The KTM rider concluded one of his most consistent MotoGP weekends with as dominant a win as we’ve seen over the last year. 

Starting seventh, Oliveira immediately settled into second place after getting a very similar start to that of team-mate Brad Binder in Qatar - South African went from seventh to third on that occasion.

And after an early race battle with Jack Miller, Oliveira stretched away from the Ducati rider to eventually win by 2.2 seconds from Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo. 

Oliveira credited his incredible launch off the line as a big reason for being in contention for the win, as Binder suffered the opposite as he lost eight places on the start which was enough to derail his chances of taking a third MotoGP win since 2020. 

Speaking after the race, Oliveira added: "Without this good start the race could have been a bit different for me. I really couldn’t see anything behind the riders. 

"With all the spray and the rain on the visor, it was definitely hard to see the lines and be precise. Also to judge the grip level. 

"I think by the end of the race I could understand more and how much I could push, but to ride 20 laps in a row in the rain or compared to a practice is quite different. You can explore a bit more the braking points in the practice, or going wide, or cool down the tyres. 

"Fortunately, I made a good start and after that I was following Jack [Miller] a little bit and could understand a bit more. 

"Then it was just about building up the gap and controlling the race. If the race had seven laps more I don’t know (if a win was possible) because Fabio [Quartararo] was coming pretty strong."

After suffering one of the worst starts to a season in 2021, KTM have turned their fortunes around completely as they currently lead the manufacturers’ standings, along with having Binder and Oliveira in the top four of the riders’ championship. 

With the 2022 RC16 looking like a bike that turns better, accelerates better and is extracting grip in a more positive way, whether that be over race distance or qualifying, KTM seem to have a complete package on their hands, thus making them a potential favourite for the world title. 

Asked whether he views himself as such following the team’s stunning start, Oliveira is instead electing to remain cautious while saying the aim is not to be competitive for just ‘three or four rounds’ like in 2021.

Oliveira continued: "I think it’s very early to say because we only had two races. For sure, we want to keep this strong form going into other races. 

"We don’t want to perform just three or four times in the season and then just be average. We want to be here more often. 

"We are aware that we need to work really hard, that’s normal for this category. Everyone is so close together and you can see the difference it makes to be in Q2 or not. 

"It can turn your whole weekend around. We are focused on being fast first of all, before finishing the races and scoring points."

Having seen the potential of both riders, albeit in just two races, we at believe both Binder and Oliveira have a very good chance of competing for the title. 

If pushed to predict right now, then at least one of the two are likely to rival the likes of Quartararo and series leader Enea Bastianini.