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MotoGP, Oliveira: "We're like a disco, dancing around waiting for them to take the girl away."

The Portuguese rider jokes about the stalemate in the riders market. "I at the moment have to buy drinks. I see a good future for me in Aprilia, every rider is looking for a competitive bike in a competitive team. It is not a good investment for the future to be put well in the bank and badly on the track."

MotoGP: Oliveira:

The Montmelo circuit, with its lower grip and high tire wear, has rewarded Aprilia in recent years. Just think of last year's Espargarò-Vinales one-two punch, first and second respectively on the podium. Results that therefore also bode well for the Trackhouse team's standard bearers, and among them Miguel Oliveira, who historically has always been competitive on the flowing Spanish track. The Portuguese rider, like everyone else, is waiting for the riders' market to unlock to begin to outline his future.

"We know that Barcelona is one of the circuits where tire wear is greatest," Oliveira interjects , "and the race almost always turns into a marathon where you have to push but without overdoing it on the tires. We have to find a bike setup that allows us to manage this situation without losing too much ground over the long distance. We have some good data from last year, I was competitive but not at full potential and that taught us a couple of things we will build on this year."

You have also won here in the past.
"I have to be honest, I don't really know why I was always competitive in every category here in Barcelona, the same goes for Valencia, which is not one of my favorite tracks. I definitely prefer flowing tracks to stop-and-go, it suits my riding style more, although then I was also competitive in Le Mans, overall I fit pretty well."

What lessons do you take with you from last year?
"The guys in the team mark my every word, " the Portuguese jokes , "the comments from last year are a good starting point, especially those at the end of the last race that have the most value. The front end degradation here is important and we have a couple of ideas to fix it, but it is clear that many references change from year to year so we will know more tomorrow."

There is a lot of talk about the rider market, what do you see in your future?
"I see a good future for me in Aprilia, logically they have given priority to their factory riders, now we will see what happens in the near future but I am quite calm. Obviously it's always nice to continue with a bike you know rather than change, but right now everyone is winking at each other waiting for someone to take the girl out of the club so until someone makes the first move everyone else has to dance and buy drinks."

In your future what options do you see?
"I have to buy everyone a drink because of the way things are now," he jokes again.

Would you prefer a competitive bike in a satellite team or a less competitive one in a factory team?
"Obviously there is a lot of speculation about that, I don't like to make comparisons. For every rider clearly the primary goal is to have a competitive bike in a competitive team, and with a good salary and different treatment the choice for one's future can take a different perspective. I don't think it's a good investment when you're set up well in the bank and poorly on the track. Our life at the end of the day is this, that's all we have, and every move is based on the hope that one's investment will pay off, now everyone has two-year contracts, we are signing for the last two seasons of this MotoGP era, I don't think much will change in these two years. For now, however, I'm focusing on the present, it's still a distant future."

What weight do you have in the development of this Aprilia?
"There was a year when I contributed a lot in that aspect, but I was racing with a year-old bike and basically repeating what the other riders had said, although in a different way. Obviously the feedback improves a lot when you are all on the same bike, which is what is happening this year. It's clear that it's not easy to give the same support that a factory team has to a second team but that's the direction we've taken, we've had a performance engineer for each in the box. In today's MotoGP when you're not 100 percent it feels like you're not there, but the differences are so subtle that it makes the difference between who ends up being framed on TV and who doesn't. The biggest difference in a factory team is that you have 100 percent of the attention on you during the day, and not just a meeting at the end of the day where they try to give you a hand."


Automatic Translation by DeepL

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