Oliveira scores 3 points with 13th in #AustralianGP, Fernandez 16th
Race day in Australia came early this week as strong winds and rain are predicted for Sunday, so it was decided to hold the main Race of 27 laps already on Saturday in cloudy, but dry conditions. To kick off the day, the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team riders started Free Practice two this morning to work on race pace ahead of Qualifying and the Race.
Throughout Friday and Saturday morning, Miguel Oliveira was struggling to find a decent feeling aboard his Aprilia RS-GP. He improved in all important sessions though and managed to go more than half a second faster in Qualifying one compared to the Practice session yesterday, doing his lap time alone.
Although he came closer to the top, he was still in P19 and had to launch off from row seven on the grid. Lap by lap, he found a way through the field, reaching 16th around half way through the race. On lap 16, he made his way to P14 and managed to make up another position with just one lap to go to cross the line in P13 and score three MotoGP World Championship points.
On the other side of the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team garage, Raul Fernandez was showing a strong pace from Friday morning on. He ended Free Practice two in eighth position, making up time again in Qualifying. He did a fastest lap of 1:28.607 minutes and missed out the best two just by a whisker to qualify in 15th.
Due to a penalty of another rider, he started in P14 and had some great initial laps. He was in P12 by lap two and did a strong pace. Yet, he couldn’t keep his speed and dropped a bit from halfway through the race. He ended up in 16th after gritting his teeth throughout all 27 laps.
If weather conditions remain stable and safe for racing, the Sprint race is scheduled tomorrow at 13:00 local time in Phillip Island (04:00 CET).
Today was a bit better than yesterday, we found some speed and some pace for the main Race, which was positive. I managed to collect a couple of points despite not being 100% comfortable on the bike. I had some good moments, even last weekend in Indonesia we were quite fast and competitive. We managed to find a good setting but it was a bit too late and we made the wrong choice of tyres there, but today in Australia, we made a good choice. We are learning, we take every session to learn and take the maximum from this bike. Hopefully, we still find something to improve for tomorrow and we go from there.
Today, I think we were very competitive. I am happy because I had the pace. We did a mistake in the race, but we worked very well and I thank the team and Aprilia for that. I am enjoying myself on the bike a lot, so basically, we need to understand better where we need improve because in the end, our target is to try and win races and try to fight with the Ducati. To be able to this, we need to improve for the future.