Assen: Miguel Oliveira rode fantastically from far of the grid to deliver Team Mahendra`s first podium of the season as he finished third at the Dutch GP in the Moto3 class of the Moto GP, here today.
Starting as back as 13 on the grid, the Portuguese teenager picked his way through a big group rivals and took control on the sixth of 22 laps of the 4.54-km classic Assen circuit, nicknamed `the Cathedral of Racing`.
In an exciting race, he was behind second-placed Alex Rins (Honda), and the gap was 2.5 seconds and closed in steadily on his Spanish rival. By the 16th lap he was on his tail, and moved directly past.
From there it was a game of cat-and-mouse, with Rins following the white-and-red Mahindra closely, looking for parts of the track where he might be able to return the attack. It happened on the way into the final chicane for the last time, where Rins outbraked Oliveira to lead him over the line by just over half a second.
It was the best result of the year for Mahindra, and a repeat of the same rider?s first MGP3O rostrum in Malaysia last year.
Second rider Arthur Sissis finished a disappointed 21st, after suffering handling issues that saw him drop back from a strong start.
"It was a hard race. I was quite lucky at the start not to lose much time overtaking or getting involved in accidents. After that I focused on my lap time. I already knew that on used tyres we could make a good rhythm. Being so constant gave me an advantage,"Oliveira said.
"After I passed Alex Rins for second he was behind me for quite a long time, and he studied me very well, so he was able to pass me on the last braking point. There are still areas we need to improve our bike and the team is working very hard. This result gives much more motivation to keep working, to improve the bike and be constantly on the podium or winning races," he added.
The race was won by Rins`s team-mate Alex Marquez. The next round is the German GP at the Sachsenring in two weeks.