Miguel Oliveira took his Thursday dealings with the media to stress his commitment to Tech 3 KTM for the 2020 season, but admitted he doesn’t “see any reason to decline” an offer to step up to the factory team, should it come.

The Portuguese rider was as surprised as anyone to learn of Johann Zarco’s decision to part ways with the Austrian factory at the end of the year. “A great loss for the project,” he said.

The former Moto2 and Moto3 runner up said he has not had talks with factory bosses about stepping up from the satellite squad to become Pol Espargaro’s team-mate in 2020. “I know my place and I'm quite happy here,” he said.

Yet even Oliveira acknowledged, “besides me, I don’t see anyone really obvious to go there.” If the offer arose “I’ll take it,” he said.

“I know my obligations are with Tech3 for the 2020 season at the moment,” said Oliveira. “Obviously it was a surprise for everyone to learn that Johann is not taking part in the team next year.

“It's a great loss for the project, because finally he's a fantastic rider. Not only professionally, but also from the personal side, I think he's in a very tough situation at the moment.

“And yeah, I know this could be an opportunity, but it's not up to me to decide really. I know that my obligations are here, and I will continue to believe that way until they prove me the other way around. So it's quite simple.

So he hasn’t spoken to anyone about a possible restructuring? “No, nothing,” he said. “When you are talking about a factory spot which is available, you can't put just anyone there.

“The factory needs to be taking into consideration many aspects. The feedback the rider gives, because he's a guy who is going to at least continue to develop the bike.

“Obviously at the moment, besides me, I don't see anyone really obvious to go there, but it's not up to me to decide. I'm very happy here, very thankful for Tech3.

“We have been doing a fantastic job so far, I like the team, I like the environment, so we'll see what happens in the future.”

Would he accept an offer to ride for the factory team if it came? “I mean, my contract is with them [KTM], so what they decide I cannot fight so much,” he said. “So this is my situation. I don't see any reason to decline, so if it comes up, then I'll take it.”

And would he be disappointed if he wasn’t considered? “No, not at all. As I said before, since May, I know what I'm doing for 2020, and this is my idea, and way of thinking.

“And as I told you, this situation is quite new, as in last week, we were all shocked about the news. So for sure there has to be some kind of restructure but I don't think that's possible in one week.

“So at the moment, we need to wait and see what the decision is, but if the decision comes, it will be very quick, and so it will be quite simple.”

On when he expects to hear confirmation of the factory’s plans, Oliveira added, “I don't hope for anything. I know my place and I'm quite happy here. As I said before, if it comes up, then great.

“But this [Tech 3] is where I should be and this is where I want to be.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...