Miguel Oliveira could be ‘a really good rider for the Pramac Yamaha project’

"[Miguel Oliveira] won quite a lot of races. So he can also be a really good rider for the [Pramac] project.”

Fabio Quartararo, Miguel Oliveira, 2024 German MotoGP
Fabio Quartararo, Miguel Oliveira, 2024 German MotoGP

Fabio di Giannantonio’s predicted new VR46 Ducati deal would also mean he is out of the running to lead the new Pramac Yamaha MotoGP project for 2025.

Factory Yamaha star Fabio Quartararo praised ‘Diggia’ on the eve of the Sachsenring weekend, touting the Italian and a rookie such as Sergio Garcia or Alonso Lopez as among his choices for the new factory-backed Pramac seats.

Thanking Quartararo for his words, di Giannantonio made clear he had a Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C for 2025. It soon became apparent that Plan A is remaining with VR46 but being upgraded to a factory-spec bike and direct Ducati contract.

“Plan A is for sure to continue this project,” di Giannantonio said at the German MotoGP. “But in case we don't have this opportunity, for any reason, or in case we don't have the right project with this team, I have Plan B, Plan C. But for sure the goal is to continue [at VR46]. We will negotiate in the next weeks.”

Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali confirmed they are ‘close’ to an agreement, telling Sky Italia: “Diggia is a rider we like a lot, with VR46 we are working to bring home this goal. I think he has grown a lot, so we would be happy if we could keep him. We are also close, which is a good thing.”

Assuming the di Giannantonio-Ducati is done, Pramac and Yamaha needs to find another proven rider.

Race-winning MotoGP riders still to be officially confirmed for 2025 are: Alex Rins (6 wins), Miguel Oliveira (5 wins), Jack Miller (4 wins) Franco Morbidelli (3 wins) and Joan Mir (1 win, 1 MotoGP title).

Assuming Rins stays with the factory Yamaha team, Morbidelli won’t return to an M1 and that Joan Mir completes his ‘priority’ of a new Repsol Honda deal, that list is then reduced to Oliveira or Miller.

While Miller is a former Pramac rider and still on very good terms with the team, Oliveira made a timely return to form with a front-row start and Sprint podium for Trackhouse Aprilia in Germany.

The Portuguese also has the backing of Quartararo: “He’s one of my best mates in MotoGP. He's doing a really great job, especially [at Sachsenring]. And I think he's a really experienced rider.

“He won already quite a lot of races. So he can also be a really good rider for the [Pramac] project.”

Meanwhile, the former factory KTM rider remained tight-lipped on his future plans.

“You always try to look ahead to the future and what tools can you have versus the tools you have in the current moment,” Oliveira said at Sachsenring. “As for now, I just want to enjoy the rest of the weekend and then think about what is to come.”

Pressed on why he had enjoyed such a sudden transformation in form on the RS-GP24 in Germany, Oliveira, who also finished sixth and top non-Ducati in the grand prix, added:

“I think everything is just clicking together - the track, and the approach we did this weekend on trying not to touch too many things on the bike, just working on the suspension and electronics. I've been able to get out the maximum of my riding style.

“Also, the fact that Aleix is not racing means we have some extra eyes [factory staff from Aprilia] looking into our things. I can't say that's the main reason, but for sure, it's always a help.”

Oliveira has now climbed to 13th in the world championship, with Miller in 16th for Red Bull KTM.

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