Lisbon, Nov 21 (IANS) Tech3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira took his maiden MotoGP pole by out lapping Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli by 0.044 seconds at the season-ending Portuguese Grand Prix on Saturday. World champion Joan Mir, meanwhile, struggled to P20.
Oliveira is the first Portuguese rider to take pole in MotoGP, which has not visited Portugal since 2012. Meanwhile, Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller finished 0.146s behind Oliveira to take third place.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (0.264s) took fourth while Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo (0.307s) rounded off the front row.
Mir and World Championship second place holder Morbidelli topped the charts during the early stages of Q1 before Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) slotted into P2. Morbidelli’s lap time was the cancelled due to exceeding track limits.
With six minutes to go, Morbidelli was seventh while Mir was sixth. While Morbidelli improved his time, there was no such luck for Mir and after winning the World Championship less than seven days ago, Mir will start 20th -– his equal-worst premier class qualifying position.
The Portuguese GP will be aired live on Eurosport and Eurosport HD from 4.15pm IST on Sunday.