Miguel Oliveira says second in the German Grand Prix was the “best I could do”, the KTM rider reckoning that Marc Marquez was always “in control” out front.
Oliveira made his way through to second having started fifth just prior to the mid-point of the Sachsenring encounter, the Portuguese pilot concerned that Marquez was beginning to escape as the Honda rider kept up his pace while the riders behind slowed as rain started to fall.
Oliveira followed Ducati man Jack Miller past a struggling Aleix Espargaro as they looked to bring Marquez’s seven-race victory streak at the German venue to an end, Oliveira halving the Spaniards lead after dispatching Miller-though ultimately found himself unable to seriously challenge the Honda as he took the chequered flag 1.6 seconds adrift as the race came to an end.
The three-time premier class race winner says the two-second break Marquez was able to craft when the rain briefly started to fall was “key” to his first win since 2019, believing that the six-time MotoGP world champion was “in control” at a venue he excels around.
“I have to be satisfied (with podium), I did the best I could,” explained Oliveira.
“I knew from yesterday the starting position wasn’t ideal, I was squeezed on the outside of the second row so needed to hope the others made a bad start.
“I made a fantastic start but had to roll off a bit, but after that I was keeping calm in the group to slowly heat up the tyres and build momentum, but then the rain came and Marc (Marquez) was able to understand quite quickly how hard to push and was able to risk more than the others.
“I got held up behind a bit which was the key moment of the race, it was already a bit late by the time I got to second place and I didn’t have much left.
“He was in control, I was a bit faster in some places and he was in others but I really pushed hard and didn’t put a foot wrong but neither did he, so the best I could do was second.
“I was able to keep good drive down the waterfall compared to everyone else, that was a really strong point for me and also the last two corners, the braking point going in to Turn 12 was nice but then he had just a little bit more on the right hand corners so there was nothing I could do.”
Oliveira added that he hoped Marquez’s compromised physical condition would help him to stage a victory attack in the closing stages, though conceded that he knew prior to the contest that the Sachsenring-which only features one high-speed direction change that helps to nullify the lack of strength in Marquez’s recovering right arm- was “always the best place to show his potential.”
“I believed he was in control but I kept trying to put pressure on because I thought maybe with his physical condition he may have to back off a bit or maybe his tyre could have been worse than mine, so I was pressuring him just in case,” continued Oliveira.
“It didn’t work though as he had a bit more in reserve and with about three laps to go he pulled away by half-a-second and then I decided that was it.
“This was always the best place to show his potential and we always knew from the start that he was the favourite because he has an incredible record here, so if he wanted to show something here or Texas (Circuit of the Americas) would be the best place.”