The Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia at the new Mandalika circuit was wet and steamy but entirely memorable for a dominant performance by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira who sailed to his first victory of the season and the fourth MotoGP win of his career.
MotoGP rounded the flat, fast, hot and soaking-wet Pertamina Mandalika Circuit for 20-laps and the first Grand Prix on Indonesian soil in a quarter of a century. The teams and riders familiarized themselves with the brand-new facility during a brief pre-season test but had to cope with harsh temperatures and low-grip asphalt that was unpredictable in terms of the size and cleanliness of the main racing line. The MotoGP sprint was delayed by over an hour after a torrential rain shower flooded the venue.
KTM started from the second and third rows of the grid thanks to Binder and Oliveira’s efforts through a positive Q2 on Saturday. Oliveira rocketed from 7th to the lead and diced with Jack Miller as the pair edged a slight distance over the rest of the pack. Sections varied in terms of dryness as the heat helped to clear some of the course and riders could not drop their guard. Oliveira embraced the challenge and forged a five second lead by the mid-race stage which he managed all the way to the checkered flag.
As the conditions changed, riders remained on edge tackling the varied sections of dampness as the heat helped to clear some of the racing lines. Oliveira embraced the challenge and forged a five second lead by the mid-race stage which he managed all the way to the checkered flag.
Marking Oliveira’s fourth victory in the MotoGP category, KTM are the top manufacturer in the series for the first time in their six-year tenure in the category while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing top the Team’s standings following their best start to a season so far.
Miguel Oliveira: “Emotionally that was a roller coaster. The start was perfect and then it was hard to judge the limit. I followed Jack for a few laps and understood I could go faster, I then focused to do the maximum and built the gap. I was managing the cushion through the race, but it was not easy. It hasn’t been the easiest time for me, so this is emotional, and I promised my daughter a trophy from Indonesia, so this is for her. Let’s go to Argentina now and see what we can do and keep up the level. Right now, I’m happy to be on top of the podium.”