‘Over the limit’ Miguel Oliveira hails ‘great’ Austrian GP weekend

Tech 3 KTM rider Miguel Oliveria is ‘very happy’ to score his best ever MotoGP result at the Red Bull Ring in what is his rookie year in the class.

Oliveria brought his KTM RC16 home in eighth, just 16 seconds behind the race winning Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso and nine clear of factory KTM racer Johann Zarco.

He made his debut with the Tech 3 team in the premier class this year following three seasons in Moto2, culminating in a close second in last year’s campaign behind Francesco Bagnaia with the KTM-affiliated Ajo squad.

The Portuguese ace showed top ten speed throughout the run-up to Sunday’s 26 lap contest, with the sixth fastest in FP2 being the highlight.

Despite only managing to qualify 13th on the grid, he quickly managed to make progress- after recovering from a poor start due a technical issue-and broke into the top ten after just a few laps.

He chased fellow rookie Bagnaia for sixth in the closing laps, but admitting he was ‘over the limit’ to do so he wasn’t quite able to move past.

“There is no better place to score the best result so far than this place, the home GP for KTM. I’m happy with the whole weekend, the start wasn’t very good because of a technical issue with the bike,” said Oliveira.

“It’s also the closest I’ve finished to the leaders so I’m very happy. I was a couple of seconds behind Bagnaia but I managed to recover that time over the last laps, but I was already quite over the limit and couldn’t overtake him.

“I was also losing time on the straights, but anyway I felt like I did a great weekend and the bike was good so I think it’s a step forward and hopefully we can keep this consistency and performance in the next races.”

The 2018 Moto2 vice-champion is also buoyed by his own recent progress, as well as that made by the KTM squad with its RC16, but remains committed to making sure the Austrian squad achieves their lofty ambitions.

“I think I have the capacity to fight for top positions but right now we are on a development project so we don’t want to get too over-excited about the result because we know that we have a long way to go until we can fight for the top positions.

“But the gap to the leaders is shrinking a bit now and we are getting closer. We now have a good direction, and we just have to keep working hard to be successful in the future.”