Miguel Oliveira takes sensational Sepang victory
A spectacular Sunday for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team saw them take a podium one-two at the Malaysian Grand Prix –the penultimate round of the World Championship. Miguel Oliveira managed a hard-fought win –his second in succession–, joined on the second step of the podium by teammate Brad Binder.
With his fifth victory of the year, Oliveira keeps his title chances alive going into the final round of the year at Valencia.
Oliveira and Binder withstood the heat on raceday in more ways than one, with the Portuguese taking off from third position and assuming the lead coming out of Turn 1. Hanika and Binder, who started from the fifth row, joined the large first group of 13 riders, with whom they both stuck until the seventh lap when the Czech suffered a crash.
Binder continued gaining positions throughout the 18 laps, moving up the field until he stood with Miguel Oliveira at the front of the race. In a heart-stopping series of final laps, seven riders challenged for victory. After the group came onto the back straight with Binder in first place, followed by Oliveira, a last gasp overtake from the Portuguese on the final corner allowed him to take the win and keep his title chances alive.
With this result, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team achieved their first one-two of the season. In the last 5 rounds, the team have scored seven podium finishes.
Pending the final round in Valencia –which takes place from November 6th to 8th–, Miguel Oliveira is assured of at least the runner-up spot in the Moto3 series and will fight for the title at the Spanish track. The gap to the leader is currently 24 points.
44 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 [Binder] 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.”