MotoGP Mugello: Oliveira ‘analysing options, everything remains open’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira began his Italian GP preparations from a disappointing 15th in the Mugello standings on Friday.

Much like Ducati’s Jack Miller, Oliveira faced issues with pre-heated Michelin tyres during Friday’s free practice, with the Portuguese rider circulating in the lower echelons of the standings with a best 1’46.818 lap.

“It was an interesting day because we had a couple of preheated tyres and I think that didn’t really play in our favour,” Oliveira explained. “In the sense that in the first session I felt good but at the same time with the tyre was very confusing. Then on the afternoon that happened with the new soft on the rear, so it’s really hard to see where we’re really at, but we’re looking forward to tomorrow and make some improvements.”

KTM brought new aero features for the factory riders to test at round eight, with work still to be done to fulfil the potential the 27-year-old knows is there.

”There’s a lot of potential to explore with this new aero solution,” he confirmed. “For sure we don’t achieve quite the performance that we wanted yet because it’s still something that we need to work on, but feels good and there’s a lot of steps of room for improvement and it’s always positive.”

While the work began on track, the headlines were circulating off track with KTM confirming rumours there would be a 2023 contract on offer for the four-time race winner but it may include a return to the Tech3 fold where he began his MotoGP journey. The number 88, however, is weighing up his options with potential moves both inside and outside his current manufacturer.

“It’s still an open topic to be honest with you,” Oliveira admitted. “It’s true that I was offered this position but at this moment, we’re still analysing some other options and still everything remains open. Hopefully in the next week or two we’ll be able to come to a conclusion on this subject.”