Miguel Oliveira moves on to Brno this weekend seeking 'redemption' after seeing his best-yet MotoGP qualifying ruined by a Turn 1 highside in the Andalucia race.

“After the last weekend, I feel like it’s redemption time," Oliveira said.

To make matters worse, Oliveira's Jerez accident was caused by contact from KTM colleague and future factory team-mate Brad Binder.

"Looking at all the footage, I think Brad was just too optimistic into the first corner," Oliveira, who had qualified in fifth, said. "Eventually he had nowhere to go, and so he clipped the back wheel of my bike and I ended up crashing."

Although not convinced by Binder's explanation of needing to lift his bike to avoid Danilo Petrucci on the inside, the Portuguese accepted the South African rookie's apology and said he won't dwell on the incident.

"[KTM team manager] Mike Leitner and Brad came to apologise. We are going to be future team-mates next year and the last thing we want is to have some friction in our relationship," Oliveira said after the Jerez race.

"At that time, I hadn’t watched the images... apparently their version is that Danilo upset Brad and that’s why he needed to lift up the bike, when in fact that is not what happened.

"But I accepted the apologies. This is racing. Now we need to build up our speed and motivation again from here."

That restart will begin with opening practice at Brno on Friday morning.

"Last year, I had great feelings [at Brno], we scored points in the race. I feel like it’s a good track for us and it’s also great three rounds we’ll have back-to-back, that I think going to suit our bike," Oliveira said.

"I’m just really keen to start with a good result in Brno and give the team what we should have got the Sunday before.”

Oliveira finished 13th at Brno during his rookie season but is naturally hoping that the 2020 RC16's impressive Jerez speed can be replicated on the much larger Czech circuit.

"Jerez was a track where we struggled in the past and now we are so much more competitive," Oliveira said. "I really hope that the bike working [at Jerez] means it will work everywhere else.

"We can only think good things about the future while not taking anything for granted."

"Clearly, the setback in Spain was huge," declared team boss Herve Poncharal. "The expectation after Miguel’s weekend and superb Qualifying performance was very high and to give up without fighting is a tough thing to swallow.

"The positive point is, we saw that the four KTM RC16 were very competitive, not only Miguel’s Qualifying was outstanding, but also the few laps Brad Binder did in the race showed the great level of our machine.

"We just hope we can duplicate the same performance in Czech Republic and Austria in order to confirm the potential of rider and machine.

"Last year, Brno was the last time we were riding the 2019 spec machine, we got the evolution one from the following round, so it’s difficult to have a real base to make any prognostics, but Miguel was quite fast and happy with the behaviour of his bike at this track, so I believe we have a realistic possibility to be strong there."

Recent private testing data should also aid the KTMs at both Brno and the following pair of home Red Bull Ring races, all on consecutive weekends.

While Oliveira had at least matched his MotoGP best of eighth place in the opening Jerez race, prior to the Andalucia accident, team-mate Iker Lecuona is yet to see the chequered flag in 2020. The rookie pitted with exhaustion in race one then crashed out of race two.

“I know that I need to focus a lot on myself for Brno in order to enjoy riding the bike even more and also the work within our team," Lecuona said,

"First of all, of course I need to finish the race this time, which is super important, but at the same time, I also have to continue to work hard and to learn.

"During the two weeks in Jerez, I already improved a lot, so I hope I can build on my performance there and follow up on our good way to progress further.”

 

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