One of MotoGP’ most in-form riders Miguel Oliveira has accredited much of the team’s recent success to KTM’s decision to sign Dani Pedrosa as test rider in 2019, along with always presenting ‘different ideas’. 

Oliveira’s fifth place in Assen was his fourth consecutive top five finish following two second places in Mugello and Sachsenring, while the Portuguese rider also took the team’s first and only win of 2021 so far in Catalunya. 

Stability at Assen is one of the toughest challenges to deal with - something team-mate Brad Binder suffered with, along with Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia and Honda’s Pol Espargaro as two more examples. 

This was the #1 priority that Oliveira and the team looked to address from the outset of the weekend. Oliveira alluded to it being less of an issue in the race compared to practice sessions, but that finding the ‘compromise’ between an ‘agile and stable’ bike is not possible at this moment.

Oliveira said: "Yes. It was kind of what we were aiming to attack first was to get the bike to be agile, but to do it and still be stable is quite hard. 

"So for sure, we could have found a better compromise but we needed a bit more time to understand which way to go. We cannot have the best of those two characteristics at the moment. 

"This is what we think we need to improve, also for the future in terms of how to set up the bike. During the race, the stability was not as bad as in the practices, so I was happy about it. 

"For sure, tyre choice; after the race we could have seen maybe we could have taken a different road, but it’s what it is. As I said before, we made the most out of the circumstances. 

"We need to be happy with this. As I said, everyone is in a learning mood. When it comes to races like this, the team is absorbing the information and wanting to improve. For me as a rider to be surrounded in this environment is the most important thing."

Getting to the stage of competing for top fives, podiums and wins, was not always easy for KTM, as they endured several seasons without regular top ten results. 

But in 2019, top tens became a bit more consistent, while 2020 proved to be the team’s best year yet (three wins, five podiums), which led to Oliveira sharing his thoughts on what have been the key contributions to making this happen.  

"I have to say that since the beginning, maybe the real, real beginning we didn’t have a very good testing team or program working behind the GP weekends. Now since a couple of years, KTM has developed this test team with an incredible rider, which is Dani," added Oliveira. 

"The communication is done in the reports of the GP weekend. So far it’s working well. There is no miscommunication during the way. We are able to make solid progress and to really be able to express what we think the bike needs. 

"This has been the key also to make very good progress. The factory, they don’t give up. 

"They always try new things, come with different ideas, and that is really nice when you want to go forward with the bike and to continue the progression we have been carrying it throughout, especially this last season."