Australian Jack Miller finished third after championship leader Fabio Quartararo was given a three-second penalty for straying a few laps from the track.
Portuguese KTM rider Miguel Oliveira celebrates on the podium after winning the MotoGP race of the Moto Grand Prix de Catalunya on June 6, 2021. AFP
Montmelo: The Portuguese Miguel Oliveira held a late lead from the French Johann Zarco and won the MotoGP of Catalonia on Sunday.
The Australian Jack Miller finished third after the leaders Fabio Quartararo with a three-second Penalty was given because he went off the track a few laps before the end.
« Everything was so hard: tire management, stay cool when Fabio put me under pressure for so many laps, » said Oliveira, who works for KTM drives.
« I left it really cool when he passed me. I saw my chance on the straight and got him back. It was the perfect race. »
The Frenchman Quartararo finished with three seconds punished for having strayed far from the track in the chicane on his Yamaha four laps before the end.
The driver from Nice also finished the race bare-chested after opening his jacket, pulling out his chest protector and taking it off.
Quartararo remains front runner in the drivers’ standings, but Zarco from Ducati satellite team Pramac reduced the gap to just 17 points.
Miller climbed to third place, overtaking his Ducati team-mate, Italian Francesco Bagnaia, who finished seventh on Sunday.
The Spanish defending champion Joan Mir (Suzuki), who started from 10th place on the grid, finished fifth, while the multiple world champion Marc Marquez (Honda) and the Italian Valentino Rossi (Yamaha-SRT) dropped out after crashes.
Zarco, who has yet to win in the MotoGP class, pushed his way through the field late in the race, but couldn’t quite catch up with the smooth-running Oliveira.
« In the last two laps I tried to catch up with Miguel, » said Zarco. « But he just told me that he controlled well. I wasn’t close enough to attack him. »
The race was the first of the season where fans with 24,000 spectators allowed 20 percent of the capacity.
« Thank you to all the fans here, everything was great this weekend, the audience back in the stands and it feels good to be back to normal, » said Oliveira.
June 06, 2021 7:32:19 pm IST
The French Yamaha World Champion held a Swiss flag on the podium in honor of a « friend » whose promising young career was brutally cut short.
Miller, 26, joined the official Ducati team this season from the Pramac team, a Ducati satellite. He had only signed for a year, with an optional year for 2022 which has now been included.
The French Yamaha rider took pole in style and broke the Bagnaia record set just hours earlier with a new best time on the track of 1 minute 45.187 seconds.
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