Miguel Oliveira has expressed his gratitude and paid tribute to his KTM team after prevailing in a thrilling three-way tussle through the final corner, in so doing becoming the fourth different winner from five races so far this season.

The Portuguese rider made the most of a second red flag interrupted race at the Red Bull Ring to get right into the podium mix over the course of the 12-lap lights-to-flag sprint. Staying into the final lap as Pol Espargaro and Jack Miller disputed victory ahead, their scruffy exits out the last bend instead opened the door for Oliveira to out-drag them to the line.

The win sees Oliveira notch up a maiden MotoGP win towards the start of only his second season in MotoGP – a result that far surpasses his erstwhile personal best of sixth – while it also marks a long-awaited maiden victory for Tech 3 Racing after almost 20 years competing in the premier class.

The latest twist in what is proving to be an immensely unpredictable 2020 MotoGP season thus far, Oliveira’s victory is KTM’s second in only three races, a stat the 25-year old attributes to the support and dedication it has shown since entering the class in 2017.

“[I’m] Happy, proud, there are many reasons to be happy about this day. It was a win at the home of KTM and Red Bull, so it’s extra special. First one [win] for me, I think throughout the weekend we made a good job, I was lucky to have a second chance in the race to change the front tyre and this allowed me to be more competitive.

“My feet are on the ground, but my head is floating around a bit… filled with happiness for not only me, but my Portuguese family and friends.

“Nothing has come easily for me in my career, my path is through hard work and nothing was given, last year was hard work for me, especially with the shoulder injury and riding the second half of the season with that and mentally I wasn’t in the right place, so to come back from that moment to here is a huge step.

“I didn’t do it alone, I have a great team behind me. The KTM Factory gives me a lot of support and I need to extend my thank you to them for trusting me and giving me strength to continue working.”

KTM’s run of success does come with a price to pay, however, with its concessions being removed to bring it on a par with its rivals. This means KTM will have a cap on its test outings, development rider Dani Pedrosa cannot test at a GP venue and its annual engine allocation is slimmed to nine. It will only be able to submit three wildcards in 2021, rather than six as well.

Nonetheless, it’s an outcome Oliveira says KTM has ultimately been chasing to show it can now go toe-to-toe with its more seasoned rivals.

“It’s good actually, there is only one thing that matters and that is seeing the orange KTM in parc fermé on Sunday, so whatever benefits we had in the past they are paying off now, so we must compare ourselves with the best brands out here and have the same rules.

“KTM showed anyway that whatever they are going into, they are not going to lose and I think it is a great thing they have accomplished in MotoGP in just a short space of time.

“It’s not about having the money or resources, but in competition it is about gathering the right group of people to work in the projects and they did this from scratch.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...