Tech3 KTM MotoGP star Miguel Oliveira has expressed some unhappiness about being passed over for a factory seat in favour of Brad Binder who is going straight in from Moto2 next season.
KTM announced their plans earlier today in Australia and Binder, who was meant to join Oliveira, will now go directly to the works team alongside Pol Espargaro.
The Portugese rider said it would have been easier to take had the squad picked test rider Mika Kallio.
“I said, well, if it’s Mika, I think it’s completely fine for me, because I had built a good relationship with the team and I think it doesn’t make sense to make the switch,” said Oliveira.
Having chosen a rookie and a guy which is the same age as me makes me feel a bit like I’m not worthy enough to be there.
“But, it’s their decision and I respect, and it doesn’t change any single thing on my mind on being here and doing the maximum here.”
However, factory team boss Mike Leitner insists Oliveira was given the chance of the works seat but turned it down.
“It was a very bad moment when Johann wanted to stop the contract in the middle of the year,” said Leitner.
“So, of course, we’ve been pushed into this situation, and the first thing was very clear: the first rider we asked who to replace Johann was Miguel.
“He had the chance to come over, change places, and his answer was also very clear that he preferred to stay in his team, with his crew chief. He’s happy there.”