Miller qualifies third for MotoGP finale

·2-min read

Australian Jack Miller earned a front row spot in the MotoGP season-ending Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit after finishing third fastest in qualifying.

Miller, who's coming off his season's best race - a second place finish in Valencia - lines up alongside home hope Miguel Oliveira, who edged out Franco Morbidelli to take pole position.

Oliveira scorched MotoGP's reserve track, which is hosting the country's first race in the championship since 2012, to produce an all-time circuit lap record of one minute 38.892 seconds, 0.044 clear of Petronas Yamaha's Morbidelli.

"It feels really good. I feel like every time I go on the bike on this track I'm enjoying every lap and I think this was key to performing well today," said Oliveira, who could become the COVID-19-hit season's 10th different winner.

"When you enjoy on the bike, things somehow get more easy. It's nice to do my first pole here in Portugal, but still we want to finish strong tomorrow and complete the job."

Miller, of Pramac Racing, finished ahead of Briton Cal Crutchlow, who will start fourth after a superb finish having come through the first qualifying round with Morbidelli.

Suzuki's Joan Mir, who won his first MotoGP crown and became the Japanese team's first world champion in two decades by finishing seventh at Valencia last weekend, will start 20th on the grid after a disappointing outing.

Having sealed their maiden teams' championship, Suzuki are searching for their first constructors' title since 1982 and are tied with Ducati on 201 points heading into Sunday's race.

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, who is set to race for the team's satellite outfit next year, will target his 200th premier class podium finish but the nine-times world champion faces an uphill task starting from 17th on the grid.