The responsible managers at KTM and GASGAS have not given up hope in Miguel Oliveira’s survival. The Portuguese can lead for three years on the new GASGAS staff.
For years, officials at Pierer Mobility AG announced a number of decisions regarding the Austrian race, held many discussions and negotiations and set the course for the future.
So SPEEDWEEK.com met with CEO Stefan Bierer (65) and CEO Hubert Trunkenpolz for an interview Sunday morning. It was about the driver group for 2023, the future of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez and other topics.
At Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, a new drivers’ pairing for the next two years has long been set – Brad Bender and Jack Miller will drive the KTM RC16. But with the new GASGAS MotoGP Factory Team By Hervé Poncharal, second place was still open next to returnee Paul Espargaro. Remy Gardner had some hopes Although the relationship with the Australian was affected in May, according to strange statements by his manager, Paco Sanchez. The Spanish lawyer denounced the insufficient fee for 2023 and questioned the technical quality of the Tech3 team.
Paulo Oliveira, father and manager of KTM factory driver Miguel Oliveira, confirmed to SPEEDWEEK.com in Spielberg that the door at KTM has opened a crack again. Is there a chance that the Portuguese will also drive a MotoGP from Upper Austria in 2023?
Paulo Oliveira: “There’s always a chance for us at KTM.” And why was there a change of position now that it was clarified in June that Tech3’s bid would not be accepted? “They realized they had made a mistake,” Paulo Oliveira said on Saturday.
Ideally, KTM and GASGAS could form two MotoGP teams in 2023 with the best riders: Brad Bender (2 MotoGP wins) and Jack Miller (3 MotoGP wins) over Red Bull-KTM, as well as Pol Espargaró and Miguel Oliveira ( 4 MotoGP wins) at the Gas Plant.
Only Ducati has a similar MotoGP quad under contract – with Bagnaia, Martin, Bastianini and Zarco.
“I don’t think Miguel will drive with us in 2023 because he signed a letter of intent in Aprilia,” explained Stephane Perrier. “We assured him now that Tech3 would be a real factory second team in the future, and he didn’t know that when we offered him a move to Tech3 in May. If he had known earlier how the Tech3 team would be structured in the future, he might have stayed. It hurt him a little when we preferred Jack. Miller is in the Red Bull team. But that is the case. Now we will wait and see what Miguel says. If he refuses, there is a vacancy at Tech3. The ball is now in Miguel’s hands. We made him a new offer.”
“We made it clear to Paulo Oliveira in a good and constructive conversation that Hervé Poncharal’s GASGAS team would be the second factory team,” notes Hubert Trunkenpolz. “Maybe he’s been poorly communicated or he just doesn’t want to hear it. As far as we know, Miguel Oliveira has not yet signed a firm contract anywhere. We also agree: even if the separation takes place, we will remain friends. Now the father and son must make a decision in the next few days.” We’ll have an answer by the end of this week.”
If Oliveira decides against Tech3 and GASGAS, who will lead alongside Pol Espargaró in GASGAS-Tech3? “Definitely not Gardner,” Stefan Perrier said unequivocally. In England, Gardner’s chances at Tech3 are rated as fifty.
So does Moto2 title contender, Augusto Fernandez (Fifth place in Spielberg, second in the world championship, one point behind leader Ai Ogura) Ranked second in Tech3 as a MotoGP rookie in 2023?
“That would be a logical story,” Stefan Bierer told SPEEDWEEK.com. “But now it’s Miguel’s turn. We offered him a new three-year contract so he can settle in and build the GASGAS project with Pol. The ball is in his hands.”
No wonder the Oliveira family is starting to think: In the WithU-RNF-Aprilia customer team, he’ll get this year’s RS-GP22, at Pierer Mobility AG, he’ll get the same 2023 material as Binder and Miller.
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