Oliveira finishes #IndonesianGP in 12th, Fernandez 13th
The CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team didn’t have the easiest of weekends at the freshly surfaced Mandalika Circuit in Indonesia. But both, Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez pushed to their limit on race Sunday in scorching conditions at the Lombok island. Yet, they both have been rewarded with four and three MotoGP World Championship points respectively.
Miguel Oliveira, who was making steps forward throughout the weekend, started from P12 on the grid. He delivered a rocket start and was in eighth straight away. He made up one more position in lap two and four laps later found himself battling in sixth place. In a big group for good points, he lost some meters in lap 10, but was still primed for a great result. In lap 11 he was unfortunately pushed wide by another rider in turn two and lost out a lot. He went backwards to P16 with five seconds to the points. But staying upright, he fought until the end and made up some places in the remaining 16 laps to eventually cross the finish line in 12th position.
Meanwhile Raul Fernandez, who had started from P17 kept his original position over the line at the end of lap one. Lap by lap, he got into a decent rhythm and marched his way through even in the top 10 around half time of the race. Yet, from there on, he struggled to keep his strong pace on the soft tyre and lost some positions in the second half of the heat race. The Spaniard still kept his head down and brought it home in 13th position, earning him three World Championship points.
The CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team is packing up now to head further south-east to Australia, where the Phillip Island Circuit awaits more action for round 16 of 2023.
This week has been difficult. For sure some of the settings we have done on the bike helped us to understand the feeling that I need to ride better, but we discovered it a little too late after the Qualifying, but there were still some positives since I managed to get into Q2. The race pace yesterday was not too bad with the soft rear. We’ve been using the soft tyre the whole weekend and we didn’t feel that the medium could have given us more than the soft, but the race conditions were different and we had to discover by ourselves early in the race that the soft tyre was the wrong choice. I also had a little touch with Brad (Binder) which didn’t help as well. For sure I lost a lot of places from that incident, but I don’t think that was the main reason for the result today. I hope to learn from this weekend, take some positives and go to Phillip Island.
We made a bad decision on the tyre today. It is something that I don’t understand, yesterday I did 13 laps in the Sprint race, I didn’t have any problems with the tyre, so my choice for today was to use the same tyre as yesterday. But from lap 10 or 11, I already had a big problem on the left side, I couldn’t ride the bike and I was sliding all the time so I couldn’t go fast. I will take the responsibility for today, the team wanted to try it in the Warm Up this morning but I said no because I wanted to keep it since it worked well yesterday. At the beginning of the race, I was there in the group and saw Fabio (Quartararo) there with some other riders in the middle, and lap by lap I was catching up to them. We were in a good place, the pace was good, I saved the tyre but then a moment later the tyre was gone. I take this as experience, but at the moment it’s difficult. We came from good results but it was a hard weekend here. Now, we will go to Australia, I think the Aprilia does well there. It will be interesting to go there and have a good feeling again on the bike.