Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira closed today with the best personal record of the three days of MotoGP testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, finishing immediately after the two official KTM in 19th place.
The Portuguese rider from Tech3, the satellite team of the Austrian brand, made only 38 laps, still taking almost a second to the record achieved on Wednesday (2.00.902 minutes), the first day of this test battery.
The best time today for the Almada rider came on the ninth in the race at 1.59.949 minutes, at 1.710s of the fastest time, the Italian Danilo Petrucci (Ducati), but only 198 thousandths of the Spaniard Pol Espargaró (18th of the day) and 309 of the best KTM, by Frenchman Johann Zarco (17th).
“This was one of the most competitive days in Sepang, with six riders under the circuit’s record [1.59.053 minutes], which is crazy but I’m satisfied,” said Miguel Oliveira, who finished the day earlier due to the accumulated fatigue.
Over the course of the three days, the Portuguese driver was able to improve his confidence and timing: “Overall, it was a good test. My target was the best of the KTMs and we finished three tenths [Johann] Zarco, three years in MotoGP Pol [Espargaró] has even more and has been in the KTM for three years, I feel that I adapted well to the bike and that I worked well with the team, “explained Oliveira.
The fact that it has not been able to meet the ideal conditions of the configuration of the bike, tires and asphalt temperature and still have achieved good times, leaves room for progression into the future.
“It’s hard for me to point out something to the team that makes me go faster because this is the fastest I’ve ever ridden and the best bike I’ve had so far, I feel we did not extract the full potential of the set we had. we know that the potential is there and with used tires we were competitive, “said the KTM rider, who finished the three days at Sepang with 158 completed laps.
The Austrian brand was testing different aerodynamic configurations, which pleased the Portuguese driver: “We used new fins. These are small recommendations that our team gave to KTM and the factory did a good job of bringing new components to Malaysia. more confidence with the bike to be able to be faster and be comfortable, “explained Miguel Oliveira.
The day was dominated by the Ducati, which put four bikes in the top four. The Spaniard Maverick Viñales (Yamaha) was fifth fastest, to 405 thousandths of Petrucci.
MotoGP riders return to action within two weeks from February 23 to 25 at the Losail circuit in Qatar, the venue for the opening round of the World Championship on 10 March.