Oliveira, who’s in the midst of another inconsistent season aboard the RC16, is looking to secure a move away from the Austrian manufacturer, a brand he’s been with for the entirety of his MotoGP career so far.
When it was announced earlier this month that KTM would be signing Jack Miller from Ducati, the option to remain at KTM with Tech 3 became available.
Within that was the guarantee to be on factory machinery, in other words an identical bike to Miller and current team-mate Brad Binder.
But with the move seen as a step down, the Portuguese rider has instead decided to look elsewhere which has prompted rumoured interest from two manufacturers that are in a much better place than KTM currently.
Could leaving KTM be the best thing for Oliveira’s MotoGP career?
Gresini Ducati and RNF, who are switching from Yamaha to Aprilia machines in 2023, are two very interesting options for Oliveira.
Gresini have so far been the most successful Ducati squad in 2022 having claimed three wins with Enea Bastianini, but rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio has also performed extremely well in recent rounds, whether it be qualifying or in the race.
Therefore, Ducati could be seen as the most attractive option for Oliveira, and one where he could either be placed on full factory machinery or the current GP22 package which has begun to show more or its ‘real’ potential.
On the other hand, Aprilia has not only been a pleasant surprise in terms of pace and consistency - mainly with Aleix Espargaro - but the Noale-based brand has produced a bike capable of fighting for the world title.
With RNF providing at least one of its riders with a full factory machine since 2020, there’s no reason to suggest that would change after signing with Aprilia, which again could be good for Oliveira since he brings a wealth of experience and winning pedigree.
With Bastianini likely to join either the factory Ducati team or Pramac, the door to join Gresini appears to be slightly more open than that of RNF as Alex Rins, Raul Fernandez, Celestino Vietti and Aron Canet have also been linked to that seat.
How Oliveira’s decision could impact others…
Joining Ducati would perhaps make the most sense for Oliveira, but the Italian marque could be the biggest beneficiary as it would allow them to avoid looking elsewhere or even Moto2 for another rider.
After confirming no talks were taking place with Joan Mir, Ducati’s only realistic opening for a rider that’s not currently in the Ducati family is Gresini as Mooney VR46 also looks set with Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini.
Should Oliveira join Ducati, then that could provide the knock-on effect of Rins joining RNF, a team he’s been heavily linked with.
Oliveira ‘not super-happy’ with Sachsenring showing
While rumours regarding his future are fuelling most of the talk around Oliveira, on track it was another tough race for the man who finished second at Sachsenring last season.
Oliveira made up four spots in order to finish ninth, however, he was once again beaten by Binder who started two places behind the four-time premier class race winner.
"The race was hot, difficult and super-long," added Oliveira. "We didn’t get the best start and I think that limited the result by the end.
"The day was determined by missing out on Q2; that was the weekend there. We showed a lot of speed in terms of race pace but couldn’t quite replicate it for the position that we wanted.
"We leave Sachsenring with another 9th place. Consistent but not a place to be super-happy about."