Miguel Oliveira finished last in the two training sessions yesterday, but said his speed was higher than the timetable showed. Although Saturday’s first practice session pointed in that direction, the Portuguese driver ended up having a poor qualifying and an equally difficult race in Thailand.
Miguel Oliveira started the day in the second free training session, already showing more encouraging signs compared to the previous day. In this session, the Portuguese driver spent a lot of time inside the top ten, finishing the race in fifth place with a time of 1:30.660 minutes, 110 thousandths off Maverick Vinales’ reference time. As with yesterday, the times were again very close, with the top 15 separated by less than half a second, making qualifying difficult for everyone.
Once into qualifying, the Portuguese driver was unable to confirm the signals from the immediately preceding session, as he had difficulty maintaining his pace throughout the entire lap. Sometimes the Portuguese would make a fast first sector, but then lose too much on the remaining lap, which hurt him. In the final calculations, the Portuguese driver finished only 10th in Q1, equivalent to 20th and penultimate in Grand Prix qualifying, just ahead of Enea Bastianini. Falcao finished the race 699 thousandths behind Alex Marquez, who advanced to the second division with his brother Marc.
As for the race, the Portuguese driver gained three places and rose to 17th place, then he gained another position on the third lap and rose to 16th place, after Takaaki Nakagami fell. But something must have happened to the Portuguese, who lost four places in a short time, falling to 20th and last place, which became 19th when Augusto Fernandez fell. Fabio Di Giannantonio’s abandonment promoted the Portuguese driver to 18th and a long lap completed by Maverick Viñales on the final lap saw Miguel Oliveira end a complicated day in 17th.
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