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A fantastic race win from Miguel Oliveira keeps his championship hopes alive, taking the fight to the final race.
The Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix was a last chance race for Miguel Oliveira; he had to win the race to keep his 2015 Moto3™ World Championship hopes alive. More than a win, he also needed Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) to run into trouble but luck was on the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s side as he produced a calculated win. Oliveira went into the race unconcerned about Kent, his team at no point showing him where the Brit was as the Portuguese rider focused exclusively on pushing for the win. As is typical in the lightweight class, the fighting was fierce and the group was big.
Oliveira is one of the most experienced riders in the Moto3™ Championship and drew upon all his racing knowledge to position himself on the last lap. He knew that the slipstream would decide the race and positioned himself behind teammate Brad Binder down the second to last straight, with a slightly faster bike the South African pulled him along and Oliveira was able to slip past at Turn 15. Victory puts Oliveira 24 points behind Kent as they head into the last round; again Oliveira needs victory and needs Kent to finish 15th or lower. Both riders would have six wins if Oliveira can cross the line first in Valencia, therefore if Kent were to score just a single point in 15th the championship would be decided on the number of second place finishes, Oliveira having three to Kent’s one, as the pair each have six wins this season.
Miguel Oliveira: “The truth is that at no time was I aware what position Kent was in; I had no information about him, I completely forgot about him and all I did was go for the win. On the last lap I did not want to be first out of the final corner, and luckily Brad was and his slipstream helped me to push on the straight. He has a very fast bike too, like mine. I'm delighted with the win and I know the championship is still alive. Although I have a very slim chance, while there is still hope I will keep fighting. Before beginning these three rounds I never thought that I could take the championship to Valencia. In the end, I am very happy with the job the team have done. They have given me a great bike to be on the podium consistently, and to have taken a fifth win of the season is very important."
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