While Pol Espargaro’s works RC-16 conked out and Johann Zarco’s nightmare continued, Tech3 rider Miguel Oliveira sailed to his best MotoGP result of the season so far and finished as top KTM rider at the Red Bull Ring.
The Portugese rider had shown pace all weekend and kept it up over the 28-laps in Austria. After he starting from 13th position, Oliveira built up a strong pace, managing to pass one rider after another and eventually crossed the line just 0.185 seconds behind fellow rookie Pecco Bagnaia on the Pramac Ducati in seventh.
“It was a great race today! Apart from the start, where we had some issues, so I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted to. But the rest was quite funny, many overtaking,” said Oliveira.
My pace was very good, as we saw yesterday already. I’m quite happy about this result, this first top 10 for me and for the team with the KTM bike.
“I’m really glad and I think we deserve this result, after we’ve been working really hard, understanding the bike and everyone has been very good at helping me, so I think this is a decent payback to KTM here in their home GP, being in top 10 and first KTM in the race, which is very positive for us.”
With Zarco’s split from KTM now in the public arena, Oliveira appears to be the natural choice to replace him in the works squad, and that could also give Jorge Martin an early promotion to join Brad Binder at Tech3.