Portuguese kitchen company OLI could play a major role in Miguel Oliveira’s move to Gresini-Ducati. The KTM star calculates a lot for the race. “Our pace is good,” Oliveira said.
In qualifying for the German Grand Prix, Miguel Oliveira was the best factory Red Bull KTM rider to finish 14th, teammate Brad Bender was one place behind. Now, KTM is excited to see if the racing duo can repeat the impressive performance from 2021, when Oliveira shone to second, and Bender finished fourth after 30 laps.
With Oliveira, who is currently 11th in the world championship, talks with Gresini Ducati and WithU-Aprilia remain at the fore, after the Portuguese has so far rejected a Tech3-KTM seat along with Pol Espargaró for 2023.
Now it has also become clear that the officials at Gresini Racing are interested in Oliveira not only because of his undisputed driving skills, but also because of the “OLI” sponsor, which is engraved on the underside of the Desmosedici fairings. It is a Portuguese kitchen company also owned by a family called Oliveira. It remains questionable whether the deal with Ducati and Oliveira will be concluded in writing for the foreseeable future.
Assuming he can eventually accept KTM’s offer and return to Tech3-KTM, Oliveira replied on Saturday with a somewhat emphatic expression: “These are just rumours.”
“For me, the Saturday sessions were generally good,” said Miguel Oliveira after the first quarter. “We found a good pace in each training session, and FP3’s ‘Time Attacks’ worked well, although I failed to make it into the second quarter as planned.”
“Unfortunately, the qualifiers were a bit disappointing,” said Miguel. “I was really fast on lap two, but then I had a lot of congestion. I had to turn off the gas, which hurt my chance. That’s a short slope with many turns to the left. You can’t turn around all the time, so it’s very difficult. Plus “Nobody wants to push in Q1, everybody is waiting kind of. That’s frustrating. We should have done the job better in FP3… We had the speed there. If I had managed to do a flawless lap there, we would have finished.” Ultimate in the top ten.”
But Oliveira enters the race with a healthy dose of confidence. “Despite the failed qualifying, I am confident of a good race on Sunday. I want to collect more points than I have in the past few races.”
Did KTM get a head start on the motorcycle at the German Grand Prix? “I would say yes because we beat last year’s times and our race pace is not that bad. The outside conditions were a little tougher than last year, it’s more windy and hotter. But from our starting position we are in a much worse position than last year.”
Because the Portuguese started from sixth, he lost just 0.353 seconds to Johann Zarco’s best time in Quaki.
“With the front tire we are pretty much at the limit in terms of temperature,” the working KTM driver admitted. “If we’re in a stream of people up front, it’s going to be very difficult to race.”
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