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MotoGP, VIDEO - Oliveira: “Winning the debut with Aprilia? I’ve thought about it.”

“It’s logical because we’ll be racing in Portimão, but it won’t be easy, since there are so many things that still need to be fixed. Marquez? I see he's doing well. You can always count on him.”

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This year is the beginning of a new chapter in Oliveira’s career, and fate wanted him to start from home. The Portimão circuit (Saturday and Sunday) won’t only be hosting the last winter tests for the year but also the first race in two weeks. Miguel wants to make sure he’s ready on the RNF team’s Aprilia, like he said in the interview you can watch above by the sponsor he’s a testimonial for, Estrella Galicia 0,0.

Oliveira takes stock of his first 4 years in the MotoGP.

The first season was good, but I suffered a serious injury, so it was a difficult start,” the Portuguese rider recalled. “2020 was going quite well, with two victories, then the transition to the official team with several podiums and another victory. Last year, I scored two more victories, so the outcome of these four years was very positive. Now I have a new opportunity to further improve.

You’re beginning a new phase as an Aprilia rider. How was your first experience in the official tests on the new bike?
So far, we’ve had very positive tests. We’ve always found something to work on to improve. I managed to become a bit more of an Aprilia rider on the bike, which is important, and I also managed to get to show the team my riding style. We had time to get to know each other a bit better. Just one day of testing in Valencia wasn't enough. The tests in Sepang allowed us to get an idea of how we can improve as a team.

You and your new Aprilia have proven you have the right cards to win. What do you expect this season?
I think we’re a winning pair, and it was obviously the premise for this change. I think Aprilia also saw me as a rider who would have adapted very well to their bike. So, at least in theory, we have everything we need to have a good season, even though there’s still a lot to work to do. Everything must be in line for this combination to give the results it deserves.

Have you thought about the possibility of winning with Aprilia in front of your home crowd in Portimão?

Yes!” he said laughing, “It’s logical. My first thought when I knew that the championship would start in Portugal was, of course, to win that race, but I think it’s going to be a real challenge. There are still a lot of things to fix, but I’ll obviously do my best.”

How was Marc Marquez? Do you think he could be one of the title contenders?
Marc had some interesting tests. He rode different bikes, so I think it wasn’t all easy for him, but I see he's really good in terms of riding and fitness. He’s very fast and, since he’s the rider we all know, you can always count on Marc in any circumstance.

How do you feel starting the season in Portimão, where you won in 2020?
First of all, it’s great news that the MotoGP is starting the season in Europe and a great privilege for Portugal. I think that, for the structure, the track itself and the new format we have in 2023, it makes a lot of sense to start with a circuit like Portimão. For me, the only Portuguese rider on the track, being able to race in front of my home fans is something to be really proud of.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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