endured three torrid races where he did not finish. Jerez and Le Mans were both due to crashes when he was running at the front, while at his home race in Estoril he retired with a mechanical failure.

With ever greater pressure mounting on Oliveira, he responded with a very mature ride in Catalunya last weekend to finish in third, and enter the record books as the first ever Portuguese motorcycle racer to do so. To finish in this position was no mean feat either, as the fight for the final two podium spots was a fierce battle throughout, after title favourite, Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales had run away at the front.

In a tussle, where up to seven riders were swapping positions frequently in the last few laps, the Portuguese held his nerve in a final lap battle with Le Mans Race winner, Racing Team Germany’s Luis Rossi, to take the final step on the rostrum. As well as proving any doubters wrong and giving him some confidence, Oliveira has now kick-started his championship points challenge lying in 11th place with 27 points.

Miguel Oliveira

"It was a difficult race in the high temperatures we had. In my group we were lapping slower than Maverick, who was able to escape. I had a mishap with Efrén Vazquez and my teammate Alex Rins, and then I lost ground. In the last lap I gave everything to be on the podium and in the end we succeeded. The first podium is always something very special and will certainly not be forgotten. We are very consistent and I think we will go from strength to strength in the championship. We continue along this line."

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