After safely negotiating some bumpy public roads from the town centre to reach the circuit, the four-time premier-class race winner, who dominated the inaugural Portimao MotoGP in 2020, led fans on a lap of the track.

“This has been amazing, a great pleasure,” Oliveira said. “We always wanted to do something special here for the fans and this was very cool. If I would put myself in their position and had the chance to ride along with a MotoGP bike – which is quite a unique machine - and then onto the track then there is no way I would have missed it.

“I couldn’t believe the amount of bikes I saw. It’s a shame we couldn’t ride for longer.

“Having the RC16 on the road was super-strange. You can definitely see that these bikes were not made to go slow! I was only just keeping the engine on. When we got to the track then this was more our environment.

“I hope we can so something like this again because every time you take one of these bikes out of context then it is beautiful. It’s been a great day and now my expectation is to have a good weekend and make a strong result.

“Being in Portugal gives me this strong boost and motivation in a way that everything that happened before doesn’t matter.”

What’s behind the ‘spiky’ results?

Oliveira starts round five of the season having taken victory in the wet Mandalika round, but managing just three out of a possible 75 points from the other races.

That includes crossing the line 18th at the recent COTA event, when he was one of only two riders to fit the medium rear tyre (the other was Tech3 KTM’s Raul Fernandez, in 19th).

“This season is like that, one weekend is maybe good, the other weekend you struggle,” Oliveira said in Texas. “I think it's going to be more normal in this era of bikes in MotoGP. I think just the window of work and performing well is so short and narrow.”

Smoothing out such ‘spiky’ performances had been one of Oliveira and KTM’s main goals for this season. But with ten different podium finishers already this season, they certainly aren’t the only ones struggling for consistency, so why are the results so topsy-turvy from one track to the next?

“I could not tell you accurately, but from my perspective, I think the aerodynamics have something to do with it,” Oliveira said. “Because we accelerate a lot faster, we brake much more and so somehow the stress you have on the tyres makes them much more sensitive in terms of working temperatures and pressures, and this is important to be competitive and to be fast.”

Oliveira believes ride-height devices might also play a part.

“In 2020 we started to see some guys at Ducati starting to use the [rear] ride-height devices, and I think somehow this affects a lot the dynamics of the bike during accelerating and braking," he said."

“I think that what we are doing now is going [low at the rear] and coming back. Of course that also affects the aerodynamics, because the wings have different degrees of angle when we are down and when we are braking. But it's complex. I know nothing about it!”

Oliveira’s team-mate Brad Binder is currently the top KTM rider in the world championship, in sixth, with a (dry) podium in Qatar.